Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman and former New York mayor, is vowing to catch whoever leaked his personal tax information to a team of investigative reporters.
The tax records, along with those of thousands of other wealthy Americans, were obtained by the nonprofit news outlet ProPublica and used in an expose on the US tax system published Tuesday.
ProPublica produced a detailed account of how many of the richest people in the country pay little, and sometimes nothing, in income taxes because of how the tax law works. (No wrongdoing is alleged in the report.)
Bloomberg, a prominent Jewish philanthropist and the 13th-richest American, according to Forbes, features prominently in the article.
He reportedly paid $70.7 million on income of $1.9 billion in 2018, which amounts to a 3.7 percent tax rate. The median American household typically pays about 14% in federal income tax. Bloomberg benefited from Trump-era tax cuts, write-offs on charitable donations and credits for having paid foreign taxes, according to ProPublica.
In a statement, a spokesperson says Bloomberg would act to discover who was responsible for the unauthorized release of his private financial records.
“We intend to use all legal means at our disposal to determine which individual or government entity leaked these and ensure that they are held responsible,” the statement says.
Bloomberg’s statement also says that the leak is a violation of his privacy.
“The release of a private citizen’s tax returns should raise real privacy concerns regardless of political affiliation or views on tax policy,” the statement says. “In the United States no private citizen should fear the illegal release of their taxes.”