Cory Booker has been representing New Jersey in the Senate since 2013, and is viewed as a possible contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. In addition to his salary as a senator, Booker also earns income from book royalties and speaking appearances. His net worth, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com, is estimated to be about $3 million.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Cory Booker Earns a Salary of $174,000 in the Senate, But He Earned Nearly Twice That Amount From Book Royalties Alone in 2017
In Senator Booker’s 2017 Senate Financial Disclosure form, the majority of his assets are invested in brokerage accounts. (You can see the full form above).
He earns an annual salary of $174,000 as a senator. In 2017, he also reported income of $325,000 in royalties from Penguin Random House. His book, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good, was published in 2016.
Senator Booker reported five speaking appearances in 2017. The fee of $2,000 per speech was all donated to charity.
The form also states that Booker is entitled to receive a pension from the New Jersey Public Employee Retirement System. After he turns 60, he’ll begin receiving $2,627.74 per month. (Booker is 49 years old).
2. Booker Allowed Reporters to See 15 Years Worth of Tax Returns During his Senate Campaign in 2013
During his first senatorial campaign, Cory Booker made 15 years worth of tax returns available to a group of journalists. According to Politico, the reporters were gathered in a hotel banquet room in Newark. They were not permitted to take pictures of the returns or make copies; rather, they had three hours to review them and take notes.
The news outlet reported that over a period of 14 years, Booker reported income totaling nearly $4 million. He paid $1,057,359 in federal taxes.
The earnings from his paid speeches increased substantially during that time frame as well, as he became more of a national figure. Booker reportedly earned $1,317,715 from appearances between 2000 and 2012. In 2006, he was paid about $10,000 for speeches. But just five years later, in 2011, he earned $406,304 from appearances.
Politico also reported that Booker may have exaggerated a bit about how much of his income he donated to charity. He had claimed that he gave away “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars.” But his tax returns showed that he donated $150,000 over 14 years; or at least, that’s the amount he claimed for deduction purposes on his tax returns.
3. Booker Was Paid Nearly $700,000 From his Former Law Firm Between 2007 and 2012 as Part of a “Separation Agreement”
When Cory Booker allowed a small group of reporters to see several years of tax returns, one particular source of income drew some heat. His returns revealed payments totaling $689,500 from the Trenk DiPasquale law firm from 2007 until 2012.
Booker had worked for the firm for six years prior to becoming mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 2006. He was a partner for two of those years. But he removed himself from the firm after the mayoral election, in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
That’s why it surprised reporters to see the recurring payments. Booker explained that the payments were part of a confidential buyout.
His Republican opponent for the Senate, Steve Lonegan, questioned the payments during the course of the campaign. He noted that the Trenk DiPasquale law firm received nearly $2 million in legal fees through government contracts over the same time period, most of which came from the Newark Housing Authority.
4. The New Jersey Senator Reportedly Earned More Than Half a Million Dollars in 2013
In 2014, Senator Booker released a summary of his 2013 tax return. Once again, he did not publish them online or make the documents available to the general public. Instead, reporters had a couple of hours to review them and take notes.
The 2013 return showed that Senator Booker earned $540,341 in income that year. As reported by NBC New York, the income included:
• $114,000 from the city of Newark
• $29,000 as a Senator (he was sworn in on October 31, 2013)
• $410,000 in speaking fees
But Booker did not keep the vast majority of this income. The returns reportedly showed that he donated $440,000 to charity. He paid about about $70,000 in federal taxes.
NJ.com reported that the charities that benefited from Booker’s donations included the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children in Newark, the American Cancer Society, and a charter school founded by his brother.
5. Booker’s Estimated Net Worth Has Increased Substantially Since 2015
The Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit organization that tracks campaign contributions and lawmakers’ income, last looked at Senator Booker’s finances in 2015. That year, the group estimated that his net worth was about $833,000. It’s worth mentioning that his book was published the following year, and his income increased after that due to book royalties.
He does not have any liabilities listed from 2012 to 2014. His assets included small investments in companies including Nike, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Netflix.
Booker’s most valuable asset was reported to be his retirement accounts through Scottrade. The maximum value of those accounts was $500,000.
READ NEXT: Can a Supreme Court Justice Be Removed?