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Stewart Mills, the trust funder who wants to be the Iron Range's congressman

That's Stewart Mills on the left.

That's Stewart Mills on the left.

Stewart Mills, the GOP candidate for Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, which includes Duluth and the Iron Range, is winning. Maybe not where it counts most — in his race against incumbent Rick Nolan (DFL-Crosby) — but we won't know that winner until November. 

In the interim, Mills can count his greenbacks.

The 44-year-old married father of five, who lost to Nolan in 2014 by only 3,700 votes, filed his financial disclosure report last week. The numbers are eye-popping.

Between 2014 and 2016, Mills, whose father co-founded Mills Fleet Farm, saw his net worth swell by no less than $170 million, growing from $47 million to nearly $218 million. How much of the largesse is derived from Fleet Farm's sale to the New York investment company KKR, it doesn't say. What is shown is that almost all the assets are in 30-plus trust funds. The remaining chump change — no more than $16,000 — lies in a US Bank checking account and a Roth IRA.   

Equally telling are the liabilities on Mills' ledger. According to the seven-page report, he'll owe state and federal tax collectors somewhere between $58 million and $90 million for income pocketed in 2016.  

 

In fact, one of his money pots, the Stewart C. Mills, Jr. Irrevocable Trust, valued at "$50,000,000+," is also named as a tax liability for the same amount. 

Does this mean the trust has so much cash over $50 million it alone could generate $50 million to Uncle Sam and the state of Minnesota?

City Pages called the aspiring politician's campaign office. Repeated messages went unreturned. 

"With the right tax policies, the correct regulatory policies, and new leadership," reads Mills' web site, "we can unleash a new economic boom in Minnesota and across the nation."

This ideology must include corporate welfare from poor local Minnesota municipalities, which ultimately help to pad the bottom line of trust fund babies like Mills.

 

Despite pitching himself to voters as a small-government, pork-cutting conservative, Mills and his family received millions in taxpayer subsidies with Fleet Farm. 

Most recently, Fleet Farm paid for roads around its new Hermantown location, in exchange for property tax relief of about $1.3 million.