Governor wants to require tax return disclosure for candidates seeking state offices

Posted 18 January 2019 at 8:44 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a proposal mandating full disclosure of tax returns by candidates for public office is included in the 2019 Executive Budget.

The proposal requires candidates running for statewide public office to disclose 10 years of federal and state tax returns, and requires candidates for the State Assembly and State Senate to disclose 5 years of federal and state tax returns as a condition of getting on the ballot for a general election.

“While this federal administration seems intent on operating in secrecy and darkness, New York State is working to provide the public with more information to better inform their choice at the ballot box,” Governor Cuomo said. “Mandating that this critical information be made public will shed sunlight and sunshine on potential conflicts of interest and increase the ethical standards of public officials serving New Yorkers.”

Under this proposal, a candidate for public office must disclose their tax returns to the New York State Board of Elections no later than 60 days before a general election and agree to public disclosure of their returns by the Board of Elections. The Board of Elections will make any redactions it deems appropriate or required by law, in consultation with the Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance.

While full tax transparency has been the norm for individuals seeking public office, there is currently no requirement that elected officials disclose their past tax returns in New York State.

At the direction of Governor Cuomo, this historic measure will reassure New York taxpayers that candidates running for public office meet the ethical standards required of elected officials.

Additionally, this proposal will provide taxpayers valuable insight into the personal financial history of individuals seeking public office, shedding light on potential conflicts of interest and ensuring our leaders are working for the people and not for themselves.

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