SOME STATES WANT TO SEE CANDIDATE TAX RETURNS
Lawmakers in nearly half the states want to add a requirement for presidential candidates: Show us your tax returns.
The issue has dogged President Donald Trump, who became the first presidential candidate in modern times to refuse to make his returns public. It flared anew this week after MSNBC said it had obtained two pages of Trump’s 2005 federal return, prompting the administration to release the documents preemptively.
State lawmakers, mostly Democrats, want to ensure transparency in future elections so voters can evaluate candidates' sources of income and possible conflicts of interest. Most of the bills would require releasing tax returns as a condition for appearing on the ballot.
Some legal experts said states do not have the power to create additional qualifications. That’s up to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that states and the federal government cannot add to the qualifications of senators and congressional representatives outlined in the Constitution. Some legal experts said that likely would extend to the office of the president.