Presidential candidates required to release tax returns in proposed NY bill

No tax return, no presidential ballot spot for you.

No tax return, no presidential ballot spot for you.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman said Tuesday he wants to make this the law of the state for any future candidate who is vying for the White House. The Manhattan legislator said candidates’ returns are crucial to the public since they offer a look into their financial holdings and conflicts of interest.

President-elect Donald Trump’s disregard for a common sense practice warranted an action, according to Hoylman.

“This isn’t normal. Voters deserve to know that personal priorities will never take precedence over the national interest,” he said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the president-elect didn’t return messages for comment.

Under Hoylman’s legislation, which he called the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public (T.R.U.M.P.) Act and plans to introduce in January, presidential and vice presidential candidates would be barred from the New York ballot if they didn’t provide the Board of Elections with at least five years’ worth of their federal income tax returns.

The candidates would have to submit the returns no later than 50 days before the election and the BOE would post the returns, with redacted personal information, on its website 10 days after receipt.

During the campaign Trump claimed he couldn’t release his returns because he was under audit, but tax experts contended that he could still release the information.

Trump’s 1995 tax returns were sent to The New York Times in September by an anonymous source and showed he declared a $916 million loss which would legally allow him not to pay federal income taxes for 18 years.

Hoylman said he hoped his Albany colleagues would take a serious look at his proposal and that other states follow suit.

“When long standing democratic norms are threatened, it becomes necessary to codify them into law,” he said.

Ivan Pereira