NY puts Dems closer to Trump tax returns

The Trump administration has refused to release the US president's financial filings.
The Trump administration has refused to release the US president's financial filings.

New York lawmakers have given final passage to legislation allowing US President Donald Trump's state tax returns to be released to congressional committees that have been hitherto barred from his federal filings.

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly both approved the measures Wednesday, sending them to Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

A spokesman said the governor supported the principle behind the legislation but would review the bill carefully before deciding whether to sign.

The legislation doesn't target Trump by name but would allow the leaders of the US House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation to get access to any New York state tax returns filed by elected officials and top appointed officials.

New York Republicans have railed against the bill. John Flanagan, who leads the Senate GOP, called the legislation "troubling" and "bad public policy."

Republicans also blasted Democrats for going after the president instead of focusing on challenges closer to home.

The proposed changes to state law were made amid a battle going on in Washington over Trump's federal returns.

Democrats are seeking six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns to aid a committee investigation into whether the IRS is doing its job properly to audit a sitting president and whether the law needs to be strengthened.

New York is Trump's home state and headquarters of many of his business enterprises. Much of the information on his state returns would mirror the information included on a federal return, giving the Democrats a potential end run around the IRS if they wished to take it.

If Congress does request and obtain Trump's state tax returns, that doesn't mean the public gets to see them. Under federal law, the confidential information in the returns is supposed to be for the committee's eyes only.

Australian Associated Press