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McKeon & Singleton Propose Legislation Requiring Presidential & Vice Presidential Candidates to Disclose Tax Returns in Order to be Placed on NJ Ballot

(TRENTON) – As Donald Trump prepares to be sworn in today without having made his tax returns public, Assembly Democrats John McKeon and Troy Singleton have introduced legislation to restore this tradition of transparency by preventing future presidential and vice presidential candidates from running on New Jersey’s ballot unless they submit their tax returns to the State Division of Elections.
“Donald Trump has eschewed at least 40 years of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns, raising an untold number of questions and possible ethical dilemmas,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “Making the returns public would clear up any questions about whether a candidate is indebted to any foreign states or accepting any emoluments from them. This is an issue of national security as well as transparency. If Congress is unwilling to address this, hopefully other states will follow our lead.”
“Beyond simply the issue of transparency, there are many reasons why a presidential or vice presidential candidate should release their tax returns, reasons that can hold grave consequences for our nation,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Voters deserve to be armed with the whole truth before they make such a weighty decision. Since the Republican leadership in Congress is unwilling to do anything about it, we will take matters into our own hands in New Jersey.”
Under the bill (A-4520), in order for a candidate for President or Vice-President of the United States to have their names printed on New Jersey’s ballot, they must submit their federal income tax returns to the State Division of Elections for at least the five most recent taxable years for which the candidate has filed such a return with the Internal Revenue Service.
Under the bill, each candidate would also submit written consent to the division for the public disclosure of the income tax returns. The income tax returns and the written consent for disclosure must be filed with the division no later than 50 days before the general election.
The division would then post the income tax returns on its website no later than seven days after the candidate has filed the income tax returns with the division. The bill requires the division, in consultation with the Attorney General, to redact any information contained in the income tax returns that the division deems necessary before the division posts the income tax returns on its website.
The legislation was officially introduced on Thursday.