- Associated Press - Monday, April 18, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday released his 2015 income tax returns, the first since losing a significant portion of his assets in his divorce from former first lady Dianne Bentley.

The governor listed his filing status as single. He reported an adjusted gross income of $147,624. The governor’s income largely came from distributions from retirement accounts with some income from social security benefits.

The governor’s office released the tax returns, in keeping with a Bentley campaign promise from 2010 to make the information public each year.

“It is a mark of transparency that the people of Alabama value, and one that I have prioritized. As long as I am governor, these filings will be made public to continue the legacy of transparency promise I made years ago,” Bentley said in a statement.

The income tax forms appear to show some of the financial toll of the 2015 divorce. The Bentleys’ adjusted gross income in 2014, the last full year they were married, was $210,327. His Alabama income tax return listed $2,250 in alimony payments to his former wife.



The Bentley’s divided their financial assets under a divorce settlement filed in September, which dissolved their 50-year marriage. Dianne Bentley got ownership of the couple’s Fidelity investment account and half of the governor’s individual retirement account. Dianne Bentley will have possession of the couple’s two beach homes. The governor will maintain ownership of their Tuscaloosa home, but Dianne Bentley can live there until the end of 2017.

The income tax forms also show that Bentley is still not accepting a salary as governor. He made a campaign promise in 2010 to not take a gubernatorial pay check until Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent.

The governor, a dermatologist, maintains his medical license and listed his occupation as governor/physician. He listed nominal business expenses with the cost of keeping his license active such as liability insurance, registration fees and a cell phone that is partially used for business purposes.

The governor listed about $7,000 in charitable contributions by cash or check, including donations to Baptist churches in Gulf Shores and in Prattville, where he attends church, and to the University of Alabama where he attended school.

Dianne Bentley filed for divorce last year saying the couple’s 50-year marriage had reached an irretrievable breakdown.

The governor in recent weeks has been involved in a scandal involving a former top-aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, after racy recordings surfaced of Bentley making sexually-charged remarks while he was still married. Bentley acknolwedged making inappropriate remarks to Mason but denied having a “physical affair.”

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