Palins are far richer than most Alaskans

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Anchorage (Alaska, US), Sept.30 : The small town common folk tag that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been touting across the American political landscape while introducing her family, is not true.

A check of the financial records shows the Palins live anything but a common life when compared with their fellow residents of their hometown of Wasilla. Their combined income of nearly a quarter-million dollars last year was five times the median household income for Wasilla's 7,000 residents.

They own a single-engine plane, two boats, two personal watercraft and a half-million-dollar, custom-built home on a lake that is worth three times the average of other homes in town.

For the future, they also have a 401(k) retirement account compliments of Todd Palin's years as an engineer with oil giant BP.

According to the Washington Times, the Palins have been hugely successful by most standards in both their public and their private lives, according to the records. The couple's house was appraised this year at 552,100 dollars, which, according to Alaska magazine, was designed and built by Todd Palin. Mr. Palin, known in Alaska as the "First Dude," is a longtime commercial fisherman who maintains a highly sought-after commercial-fishing permit that has been handed down in his family from generation to generation.

A native of Dillingham, Alaska, his mother is one-quarter Yup'ik Eskimo and his maternal grandmother is a member of the Curyung tribe, which is the source of the permit.

In a state known as "The Last Frontier," where only about 1 percent of the land is privately owned and the rest is controlled by a distrusted federal bureaucracy, however, Sarah Palin enjoys a near 90 percent approval rating and more property than nearly all her neighbors.

Palin lives with her husband and their five children - Track, 19; Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; Piper, 7; and Trig, 4 months - in a two-story house built in 2002 and located on more than 2 acres overlooking Lucile Lake in Matanuska Susitna County, about 40 miles north of Anchorage.

The couple also own four lakeside parcels, described in county records as "recreation" sites. They encompass 35 acres of forest along Trapper Creek near Safari Lake, north of Wasilla, and were appraised this year at 102,700 dollars.

The total tax bill on the couple's five properties, according to the records, was 7,662 dollars. The Palins reported no debts in disclosure documents filed by the governor other than the mortgage on their home.

ANI

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