Democratic lawmakers in President Donald Trump’s home state of New York have decided they aren’t willing to wait for Congress to obtain his tax returns and have introduced legislation that will allow for the immediate release of his state tax returns.
According to The New York Times:
“Albany lawmakers are seeking state tax returns, not the federal ones at the heart of the current standoff in Washington. But a tax return from New York — the president’s home state, and the headquarters of his business empire — could likely contain much of the same financial information as a federal return.
“Under a bill that is scheduled to be introduced this week, the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance would be permitted to release any state tax return requested by leaders of three congressional committees for any “specific and legitimate legislative purpose.”
State Senator Brad Hoylman, who sponsored the legislation, said the reason for his action was to provide “a safety valve for any attempt by the White House to block the Congress from doing this at the federal level.”
The bill, which was introduced Monday, follows actions taken last week by House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), who formally requested six years worth of the president’s federal tax returns. A 1924 law gives the ways and means committee the power to do so, but Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday on Fox News that Congress will “never” get to see the president’s taxes.
New York, however, has state legislature controlled by Democrats and a Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, so the Hoylman bill could well pass through and be signed into law, presenting a new challenge as the president attempts to keep his taxes hidden.
GOP leaders in New York were apoplectic about the bill. Ed Cox, the chairman of the New York State Republican Party, called Hoylman’s legislation “a bill of attainder, aimed at one person.”
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