Letter: Past presidents set precedent of transparency

May 17, 2017

For over 40 years, presidents from both parties have been transparent about their personal financial interests by releasing their tax returns to the American people ("Liias should lay off Trump's tax returns," May 17).

President Trump is the first in my lifetime to withhold his returns and we cannot allow this to become the new normal.

I will press to make sure that whoever is president, no matter their party, is open and honest about their financial interests.

As for all the other issues I have been working on this year, I encourage your readers to visit my website and learn more: http://sdc.wastateleg.org/liias/.


Marko Liias
State Senator, 21st District
Comments (1)
Posted by: Charlie Pancerzewski | May 17, 2017 15:27

Marco Liias should tell us what he specifically thinks he would get if he looked at President Trump's tax returns. If Marco files a tax return himself he should know what information those returns require. He should also know that Trump's businesses operate in corporation and partnership format. Each of those entities file their own tax returns and the business information is not in Trump's tax returns. All you would likely see is what income he gets from those businesses through salary, bonuses and dividends. You may also see what he deducts for property taxes on personally owned property, personal contributions (not contributions made by his businesses) and state income tax he may pay personally. Also, any sales of stock he may own personally.

What would Marco do with that information ?  President Trump has already filed hundreds of pages of information about all his business ownerships, stock ownerships and any loans he may have. Has Marco read all that and what are his comments about all that information. What is not already available that would be in Trump's tax returns?


Before asking for his returns, the persons making the request should say what they expect to see in his returns that would make any difference to them or the public. If they can make a case for what they specifically need and why, and it makes sense, then I might agree it should be disclosed.

If the returns are under IRS exams as we have been told, he does not need a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks who are not tax experts trying to use the information for more criticism or to insist the IRS look further than they already are into some part of hsi return. The IRS should be left to complete their exams in private just like they would do if Marco's tax returns were under examination. Or maybe Marco would like to show the public his income tax returns so we can see how much money Mukilteo pays him for his occasional part time work.

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