NY TRUTH Act – Bill that Would Force the Release of President Trump’s State Tax Returns - Gains 76th Assembly Co-Sponsor

Measure now enjoys the support of a majority of the NY State Assembly
May 18, 2017

Seventy-six members of the New York State Assembly have signed on as co-sponsors of Assemblyman David Buchwald’s bill directing the release of New York income tax returns for statewide elected officials, including the President of the United States. This is significant because seventy-six votes are needed to pass a bill in the Assembly.

The measure is now being referred to as the NY TRUTH Act, short for Tax Returns Uphold Transparency and Honesty. Support for the NY Truth Act (A.7462/S.5572-A), has grown steadily since its introduction April 26. The bill, championed by Assemblyman Buchwald and State Senator Brad Hoylman, started out with six Assembly co-sponsors. By May 4 that number had grown to over forty co-sponsors. Now, just three weeks after being introduced, the NY TRUTH Act has reached the crucial seventy-six member threshold.

The legislation directs the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to release the state income tax returns of statewide elected officials. Accordingly, it would apply to the President of the United States, to any Vice-President that files New York State income tax forms, as well as the U.S. Senators representing New York, and New York's Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and State Comptroller. Most of these officials, including Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer, and Senator Gillibrand, routinely make their tax returns available.

The NY TRUTH Act should not be confused with the TRUMP Act, a different piece of legislation directed at candidates for President and Vice-President. Unlike the TRUMP Act, whose earliest effect would be on the 2020 elections, the NY TRUTH Act focuses on office holders instead of candidates. Accordingly, if passed, the NY TRUTH Act would within thirty days reveal the New York State tax returns of current officials, including President Trump. New York state income tax returns, unlike those from any other state, would show Mr. Trump's worldwide income.

“For over forty years, U.S. Presidents have released their tax returns, a precedent broken by President Trump,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester). “To restore public trust and confidence in our tax system, especially when a major overhaul of the tax code is under consideration, it is essential that the President's tax returns be released.”

In the New York State Senate the legislation is just a few co-sponsors short of a majority. Because of the high level of support and because of the immediacy of the bill's impact if passed, the TRUTH Act represents the best opportunity in the entire country to get the President's tax returns released.