Evan Vucci/AP

Romney: I never paid less than 13 percent in taxes

Candidate calls Sen. Harry Reid’s charges that he paid no income taxes 'totally false.'

After weeks of speculation about his tax returns, Mitt Romney on Thursday said he paid at least 13 percent in income taxes for each of the past 10 years.

“I did go back and look at my taxes, and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent,” Romney told reporters at the Greenville-Spartanburg International airport in South Carolina. “I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year.”

Romney has publicly released his 2010 tax return and an estimate of his 2011 return. He has refused to release any more, arguing that Democrats will use the returns as fodder against him.

The presumptive GOP nominee has been criticized by Democrats and some Republicans for refusing to release more of his tax returns. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that an “extremely credible” source from Bain Capital — the private-equity firm Romney founded — told him that Romney avoided paying taxes for 10 years.

“Harry Reid's charge is totally false,” Romney said on Thursday. “I'm sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was that told him what he says they told him. I don't believe it for a minute, by the way. But every year I've paid at least 13 percent, and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent."

Romney added that given the challenges facing America, “the fascination with taxes I've paid I find to be very small-minded.”