California’s Presidential Tax Transparency Bill Approved in Final Legislative Committee, heads to Assembly Floor

Secretary of State Alex Padilla throws support behind SB 149

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sacramento, CA — Senator Mike McGuire and Scott Wiener’s Presidential Tax Transparency Bill that would require all presidential primary candidates to provide their tax returns for the five most recent years to the Secretary of State before they are eligible to appear on the ballot, hit two more major milestones on its way to becoming law in California. 

California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced his support of the transparency bill, and the legislation was approved in its final Legislative Committee today during a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Elections & Redistricting. 

“The vast majority of Americans – Republicans and Democrats alike – want President Trump to release his tax returns, just like every other President for the past  40 years,” Senator McGuire said. “Transparency is a nonpartisan issue. And it’s transparency that provides the basis for accountability in government. SB 149 gets us there, and we are grateful to Secretary Padilla for supporting this important accountability measure.”

SB 149 – the Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act – will require basic tax information to be shared with the American public and require that all presidential candidates release the last 5 years of their tax returns in order to appear on the California ballot. The returns would also be made available to the public on the Secretary of State’s website.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced his support of SB 149, and sent a letter to the Assembly Elections Committee Chair in support of the bill. 

“Requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns is an important transparency measure. Public access to information regarding the financial interests and charitable contributions of a presidential candidate helps voters to make informed decisions. Voters and the press should not be left in the dark about a candidate’s potential conflicts of interest,” Secretary Padilla said.

California is leading the way as states across the country move forward with similar legislation mandating the release of returns. 

“The more we hear about the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, the more it becomes clear that the American people didn't have the full picture leading up to the election in 2016. While we can’t change the past, we can work to ensure more transparency and accountability from future presidential candidates. I want to thank Secretary of State Alex Padilla for joining us in support of SB 149. Secretary Padilla is someone who understands the critical importance of fighting for the integrity of our election system and strengthening the trust between the American public and our elected leaders, which is at the heart of what SB 149 is about,” Senator Wiener said.

Prior to Donald Trump’s refusal to release any tax returns, every president since Jimmy Carter (over 40 years) has released at least one year of tax returns. During the 2016 Presidential election, Hillary Clinton (Democratic) and Jill Stein (Green) both released their tax returns.

Contrary to what President Trump has stated in public that Americans don’t care about his tax returns, 74 percent of respondents in national polls on the issue believe President Trump should release his tax returns.

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