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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 10, 2021 08:58 AM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting our Democracy
Historically, over the last several decades, it has become tradition that all presidential candidates have voluntarily released their tax returns to the public.  Unfortunately, this tradition did not continue with the 45th President of the United States who did not release his tax returns while he was a candidate.  This disregard for tradition also carried over to our own 2018 gubernatorial campaign where a nominee of a major party refused to disclose his tax filings.

This failure was concerning because presidents have a dual relationship with our federal tax system.  One one hand, they serve as the nation's tax collector in chief, supervising the agencies charged with enforcing the tax law.  On the other hand, presidents are themselves tax payers, subject to the same legal responsibilities as every other citizen.

Additionally, failure to disclose tax returns could hide possible conflicts of interest since presidential candidates may have personal or business interests that could undermine their commitment to acting in the best interests of our country.

As such, the need for legislation requiring disclosure of taxes is now more critical than ever to protecting th future of our democracy.  All of us should be able to know whether any candidate for president or governor has financial interests that may influence the actions BEFORE a commitment is made to their candidacy by the casting of a ballot.

My legislation will require United States presidential candidates and gubernatorial candidates to make their tax returns public to be eligible to appear on the ballot in the Commonwealth.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to make sure that Pennsylvania never elects a president or governor who fails to make tax returns available to the public.

Introduced as HB905