Democratic New York lawmakers are set on obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns as they prepare to introduce a bill aimed at doing so despite a number of failed previous efforts at the federal level.
New York lawmakers are going for the president’s state tax returns rather than federal tax returns in an effort to access information they believe is largely the same, given that much of Trump’s business has been in New York over the years. Trump Tower, the headquarters of the Trump Organization, is in New York City.
Under the proposed bill, state law would change with regard to releasing 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, TheNYT 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 state Sen. Brad Hoylman said, according to TheNYT. “We’re creating a parallel track.”
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. (RELATED: Grassley Explains Why He Doesn’t Want To See Trump’s Tax Returns)
The bill also comes after Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) earlier in April for six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Neal is the Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He said the “request is about policy, not politics.”
Republican leaders pushed back against the proposal.
“This is a bill of attainder, aimed at one person,” said New York state Republican Party chairman Ed Cox, according to TheNYT. He also called the bill an example of “outrageous politics.”
The president has hired attorneys to fight Neal’s request for his tax returns.
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