As Donald Trump continues to refuse requests to hand over copies of his tax returns from Democrats on Capitol Hill, state lawmakers are considering making their release a condition of the 2020 presidential election.
As noted in an article published by Salon, nearly twenty states across the county have introduced legislation that would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their individual tax returns in order to appear on the ballot during the presidential or general election, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
Measures requiring prospective presidential candidates to disclose recent tax returns as a condition to appear on the ballot are currently pending in the following fourteen states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Similar legislation were introduced this year in Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia.
Despite a few exceptions, nearly all of the state bills that have been introduced would require candidates to post at least five years of their individual tax returns. In addition, virtually every state bill has been introduced by a Democratic lawmaker, an apparent reaction to Trump’s decision to buck decades of tradition during the 2016 election cycle when he refused to release his tax returns.
Although not required by law, every major party presidential nominee since the 1970s has chosen to publicly release his or her tax returns. Financial disclosures can help paint a fuller picture of a candidate’s business positions and interests by providing information about financial dealings, such as investments, donations, business relationships, assets and possible conflicts of interests.
Trump, who pledged to release his tax returns as a presidential candidate, appeared to become skittish about handing over the documents in February 2016. Since then, he has argued he cannot disclose his returns, because he is being audited by the IRS — even though an audit does not prevent a taxpayer from releasing his or her own tax documents.
You can read the entire report here.