You're In Jersey Now. Show Us Your Tax Returns | Editorial

Trashing a promise and a half-century of protocol, Donald Trump now says he will never release his tax returns - "I won," is his rationale - so our lawmakers think it's time for presidential candidates to disclose tax records by making it a requirement for getting on the ballot in New Jersey.

Trashing a promise and a half-century of protocol, Donald Trump now says he will never release his tax returns - "I won," is his rationale - so our lawmakers think it's time for presidential candidates to disclose tax records by making it a requirement for getting on the ballot in New Jersey.

Some argue that it's unconstitutional for states to add a requirement for presidential candidates, and it's likely to end up in court. But Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), a bill sponsor, believes that constitutional scholars such as Laurence Tribe of Harvard see it his way:

"Ballot access requirements vary significantly from state to state," Tribe told the New York Times last month, so states "might be able to simply add tax disclosure as a procedural ballot access requirement."

Besides, forcing a candidate to litigate the issue might accomplish the same goal. If he or she does not disclose income sources, business interests, and charitable giving, it becomes a political cudgel.

Is all this necessary? Ask Mitt Romney, whose own tax issues clung like a bad odor in 2012: "The potential for hidden inappropriate associations with foreign entities, criminal organizations, or other unsavory groups is simply too great a risk to ignore for someone who is seeking to become commander-in-chief," he said in May.

The risk we once considered mere speculation seems entirely plausible now. Our state, thankfully, may one day mandate a level of transparency that Congress and intelligence agencies show little enthusiasm to pursue.

Original Article

TROY SINGLETON
ASSEMBLYMAN, 7TH DISTRICT
400 NORTH CHURCH STREET, SUITE 260
MOORESTOWN, NJ 08057
 
Tel: 856-234-2790
Fax: 856-234-2957
Email: AsmSingleton@njleg.org