Mayor Michael Bloomberg has added to his roster of high-end real estate, buying a house and a vacant parcel last year next to a 35-acre estate he already owns in tony Southampton, according to information released Thursday by City Hall.
The mayor's office released Bloomberg's financial disclosure report and redacted 2012 tax return, which paint only a general picture of the billionaire's finances. Still, the documents offer a glimpse inside the private financial world of one of the wealthiest people and most generous philanthropists anywhere around.
Forbes estimates Bloomberg's fortune at $27 billion, making him 13th on the magazine's global list of billionaires. He gave about $370 million to charity last year.
While the disclosure report is a city Conflicts of Interest Board requirement, Bloomberg releases his tax return voluntarily, as many politicians do. But instead of specific figures, he uses ranges adopted from the disclosure form. His staff says releasing the exact numbers could give a tip sheet to competitors of Bloomberg LP, the financial information company he founded. He owns about 85 percent of the private company.
The forms' top category, "G," captures any amount above $500,000. And Bloomberg's return is a mass of Gs, from his income to the total amount he pays household staff to the size of bank accounts he keeps in Hong Kong, London and Paris.
So while the documents indicate he paid at least $2 million in taxes, it was likely more. His company does business around the world, but all its profits are taxed in New York, his aides note.
The information from City Hall and Bloomberg aides likewise indicates only that Bloomberg paid more than $500,000 apiece for the new Southampton properties, though they likely cost more.
The mayor lives in a Manhattan townhouse. He owns a dozen other properties in Bermuda, London, Vail, Colo., Wellington, Fla., and North Salem, N.Y., among other places.
He famously takes only $1 a year as mayoral salary, but the job has brought him some other, modest financial dividends, the documents show: He got somewhere between $2,000 and $10,000 in residuals last year from prior appearances as himself on TV's "Law & Order" franchise, the 2008 TV special "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" and the 2011 movie "The Adjustment Bureau," which starred Matt Damon.
In another small but unusual addition to Bloomberg's bank account, the documents log a small amount of interest — less than $1,000 — on New York Knicks and New York Rangers tickets that were refunded because of NBA and NHL lockouts.
After Bloomberg took office in 2002, the Conflicts of Interest Board required him to sell at least $45 million in publicly traded stocks in companies that do business with the city; he ended up selling many at a loss. The board also limited his involvement in Bloomberg LP to major matters such as selling or buying assets.
The board does allow the mayor to invest in diversified mutual funds, New York municipal bonds and broad-based, exchange-traded funds. He also employs a company that makes investments for him without revealing the details.