NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama owes Illinois a tiny chunk of change. The president is indebted $612 after already having paid $31,941 in state income taxes for the year, according to Obama's 2011 tax returns released Friday.
The president and wife Michelle paid an effective federal income tax rate of 20.5% as the couple earned $789,674 and paid a total of $162,074 in 2011 taxes. As Obama's campaign and administration increases efforts to create a fairer tax code that would ensure high-income earners pay at least as much as middle-class households, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated the president's commitment to the "Buffett Rule." "Under the President's own tax proposals, including the expiration of the high-income tax cuts and limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it," Carney wrote Friday on the White House's Web blog. The Buffett Rule is derived from the fact that legendary investor Warren Buffett's secretary, Debbie Bosanek, said she paid a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss . The $612 Obama owes to Illinois won't hurt too much as he will receive a $24,515 refund check from the Internal Revenue Service for overpayment on his federal taxes. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >Contact by Email. >Follow Joe Deaux on Twitter. Subscribe on Facebook.