NY state legislature votes to make Trump tax returns available

Larry Hoffman
May 23, 2019

However, it isn't clear if Congress will request the state tax returns at all.

As the White House continues to defy congressional Democrats' requests for President Donald Trump's federal tax returns, the NY state Assembly on Wednesday passed legislation that would make six years of Trump's state tax records available to the U.S. Congress.

The legislation would lift an existing state restriction on revealing an individual's tax returns.

The New York Daily News reports Democrats in the state Assembly approved a bill Wednesday authorizing the state Department of Taxation and Finance to share tax return information with Congressional committees if requested.

The New York bills could provide an opening and give a Democrat-led U.S. House access to Trump's state tax returns that could resemble his federal returns, as New York is where many of his business enterprises are located.

The legislation now goes to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo after final passage Wednesday in the Democrat-controlled Senate and Assembly.

While it does not mention Trump or anyone else specifically, the legislation would make his tax returns, as well as the Trump Organization's returns, up for grabs.

New York Republicans have railed against the bill.

But the proposals' Democratic sponsors - Sen. The president is refusing to give them to the majority Democratic House Ways and Means Committee, as Trump has yet to exercise his executive privilege. He said Trump has "intentionally and publicly thwarted the legitimate and necessary oversight of Congress".

Democrats are seeking six years of Mr. Trump's personal and business tax returns to aid a committee investigation into whether the IRS is doing its job properly to audit a sitting president and whether the law governing such audits needs to be strengthened.

The original version of the bill drafted earlier said that the chair of the requesting committee must certify that the request is for a legitimate legislative goal.

Under the law tax return information is supposed to be kept confidential. The amendment that passed Wednesday removed that language, instead saying that it is "related to, and in furtherance of, a legitimate task of the Congress".

"We implore Governor Cuomo to immediately sign this bill into law". "In order to circumvent this stonewalling, NY lawmakers are providing a new avenue for the House Ways and Means Committee to obtain these crucial financial documents".

For example the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee requested Trump's federal tax returns by subpoena but the request was denied by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Lawmakers had wanted to head off a potential "double jeopardy" challenge.

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