NY state bill would require presidential candidates to disclose their taxes
State Sen. Brad Hoylman's "TRUMP Act" would force disclosure of five years of tax returns for a spot on the state ballot.
As the reality of a Donald Trump presidency sinks in, one Democratic state senator from Manhattan is already making plans that would hinder the billionaire businessman's possible 2020 re-election bid.
State Sen. Brad Hoylmanhas drafted a bill that would force future presidential candidates, Trump included, to release five years of tax returns if they want their names on the New York state ballot.
Thebill, called theTax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act— or TRUMP Act, if you will— would require a candidate to submit the tax returns the state Board of Elections at least 50 days before the general election.
The Board of Elections would redact personal information before making the documents public.If candidates do not comply, the law would prohibit the state’s electors from voting for that candidate and the candidate’s name would not appear on the New York state ballot.
Trump has not released his tax returns, and Hoylman, a Democrat, told BuzzFeed News it is important that presidential candidates make financial disclosures so the public can accurately asses any conflict of interest.
“I think this is model legislation for legislatures across the country,” Hoylman told BuzzFeed.
Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle, including Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton from the latest race, have a long history of sharing their tax returns. Trump faced criticism throughout the campaign for refusing to do so.
Tax information from 1995 obtained by The New York Times andpublished in October suggested Trump declared $916 million in losses, potentially allowing him to legally not pay taxes for years.
"If we've learned anything from this last election cycle, it's that the political norms we take for granted in America can be shattered in an instant if they aren't enshrined in law," according to a document obtained by BuzzFeed that included the legislation's "talking points."