California Presidential Tax Transparency Bill Clears Appropriations, Heads for Full Senate Vote

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sacramento, CA – President Trump clearly has significant and unethical ties to Russia and every day the scandals worsen, yet we still don’t know the full extent of his dealings with Russia and the serious conflicts of interest they continue to generate. The California state legislation that would mandate Presidential candidates release their tax returns in order to appear on the ballot was approved in the Senate Appropriations Committee this morning, clearing the way for a vote of the full Senate in the next week.

“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.”

California is now one step closer to mandating the release of returns with the passage of SB 149 – the Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act. SB 149 has already been approved in both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.

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. The returns would also be made available to the public on the Secretary of State’s website.

“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.” 

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.