If you want to be a candidate for a top political position show us your tax returns

The interest in requiring candidates of high level positions to report their tax fillings is gaining some traction.  As The Hill reports, NJ lawmakers this week passed legislation that would force any presidential and vice-presidential candidates to disclose their federal tax returns in order to appear on the state’s ballots starting in 2020. The bill, of course, was inspired by Donald Trump’s refusal to reveal his own tax records. New Mexico, Hawaii, Oregon and California are pursuing similar bills.

For individuals who aspire to high level political positions it is not unreasonable to expect them to release their tax returns. Information on the amount and sources of their income, charitable contributions, other deductions, and  tax payment and rate seem reasonable. They already have to submit data on their campaign finances. However, we know little about their personal holdings in stock and their side jobs which can influence their decisions. Indeed, as a minimum, it serves as proof they filed their taxes. U.S. presidential candidates in recent history have released their returns except for Donald Trump.

Governor Jon Corzine release his records, Gov. Jim McGreevey displayed his filings going back to the days when he was a mayor, and Governor Christie has regularly posted his filings each year on the state website.

Legislators are loathe to release their filings, and getting them to do so will not be easy. One NJ lawmaker currently in the race for governor voted in favor of the legislature’s Trump tax return bill, but has not released his own filings. Below are the search results for our gubernatorial candidates.

DEMOCRATS

REPUBLICANS

INDEPENDENTS
Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Joe Piscopo: No record found of release of his tax records. According to NJ Advance Media, he has decided he will not run for NJ governor as a Republican and instead is planning to declare he will jump into the race to succeed Gov. Christie as an Independent. If he follows through, in the General Election he would likely take votes away from Guadagno, further helping the Democratic candidate. He would also become the best known Independent on the ballot.

How our legislators voted on the Trump tax return bill is here.

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