NY Gov. Cuomo Signs Bill Authorizing Release Of State Tax Returns

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on June 10 in New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on June 10 in New York

President Donald Trump's NY state tax returns could be given to Congress under a new law in his home state that the Democratic governor signed Monday.

"This bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law", said Cuomo, a Democrat.

The House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation could file a request with NY state if efforts to gain access to federal tax filings through the Treasury Department fail.

Progressives immediately turned their attention to House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), who now has the authority to ask NY for Trump's state tax documents. And it's unclear whether Congress will request access to Trump's state returns, which tax experts say would include numerous same details as his federal return. "We will respond to this as appropriate", he said.

The 37 subpoenas seek information from Trump's businesses including the Trump organization, Trump Tower, his hotels in NY and Washington, D.C., and his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida related to a case by 200 Democrats alleging the businesses violate the constitutional ban on gifts or payments from foreign governments. "We as New Yorkers can step into that breach and help solve this problem".

Existing laws generally prohibit the release of tax returns.

Neal's reluctance to use the NY law is likely to set up a clash with progressives who have criticized the Massachusetts Democrat for not moving more quickly to obtain the tax returns.

The president has not weighed in on the new law but has repeatedly accused New York Democrats of using their positions to harass him and his allies.

The department affirmed Mnuchin's assertation on June 14, saying because Neal had wanted to make the president's tax returns public, the request would not carry out a legitimate legislative function.

Created to give Congress a way around the Republican president's refusal to release his returns, the new law is expected to face legal challenges.

If Congress does request and obtain Trump's state tax returns, that doesn't mean the public gets to see them. The committee then explained that members could disclose why it wants the information in this case, arguing that it needed to see if Trump was complying with tax law.

Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, however, has signalled that he may not be interested.

On the federal level, the Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit last week to enforce subpoenas that would obtain Trump's tax returns.

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