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President Trump Would Have to Release His Income Taxes if New York Bill Is Approved
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=50228"><span class="small">Joseph Spector, Journal News</span></a>   
Sunday, 24 February 2019 09:36

Spector writes: "Supporters of trying to force President Donald Trump to release his state income taxes are hoping there is a renewed effort to get it done in the state Legislature this year."

Andrew Cuomo. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Andrew Cuomo. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Trump Would Have to Release His Income Taxes if New York Bill Is Approved

By Joseph Spector, Journal News

24 February 19


upporters of trying to force President Donald Trump to release his state income taxes are hoping there is a renewed effort to get it done in the state Legislature this year.

The bill, first introduced in 2017, languished in the Republican-led Senate, but has new hope because Democrats now run the Senate and the Assembly.

Assemblyman David Buchwald, D-White Plains, said he has 78 co-sponsors on the bill in the Assembly and 28 in the Senate, nearly enough to pass both houses and be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for final approval.

Called the NY TRUTH Act, the bill would require all statewide elected officials, including the president and vice president if they file New York income taxes, to release their taxes publicly each year.

Releasing taxes

Since Trump files both New York state and New York City income taxes, the bill would require Trump to release many undisclosed details about his finances, Buchwald said.

“For a representative democracy to run well, the public must have confidence that our elected officials work on the people’s behalf,” he said in a statement.

“Tax returns show an elected official’s compliance with law and economic connections while they tend to disclose potential conflicts of interests.”

Efforts to require greater disclose of elected officials' taxes on the federal level have been met with opposition, but state lawmakers think they have a better chance in Albany, where Democrats now control all of state government.

New York isn't the only state trying to pressure Trump to release his income taxes.

The state Senate in New Jersey on Thursday passed a bill that would keep Trump off the state's 2020 ballot if he doesn't release his taxes. The bill passed in 2017, but was vetoed by then-Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Opposition persists

Still, Republicans criticized the bill, saying Democrats should first look to clean up the scandal-scarred Capitol.

"Albany Democrats should stop focusing on trying to play national politics to score cheap headlines while they have been silent as a church mouse on their fellow Democrat Governor Cuomo's rampant corruption and consistent violations of transparency laws," said Jessica Proud, spokeswoman for the state Republican Committee.

"They look like hypocrites."

Already, statewide leaders release their income taxes each year as practice, not required by law.

What the bill would do

The bill would require the state Department of Taxation and Finance to release the state income tax returns of public officials elected statewide, and that would include the president and vice president if they are from New York -- as is the case with Trump.

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan. It would need 32 votes in the Senate to pass, and Democrats control 39 seats.

If passed, the NY TRUTH Act would require the state within 30 days to release the elected officials' taxes, Buchwald said.

That's if Cuomo signs it. He hasn't indicated whether he would support the bill.

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-10 # 2019-02-24 11:52
This assertion is mere silliness. New York state electoral votes will go to whomever the Democratic nominee is since no Republican can currently win the vote in that state. If Trump chooses not to release his income tax returns, he can merely not put his name on the New York ballot without hurting his own efforts in the least.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
0 # mim 2019-02-25 10:16
Electoral votes? For state offices? NYS has no electoral college.

Say what you will about Gov. Andrew Cuomo - I'm no fan of his, have never voted for him, and IMNSHO he's an apple who has fallen far from the tree. He disbanded a commission that was about to look into his ethics. But he still has the political common sense, maybe even the decency, not to be in Trump's pocket.

I hope, if it comes to that, that he and the Legislature will do what Congress can't do.