President Trump's personal tax records could soon be made public

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks before signing the Red Flag bill also known as the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill in New York

Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation requiring state officials to hand over President Donald Trump's tax returns upon request from congressional committees, providing House Democrats another avenue to obtain financial information the White House has refused to release.

The law, which takes effect Monday, requires the state's tax commissioner to provide NY state tax returns to Congress upon request from the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation and mandates the removal of any federal tax information that might appear on state returns.

Cuomo said the bill would help Congress to "fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law".

Democrats have been seeking to obtain six years of the president's personal and business tax returns since April, but the administration has blocked repeated requests using a federal law, which the NY measure mimics, and subpoenas.

Created to give Congress a way around the Republican president's refusal to release his returns, the new law is expected to face legal challenges.

The new law went into effect immediately.

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The new law allows House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal of MA to request Trump's NY tax returns as he continues to fight for the president's federal tax returns in court. Trump has claimed that ongoing IRS audits have stopped him from making his tax returns public, even though audits don't prevent individuals from releasing tax returns. "Consistent with this tradition, New York State now stands ready to assist Congress, including as it challenges the Trump administration's refusal to provide the president's tax returns", said David Buchwald, a state assemblyman who spearheaded the new law. And it's unclear whether Congress will request access to Trump's state returns, which tax experts say would include numerous same details as his federal return.

"We don't have jurisdiction over NY taxes", Neal told Bloomberg in June.

If Congress does request and obtain Trump's state tax returns, that doesn't mean the public gets to see them.

"I don't want to head into 2020 without Americans and New Yorkers. knowing more about Trump's secret business dealings", Hoylman said. Neal is already pursuing Trump's federal returns and has threatened to go to court in order to get the administration to comply.

"We will respond to this as appropriate", he said in a statement.

New York's state legislature has had a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate since Democrats won control of the Senate in 2018.

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