California Presidential Tax Transparency Bill Approved in Final Senate Committee

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sacramento, CA – President Trump marked his 100th Day in Office last week and the American public continues to be in the dark about his tax returns. Senator McGuire and Senator Wiener’s tax transparency bill is needed now more than ever since the President is advancing a massive tax cut plan that will benefit the richest Americans, including himself.

SB 149 is landmark state legislation and it would mandate Presidential candidates release their tax returns in order to appear on the California ballot. The bill was heard in its final Senate committee today – paving the way for a vote of the full State Senate next month.

California is now one step closer to mandating the release of returns with the passage of SB 149 – the Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act. Senator McGuire presented on the bill in Senate Appropriations today. SB 149 was overwhelmingly approved in both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee last month. 

Senators Mike McGuire and Scott Wiener’s legislation 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. SB 149 was also approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month.

“Transparency is a nonpartisan issue. And it’s transparency that provides the basis for accountability in Government,” said Senator Mike McGuire. “Presidents are expected to put their own interests aside – whether it be business ties or relationships with a foreign government – for the greater good of our country. And that greater good is America’s security and the protection of its people.”

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

SB 149 will require a candidate for President, in order to have his or her name placed upon the primary election ballot, to file his or her income tax returns for the 5 most recent taxable years with the Secretary of State. The returns would also be made available to the public on the Secretary of State’s website.

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.