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Hearing Needed on Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 in Wisconsin

donald-trumpOver 90% of Americans believe there are too many tax loopholes for wealthy people and corporations. People have a right to know what potential conflicts exist for their President.


MADISON - State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and State Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) called for a public hearing here today on legislation that would require candidates for president and vice president to provide their tax returns in order to get on the ballot in Wisconsin.

According to a recent poll reported on by The Hill, sixty-four percent of Americans believe the President should release his taxes. The poll also showed that “ninety-two percent of those surveyed say there are currently too many tax loopholes for wealthy people, and 90 percent say there are too many loopholes for corporations.”

david-crowley“The continuing controversy over the President’s refusal to release his tax returns reinforces the need to pass this legislation,” said Crowley. “The public has a right to know if decisions made by a president are being made out of concern for what’s best for the nation or what’s best for their personal bottom line.”

dave-hansen“People are very concerned about taxes and who is paying them and who isn’t. They clearly see our tax code benefits the wealthy and corporations at their expense,” said Hansen. “Before we can have an honest debate about taxes, people need to know that those politicians proposing changes don’t have conflicts of interest that might further skew our tax code in favor those who are already unfairly benefitting from it.”

Senate Bill 166, was referred to the Committee on Elections and Utilities. Hansen said a hearing is necessary to give the public an opportunity to weigh in on the issue and how best to prevent similar controversies from happening in the future:

“Time will tell how this current controversy is resolved. For our part, we can take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future by requiring all candidates running for president and vice president to make their tax returns public in order to be on the ballot in Wisconsin.”

Under the SB-166, candidates for president and vice president would be required to file their tax returns for the three most recent years with the Wisconsin Elections Commission which would be required to post the returns online within 48 hours of receiving them.

“These candidates are asking to assume the most powerful office in the land,” Crowley said. “The people have a right to know what potential conflicts may exist with a candidate before they cast their vote.”

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Legislative writer Jay Wadd contributed to this story.

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Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).

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