California Presidential Tax Transparency Bill Approved in Senate

Bill headed to Assembly after defeating last minute push by Republicans to require presidential candidates to produce birth certificates

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sacramento, CA – Despite a last minute maneuver by California Senate Republicans to amend Senator Mike McGuire and Scott Wiener’s Presidential Tax Transparency Bill to include a requirement that Presidential candidates produce their birth certificate in order to be included on California’s ballot, the original bill was approved in the State Senate late Wednesday.

“While I am pleased that our Presidential Tax Transparency bill moved forward today, it’s frankly astounding to me that some Republican Senators would align themselves with one of the most racist attacks on a sitting president in modern history. Everyone knows that President Trump used the birth certificate issue against President Obama as a dog whistle to white supremacist groups,” Senator McGuire said. “The truth is that we have never elected a president who was not a citizen. That has never been a problem and does not require a solution. But we have elected a president – and he is currently in office – who has serious conflicts of interest that are endangering our national security and who is consistently violating ethical norms to enrich himself and his family. That’s a very serious problem which does require a solution – and the solution is SB 149.”

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.

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

“The  trust of the American people in our government is being shaken with  each revelation coming out of Washington about contacts, connections,  and possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russian  officials. While we can’t change what’s happened or how we got here, we  can start doing the hard work to rebuild that trust by ensuring  transparency and accountability from future presidential candidates.  Passing SB 149 will help us to make sure the interests of the American public come before all else,” Senator Wiener said.

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.

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.