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GOP Senate candidate David McCormick has up to $2.2 million in a 'dynasty trust' that allows him to evade wealth taxes — potentially forever

Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dave McCormick at an event on May 17, 2022 in Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dave McCormick at an event on May 17, 2022 in Pittsburgh.Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
  • Dave McCormick, the likely GOP nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, is incredibly wealthy.

  • He also holds up to $2.2 million in something called a "dynasty trust."

  • It allows owners to transfer wealth for generations — potentially forever — without wealth taxes.

Dave McCormick, the former Bridgewater CEO who's all but certain to be the GOP Senate nominee in Pennsylvania, is incredibly wealthy.

It's a key reason why he's running in the first place: This year, national Republicans prioritized recruiting wealthy candidates who would be willing to spend millions on their own campaigns.

And after spending $14.3 million on an ill-fated Senate bid in 2022, McCormick has already loaned his current campaign $1 million as he seeks to unseat Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

While stratospheric wealth may appeal to the strategists and top GOP figures who are aiming to retake the Senate this year, there are aspects of McCormick's personal finances that could undermine his image in the Rust Belt state he hopes to claim for the GOP.

Among them is a so-called "dynasty trust."

Transferring wealth for generations

According to his 2024 financial disclosure, McCormick and his wife own at least $123 million in assets, which would make him one of the wealthiest members of Congress if elected.

Somewhere between $1.1 million and $2.25 million are held in an account called "David H McCormick 2020 Dynasty Trust."

A dynasty trust is essentially a pot of money often used by the ultra-rich to pass wealth down to future generations without incurring certain wealth taxes.

Generally speaking, taxation in the US has sought to curb dynastic wealth, with estate taxes, gift taxes, and even a generation-skipping transfer tax enacted to whittle away at the wealth passed from generation to generation. The official estate tax for someone like McCormick would be approximately 40%.

But in recent years, dynasty trusts have exploded, with several states changing their laws to allow these trusts to exist for hundreds of years, if not forever.

In Pennsylvania — where McCormick owns a home and is running for Senate — dynasty trusts can last forever. In Connecticut, where McCormick actually lives, they can last up to 800 years.

It's also possible that McCormick established it in a state like South Dakota, which has become a haven for dynasty trusts in recent years in part due to the lack of an income or inheritance tax.

Trust records are generally confidential, and McCormick's campaign did not respond to a request for comment about where the trust was established — nor why he established the trust — leaving the public in the dark about the details.

$37,000 on private jet flights in recent months

Beyond the dynasty trust, there are other aspects of McCormick's wealth that raise eyebrows.

As The Messenger first reported and Business Insider has verified via court filings, McCormick and his ex-wife owned $4.3 million across 6 accounts with Credit Suisse — a Swiss bank notorious for enabling tax evasion — in 2014, according to divorce records from the time.

Those accounts do not appear on disclosures McCormick has filed with the Senate in the last two years, and his campaign did not say whether he still holds any of those accounts.

And as Vanity Fair first reported, McCormick uses a private jet service to travel back and forth between his home in Connecticut and Pennsylvania — and recent campaign filings offer a clearer window at the frequency and cost of those flights.

According to the McCormick campaign's year-end disclosures, which cover the last 3 months of 2023, he spent a total of more than $37,000 of his own money on the service across 11 different payments — suggesting that he uses the planes frequently.

Read the original article on Business Insider