Democratic New York lawmakers are set on obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns and will propose this week yet another bill aimed at doing so despite a number of failed previous efforts at the federal level.
New York lawmakers are seeking the president’s state tax returns rather than federal tax returns in an effort to access information that they believe is largely the same, given that the president resides in and does significant business in New York. Trump Tower, the headquarters of the Trump Organization, is in New York City.
Under the proposed bill, state law would no longer bar the release of private tax information, according to The New York Times. Personal income taxes, real estate transfer taxes and corporation taxes would be among the documents permitted for release, under the bill.
Accessing a person’s personal tax information would require a formal request from a congressional committee, according to the legislation. Only the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee or Joint Committee on Taxation can formally request the release of an individual’s tax returns from the New York state department, under the proposed bill, The NYT reported.
The bill is meant to work as “a safety valve for any attempt by the White House to block the Congress from doing this at the federal level,” Democratic New York Sen. and sponsor of the legislation, Brad Hoylman, said, according to The NYT. “We’re creating a parallel track,” Hoylman added.
The proposed bill follows a number of unsuccessful attempts by Democrats to access the president’s personal tax returns. They have fought to access Trump’s returns since he announced his run for office.
The bill also comes after Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last week for six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Neil is the Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He claims the “request is about policy, not politics.”
Republican leaders pushed back against the proposal that would give New York Democrats the ability to access the Trump’s returns. “This is a bill of attainder, aimed at one person,” said New York State Republican Party chairman Ed Cox, according to The NYT. He also called the bill an example of “outrageous politics.”
The president has hired attorneys to fight Neil’s request for his tax returns.
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