RI’s candidate for governor topped $ 9.6 million in 2020
PROVIDENCE – Helena Foulkes lives in a different financial stratosphere than the overwhelming majority of Rhode Islanders – and all of her fellow gubernatorial candidates.
His recently released tax returns paint a portrait of a well-paid business executive whose adjusted gross income fell to $ 9.6 million in 2020, from $ 12.4 million just two years earlier.
In 2020 alone, she paid $ 4,259,040 in income taxes, including $ 3.4 million in federal taxes, $ 18,757 in Rhode Island and $ 812,362 in New York State, where she lived and worked – until March – as CEO of the owner’s Hudson’s Bay department store. Co. who ran Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States and, until recently, Lord & Taylor.
Foulkes was initial resistance when other Democrats vying for governor of Rhode Island voluntarily made their own statements public – to one extent or another – in October.
But a spokeswoman for Foulkes, who had entered the race a few weeks earlier, assured the Journal: “Helena plans to publish her tax returns soon.” How long ? “Helen [just] have entered the race … We will get them to you soon. ”
Political scene:Tax returns shine a light on the financial lives of top RI politicians
Some of the other statewide candidates have released their full documents. Others, the first few pages only.
Foulkes has only released the first few pages of his New York, Rhode Island and federal income tax returns for each of the past five years, leaving some questions unanswered, including the nature of his $ 270,427 in itemized deductions.
But the tax returns – and the financial disclosure statement she filed with the state’s Ethics Commission last week – say a lot about her life as a former senior CVS executive.
They reveal that she made most of her income in 2020 from her final months of employment as CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Company on January 1 and March 13, 2020.
The size of her $ 29.4 million compensation package – which included a $ 3 million signing bonus – sparked shareholder controversy when she was first hired by Hudson’s Bay in 2019.
His spokesperson, Audrey Lucas, explains his departure two years later:
“Under Helena’s strong leadership, HBC’s finances and brand performance have improved dramatically. Thanks in large part to Helena’s work to turn the business around, they were able to go private in early 2020. At that point, Helena decided to leave HBC.
Foulkes’ ethics brief also identifies her as a consultant later in the year to Bank of America and Boston-based Cabot Properties, “an international private equity real estate firm … [that was]. one of the first real estate companies to allow institutional investors to access the industrial property sector. “
Until the fall of this year, she also served on the Home Depot board of directors, which put her on the brink of controversies over corporate donations to Republican candidates.
She was – and is – a board member of Harvard University, the National Bureau of Economic Research, Harry’s Inc. in New York City, and the Ghanaian health startup mPharma.
Its ethics disclosure statement makes no mention of any compensation from those boards, including Home Depot, although a company file said Foulkes was entitled to $ 70,000 in cash and 230,000. $ in shares during fiscal year 2020. A note on the file indicates that she has carried over 100% of her “cash reserve” in favor of shares.
Its 2020 financial assetsincluded stock or equity in Home Depot, Options MD, Harry’s Inc., mPharma and Salesforce, which played a significant role in Rhode Island’s federally funded COVID response.
A story from July 2020, at the onset of COVID in Politico, said the government at the time. Gina Raimondo “persuaded Salesforce to develop a state-of-the-art contact tracing application for Rhode Island for free.”
A week later, the company “partnered” with Raimondo in July 2020 as part of a $ 45 million “Back to Work RI” initiative funded by federal dollars from the CARES Act.
Foulkes has yet to disclose the extent of her holdings in Salesforce, but when asked if she would divest herself if she becomes governor, spokeswoman Lucas said: “Once elected governor, the investments of Helena and Bill will all be placed in a blind trust. ”
Her husband, William Foulkes, who describes himself as a “creative startup advisor / investor” – attributed his own income to his work as a guest lecturer at the New School in New York.
He was chosen by State Treasurer Raimondo in 2011 to lead the pension advisory group that laid the groundwork for the big pension overhaul. In 2015, then Governor Raimondo hired him to chair the State Council on Post-Secondary Education.
He is on candidate Foulkes’ ethics record as a board member of Computational Textiles in Little Compton and co-chair / director of the Creative Capitol Foundation in New York.
A summary of the Foulkes campaign provided by The Journal said: “Over the past five years, the Foulkes have paid an average of 43% of their income in taxes. The overwhelming majority of [their] income is in the form of wages, not capital gains.
“In 2019 and 2020, the majority of their state income taxes were paid in New York City because Helena’s job at the Hudson’s Bay Company was based in New York City and she owed it. legally its labor taxes in New York State. “
Over five years, however, the Foulkes paid more than $ 1.1. millions of dollars in Rhode Island in RI state taxes, ”according to the summary.
On a final note, his campaign said, “The Foulkes have always called Rhode Island their home, even when their job requires them to spend time in New York City.”