Senators McGuire and Wiener reintroduce Presidential Tax Transparency bill

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sacramento, CA – With President Trump often showing stronger allegiance to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Russia's Vladimir Putin compared to America’s own best interests, California State Senators have reintroduced legislation that would require all presidential candidates to release their tax returns prior to being placed on the California ballot. Tax returns, which are signed under penalty of perjury, would reveal the kinds of financial entanglements that lead to such serious conflicts of interest.

“Voters not only deserve full disclosure of their leader’s tax returns, they should be entitled to them,” said state Sen. Mike McGuire. “If President Trump had released his tax returns we would know why he’s ignoring his own intelligence agencies and snuggling up to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who has been linked to the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”

“Transparency is a nonpartisan issue and it's time to put the speculation to bed and bring to light any conflicts of interest that could drive an American president into the arms of a foreign power,” McGuire continued. “It’s time to make President Trump’s tax returns public.”

The Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act will require basic tax information to be shared with the California public and require that all presidential candidates release the last five 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 Presidential Tax Transparency bill was last passed by the legislature with Republican and Democratic support in 2017. Senators McGuire and Wiener reintroduced the bill as SB 27 this week.

“The American people deserve to know that a President, regardless of who he or she may be, is governing for the good of the people instead of for their own self-interest,” said Senator Wiener. “This President continues to make decisions that undermine our national security interests. We deserve to know what is compelling him to take these bizarre actions. Requiring presidential candidates to disclose basic financial information is a common sense step that builds trust between the American people and our elected leader. I’m proud to partner with Senator McGuire on this effort to strengthen our democracy and give voters the full transparency they deserve.”

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 President Trump's statements in public that Americans don’t care about his tax returns, a poll released this week showed 63 percent of Americans believe Trump’s tax returns should be released.

Included in this year’s Presidential Tax Transparency bill is an urgency clause so the legislation would take effect immediately, prior to the filing deadline for 2020 Presidential candidates.