Gov. Rick Scott gave a glimpse of his personal wealth Monday, disclosing a net worth of $132.7 million as of the end of last year, in addition to releasing 188 pages of tax returns from 2010 through 2012. (See the full returns below.)
Meanwhile, the three members of the state Cabinet, each qualifying for re-election Monday, collectively reported a net worth of $10.95 million.
The documents released by Scott, whose net worth grew from $83.8 million a year earlier, came as the governor filed paperwork to qualify for re-election.
Scott, the former CEO of the Columbia/HCA heath-care company, also challenged the Democratic front-runner, former Gov. Charlie Crist, to make a similar disclosure of tax returns from prior years.
Crist’s campaign issued a statement that the former governor intends to exceed Scott’s challenge.
Crist released his financial documents for the past year as he also qualified on Monday.
Crist, who in April told the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches that, “I have lived paycheck to paycheck my entire life,” estimated in his disclosure a net worth at $1.25 million, with his income last year at $712,780.
Crist revised his Forum Club statement on Monday to indicate he wasn’t referring to recent years.
The three members of the state Cabinet — Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam — reported that their collective net worth increased nearly $1.2 million during 2013.
Among the details in Scott’s financial disclosure, his Naples home and boathouse are worth $13.2 million, he owns 60 acres in Montana worth $1.4 million, and $43 million of his investments are tied to family investment firm RLSI-CSP Capital Partners in Naples.
Scott, who reportedly spent about $73 million of his own money to run in 2010, listed a net worth of $218.6 million when he first ran for office.
Also as part of the disclosure, Scott ended a blind trust he formed in 2011 and publicly listed his investments.
After the disclosure documents were filed, Scott placed his investments into a new blind trust, then challenged Crist to also show finances from the years that Crist’s been out of office. Crist was elected governor in 2006 as a Republican and left office in early 2011.
“I think it’s incumbent for a governor to have their assets in a blind trust,” Scott said in a telephone interview. “By not knowing what assets, and having an outside professional run those assets, you don’t have either the appearance or the conflict of interest by knowing what is in the blind trust.”
A hearing has been scheduled later this week on a lawsuit filed by Jim Apthorp, former chief of staff to the late Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew, that challenges a 2013 law allowing elected officials to put their financial assets in blind trusts.
Apthorp has argued that blind trusts violate the “full and public disclosure” requirements of the Sunshine Amendment and are therefore unconstitutional.
Blind trusts do not offer detailed public disclosure of holdings, but supporters of the 2013 law say they avoid potential conflicts of interest between officials’ public duties and their financial interests.
Scott is the only elected official using a blind trust.
Scott said the release of information about his investments wasn’t linked to the lawsuit.
While promising to release more documents than Scott, Crist’s qualifying paperwork included his 2013 financial disclosure form.
Among his income, Crist listed $296,722 in pay from the Morgan & Morgan law firm, $182,933 from consulting for The St. Joe Company, $50,000 from consulting for Coastal Construction Group and $125,000 from media.
Crist’s book, “The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat,” was released in February.
Crist also took in $45,588 through a state pension.
Most of his assets are tied to stocks, bonds and bank accounts, totaling about $1.2 million.
In his final year in the Governor’s Mansion, while running without party affiliation for U.S. Senate, Crist’s net worth was reported at $466,063, with assets between $2.05 million and $4.35 million in the name of his wife Carole.
Meanwhile, Putnam, whose wealth is tied to the family owned Putnam Groves, continues to be the financial pacesetter among the Cabinet.
His net worth stands at $7.85 million as of Dec. 31, up to from $7.2 million the previous year. The former U.S. congressman was worth $6.8 million in 2010 when elected commissioner.
Putnam earned $128,745 in the state job last year, up from $123,912.
Putnam’s 20 percent share of Putnam Groves accounted for $2.96 million, while the majority of his assets are tied in a wide range of investments in Vanguard funds.
His Bartow home was valued at $174,000, while a residence in Tallahassee was appraised at $260,000, both the same as a year earlier. He also owns portions of homes in Little Gasparilla Island, Lake Wales and Babson Park.
Atwater, with a net worth of $1.86 million, has most of his worth tied to stocks, which account for $1.12 million. His investments grew from $1.076 a year earlier.
A banker and former Senate president, Atwater’s worth has grown from $1.6 million when he ran for statewide office in 2010.
His North Palm Beach home has increased in value from $295,000 to $314,140. He lists his state salary at $128,161.
Bondi’s worth has jumped from $472,696 in 2010, while a candidate for state office, to $1.24 million.
Unlike in 2010 when she listed no income, she reported earning $128,746 in the state position last year.
Bondi listed her personal residence at $720,000.
She also reported owing the Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union just over $290,000, down from $301,000 a year earlier.
–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida