Paul L. Caron

Saturday, September 30, 2017

California Lawmakers Approve Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates To Release Five Years Of Tax Returns

Trump Tax ReturnsABA Journal, California Lawmakers Approve Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns:

Presidential candidates who want to appear on the California ballot would have to release their tax returns if a bill passed earlier this month is signed into law.

Senate Bill 149 passed on Sept. 15 despite questions about its constitutionality, report the San Jose Mercury NewsBloomberg BNA and an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

The bill requires presidential candidates on the ballot to release five years of tax returns. A redacted version would be posted online.

The deadline for California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign or pass the bill is Oct. 15, but it’s unclear what he will do. Brown released his tax returns in his first two gubernatorial races, but didn’t do so in 2010 or 2014 when his opponents didn’t release theirs.

The constitutional question is whether the bill imposes additional qualifications for federal office. The Constitution provides that presidents must be natural born citizens and at least 35 years old.

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If such a requirement is constitutional, it definitely would discourage wealthy people with sophisticated tax-avoidance strategies from running.

Posted by: Old Ruster | Oct 1, 2017 12:19:20 PM

Assuming this doesn't contradict the IRC and Federal Privacy Act, what is the logical reason why all personal records, medical, psychiatric, sealed court documents, etc. aren't included?

In the interests of consistency and transparency, that is. I see no logical reason to limit such a requirement to federal tax returns. I see a partisan reason, but no logical reason.

Posted by: MM | Oct 2, 2017 7:17:49 PM