For the past forty years, every major party nominee for president has voluntarily disclosed his or her tax returns – until the 2016 election. There is no law requiring candidates to disclose their tax returns, but every single nominee other than Donald Trump has followed this customary norm so that voters can have a clear understanding of the financial interests and possible entanglements of the men and women seeking our nation’s highest office.
The need to address presidential tax transparency has never been more clear. We can no longer count on tradition to ensure even basic transparency such as this. It is clear that there is overwhelming support for presidential tax transparency. In January of 2017, an ABC/ Washington Post poll found that 74 percent of Americans believe that presidential candidates should release their tax returns.
Bills have been introduced into both the Vermont House and Senate that would require presidential candidates to release their previous five years of tax returns in order to appear on the Vermont ballot. VPIRG supports these bills because Vermonters deserve basic transparency from our elected officials – especially those who seek our nation’s highest office.
Sign our petition telling Vermont lawmakers to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns before appearing on the Vermont ballot.
Latest Elections & Government Reform News
Our democracy is under attack right now in states across the country. In fact, more than 250 anti-voter bills have been introduced in at least 43 states. The new Georgia law (which, among other things, makes it a crime to give food and water to a voter standing in line at the polls) is so ...Read More
In a unanimous final vote on Thursday, April 1, the Vermont Senate passed H.10, a bill that allows candidates to use campaign funds to cover the expense of dependent care while running for office. Having passed final reading in the House on March 17th, H.10 will now head to the Governor’s desk. While Vermont has ...Read More
On March 24, the Vermont Senate gave its final approval by a vote of 22-8 to legislation (S.51) that would make important changes to state campaign finance law. Most significantly under S.51, only individuals, political committees, and political parties would be allowed make political contributions to candidates. The bill would increase transparency in campaign finance as well, by requiring political committees (a.k.a. PACs) to include the name ...Read More
The Vermont Senate gave initial approval today in a voice vote to legislation that will make permanent the policy that was put in place as an emergency measure in 2020 to mail all active registered voters a ballot for the general election. In addition to making universally-mailed ballots permanent for all general elections, the bill (S.15) ...Read More
On Wednesday, March 10th, the Senate Government Operations Committee advanced legislation (S.51) that would effectively ban corporate campaign contributions directly to candidates. If enacted, S.51 would be a meaningful step towards getting big money out of politics. Currently, Vermont’s campaign finance law allows corporations to contribute the same amount as individuals. The idea here is simple: corporations are not people and they shouldn’t have the same ...Read More
On Town Meeting Day, Burlington voted resoundingly in favor of a better ballot. Ballot Question 4, a charter change to adopt ranked choice voting for city council elections passed decisively with 64 percent of the vote, and with nearly 4,000 more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes. Once approved by the legislature, the measure will take effect in 2022. The Better Ballot Burlington campaign and Honorary Co-Chairs Councilor Zoraya Hightower ...Read More
According to a new poll released Tuesday, Vermont voters are overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the practice of mailing a ballot to every voter, a policy that was put in place by state leaders on a temporary basis last year. The poll, conducted by the independent firm Lincoln Park Strategies on behalf of the nonprofit organizations ...Read More
This past week, VPIRG’s own Kate Lapp joined former Gov. Howard Dean, Councilor Zoraya Hightower, Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s, Rob Richie of FairVote, and Anna Kellar of the Maine League of Women Voters for a fun, informative virtual event on ranked choice voting. Catch this replay of the event! Featured are remarks from expert ...Read More