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Some states want candidate taxes public

Bills introduced in two dozen states seek to pressure presidential candidates into releasing copies

Published: March 18, 2017 4:00 AM

HONOLULU (AP) -- Lawmakers in nearly half the states want to add a requirement for presidential candidates: Show us your tax returns.

The issue has dogged President Donald Trump, who became the first presidential candidate in modern times to refuse to make his returns public. It flared anew this week after MSNBC obtained two pages of Trump's 2005 federal return.

State lawmakers around the country, mostly Democrats, want to ensure transparency in future presidential campaigns so voters can evaluate candidates' sources of income and any possible conflicts of interest.

Most of the bills would require presidential contenders to release copies of their returns as a condition for appearing on that state's ballot, although it's unclear whether they could pass constitutional muster.

This week, New Jersey became the first state to pass one of the bills and send it to the governor.

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