December 16, 2016

Bills in three states would require tax returns of presidential candidates

Maine Public Broadcasting -Maine lawmakers could soon join an effort to force presidential candidates to release their tax returns.

The legislation is a response to President-elect Donald Trump, who broke a decades-long tradition designed to provide the public with information about a candidate’s finances, business interests and charitable donations.

Democratic state Rep. Seth Berry says he has introduced a bill that will resemble proposals introduced in state houses in New York and Massachusetts. The New York bill is called Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public, or T.R.U.M.P. If passed, it would effectively bar electors in that state’s Electoral College from voting for a presidential candidate who doesn’t release five years of tax returns at least 50 days before the general election.

The Massachusetts proposal kicks in sooner, and would actually keep presidential hopefuls from appearing on the ballot unless they turn over at least three years worth of returns before that state’s primary election.

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