Presidents’ Week Announcement: Majority of State Assembly Now Backs Bill to Release President Trump’s State Tax Returns

NY TRUTH Act support surpasses 76 Assembly Co-Sponsors
February 21, 2019

Seventy-eight members of the New York State Assembly have signed on as co-sponsors of the NY TRUTH Act, 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.  Seventy-six votes, a simple majority, are needed to pass bills in the State Assembly.

While there are efforts in the Federal Government to make public tax returns for those in high office, the likelihood of obstruction of these efforts is high. New York State accordingly has a unique opportunity to tackle this issue. The NY TRUTH Act, short for Tax Returns Uphold Transparency and Honesty, is the most robust effort in the state to do so.

The legislation (A.1390/S.2271) directs the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to release the state income tax returns of public officials elected statewide. It would apply to the President of the United States, to Vice-Presidents that file New York State income tax returns, 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.

“For a representative democracy to run well, the public must have confidence that our elected officials work on the people’s behalf,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester). “Tax returns show an elected official’s compliance with law and economic connections while they tend to disclose potential conflicts of interests.”

The legislation is carried in the New York State Senate by Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan). Twenty-eight State Senators are formally signed on as supporters of the bill in the sixty-three-member Senate.

If passed, the NY TRUTH Act would within thirty days make public the New York State tax returns of current officials, including President Trump, and unlike legislation from many other states, would show Mr. Trump's worldwide income, because he is a New York State resident.