State could require tax returns from presidential candidates

April 4, 2019

OLYMPIA – Presidential candidates may have to release the past five years of their tax returns to be on Washington ballots next year.

The House State Government Committee approved a bill that would require that disclosure for candidates appearing on the March presidential primary ballot and for president and vice president candidates in the November election.

Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, said the law was in keeping with efforts to have more transparency in government: “When it comes to electing a president, we should know as much about the president as we can.”

But Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, said he and other Republicans questioned whether the requirement is constitutional and don’t agree with state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s contention that it is.

The bill, which already has passed the Senate, would have to pass the full House by April 17.