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SB-27 Primary elections: ballot access: tax returns.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/30/2019 09:00 PM
SB27:v93#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 27
CHAPTER 121

An act to add Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6880) to Part 1 of Division 6 of, and to add Part 5 (commencing with Section 8900) to Division 8 of, the Elections Code, relating to elections, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

[ Approved by Governor  July 30, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  July 30, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 27, McGuire. Primary elections: ballot access: tax returns.
Existing law establishes processes for printing on presidential primary ballots the names of candidates for President of the United States who are considered to be generally recognized candidates or who are selected by a sufficient number of registered voters. Existing law, applicable to non-presidential direct primary elections, requires the Secretary of State to transmit to each county elections official a certified list of candidates who are eligible to be voted for in the official’s county at a direct primary election.
This bill would enact the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, which would require a candidate for President, in order to have the candidate’s name placed upon a primary election ballot, to file the candidate’s income tax returns for the 5 most recent taxable years with the Secretary of State, as specified. The act would require the Secretary of State, within 5 days of receiving the returns, to make redacted versions of the returns available to the public on the Secretary of State’s internet website. This bill would impose the same requirements on candidates for Governor.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6880) is added to Part 1 of Division 6 of the Elections Code, to read:
CHAPTER  7. Income Tax Return Disclosure Requirements

6880.
 This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act.

6881.
 The Legislature finds and declares that the State of California has a strong interest in ensuring that its voters make informed, educated choices in the voting booth. To this end, the state has mandated that extensive amounts of information be provided to voters, including county and state voter information guides. The Legislature also finds and declares that a Presidential candidate’s income tax returns provide voters with essential information regarding the candidate’s potential conflicts of interest, business dealings, financial status, and charitable donations. The information in tax returns therefore helps voters to make a more informed decision. The Legislature further finds and declares that as one of the largest centers of economic activity in the world, the State of California has a special interest in the President refraining from corrupt or self-enriching behaviors while in office. The people of California can better estimate the risks of any given Presidential candidate engaging in corruption or the appearance of corruption if they have access to candidates’ tax returns. Finally, the State of California has an interest in ensuring that any violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution or statutory prohibitions on behavior such as insider trading are detected and punished. Mandated disclosure of Presidential candidates’ tax returns will enable enforcement of the laws against whichever candidate is elected President. The Legislature finds and declares that compliance costs with this requirement will be trivial.

6882.
 For purposes of this chapter, “income tax return” means any tax or information return, declaration of estimated tax, or claim for refund required by, or provided for or permitted under, the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, and that is filed on behalf of, or with respect to any person, and any amendment or supplement thereto, including supporting schedules, attachments, or lists that are supplemental to, or part of, the return so filed.

6883.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the Secretary of State shall not print the name of a candidate for President of the United States on a primary election ballot, unless the candidate, at least 98 days before the presidential primary election, files with the Secretary of State copies of every income tax return the candidate filed with the Internal Revenue Service in the five most recent taxable years, in accordance with the procedure set forth in Section 6884.
(b) If the candidate has not filed the candidate’s income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service for the tax year immediately preceding the primary election, the candidate shall submit a copy of the income tax return to the Secretary of State within five days of filing the return with the Internal Revenue Service.
(c) The requirement in subdivision (a) does not apply to any year in which the candidate was not required to file the candidate’s income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service.

6884.
 (a) The candidate shall submit the following to the Secretary of State:
(1) (A) Two copies of each tax return required by Section 6883. One copy of each tax return shall be identical to the version submitted to the Internal Revenue Service, without redactions. The second copy of each tax return shall be redacted pursuant to this paragraph. The tax returns shall be provided to the Secretary of State in hard-copy form.
(B) The candidate shall redact the following information from the redacted version of each tax return:
(i) Social security numbers.
(ii) Home address.
(iii) Telephone number.
(iv) Email address.
(v) Medical information.
(C) The candidate may also redact the following information from the redacted version of each tax return:
(i) Names of dependent minors.
(ii) Employer identification number.
(iii) Business addresses.
(iv) Preparer tax identification number, address, telephone number, and email address of paid tax return preparers.
(2) A written consent form, signed by the candidate, granting the Secretary of State permission to publicly release a version of the candidate’s tax returns redacted pursuant to this section. The Secretary of State shall prepare a standard consent form consistent with this paragraph.
(b) The Secretary of State shall review the redacted copy of each tax return submitted by the candidate to ensure that the redactions comply with subdivision (a). If the Secretary of State determines that the candidate has redacted information other than that permitted by subdivision (a), the Secretary of State shall prepare a new version of the tax return with only the redactions permitted by that subdivision.
(c) (1) Within five days of receipt of the candidate’s tax returns, the Secretary of State shall make redacted versions of the tax returns available to the public on the Secretary of State’s internet website. Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary of State shall make public the redacted versions of the tax returns submitted by the candidate pursuant to subdivision (a).
(2) If the Secretary of State is required to prepare a redacted version of a tax return pursuant to subdivision (b), the Secretary of State shall make public that version.
(3) The public versions of the tax returns shall be continuously posted until the official canvass for the presidential primary election is completed. Upon completion of the official canvass, the Secretary of State shall remove the public versions of the tax returns.
(4) The Secretary of State shall retain the paper copies of the submitted tax returns until the completion of the official canvass of the ensuing general election. Thereafter, the paper copies of the submitted tax returns shall be destroyed as soon as practicable, unless the Secretary of State has received a court order, or a lawful written request from a state or federal governmental agency, directing the Secretary of State to preserve the submitted tax returns.

SEC. 2.

 Part 5 (commencing with Section 8900) is added to Division 8 of the Elections Code, to read:

PART 5. INCOME TAX RETURN DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS

8900.
 The Legislature finds and declares that the State of California has a strong interest in ensuring that its voters make informed, educated choices in the voting booth. To this end, the state has mandated that extensive amounts of information be provided to voters, including county and state voter information guides. The Legislature also finds and declares that the income tax returns of candidates for Governor provide voters with essential information regarding the candidate’s potential conflicts of interest, business dealings, financial status, and charitable donations. The information in tax returns therefore helps voters to make a more informed decision. The Legislature further finds and declares that as one of the largest centers of economic activity in the world, the State of California has a special interest in state elected officials refraining from corrupt or self-enriching behaviors while in office. The people of California can better estimate the risks of any given candidate for Governor engaging in corruption or the appearance of corruption if they have access to candidates’ tax returns. Finally, the State of California has an interest in ensuring that any violations of statutory prohibitions on behavior such as insider trading are detected and punished. Mandated disclosure of the tax returns of candidates for Governor will enable enforcement of the laws against whichever candidates are elected to those offices. The Legislature finds and declares that compliance costs with this requirement will be trivial.

8901.
 For the purposes of this part, “income tax return” has the same meaning as in Section 6882.

8902.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the name of a candidate for Governor shall not be printed on a direct primary election ballot, unless the candidate, at least 98 days before the direct primary election, files with the Secretary of State copies of every income tax return the candidate filed with the Internal Revenue Service in the five most recent taxable years, in accordance with the procedure set forth in Section 8903.
(b) If the candidate has not filed the candidate’s income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service for the tax year immediately preceding the primary election, the candidate shall submit a copy of the income tax return to the Secretary of State within five days of filing the return with the Internal Revenue Service.
(c) The requirement in subdivision (a) does not apply to any year in which the candidate was not required to file the candidate’s income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service.

8903.
 (a) The candidate shall submit the following to the Secretary of State:
(1) (A) Two copies of each tax return required by Section 8902. One copy of each tax return shall be identical to the version submitted to the Internal Revenue Service, without redactions. The second copy of each tax return shall be redacted pursuant to this paragraph. The tax returns shall be provided to the Secretary of State in hard-copy form.
(B) The candidate shall redact the following information from the redacted version of each tax return:
(i) Social security numbers.
(ii) Home address.
(iii) Telephone number.
(iv) Email address.
(v) Medical information.
(C) The candidate may also redact the following information from the redacted version of each tax return:
(i) Names of dependent minors.
(ii) Employer identification number.
(iii) Business addresses.
(iv) Preparer tax identification number, address, telephone number, and email address of paid tax return preparers.
(2) A written consent form, signed by the candidate, granting the Secretary of State permission to publically release a version of the candidate’s tax returns redacted pursuant to this section. The Secretary of State shall prepare a standard consent form consistent with this paragraph.
(b) The Secretary of State shall review the redacted copy of each tax return submitted by the candidate to ensure that the redactions comply with subdivision (a). If the Secretary of State determines that the candidate has redacted information other than that permitted by subdivision (a), the Secretary of State shall prepare a new version of the tax return with only the redactions permitted by that subdivision.
(c) (1) Within five days of receipt of the candidate’s tax returns, the Secretary of State shall make redacted versions of the tax returns available to the public on the Secretary of State’s internet website. Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary of State shall make public the redacted versions of the tax returns submitted by the candidate pursuant to subdivision (a).
(2) If the Secretary of State is required to prepare a redacted version of a tax return pursuant to subdivision (b), the Secretary of State shall make public that version.
(3) The public versions of the tax returns shall be continuously posted until the official canvass for the direct primary election is completed. Upon completion of the official canvass, the Secretary of State shall remove the public versions of the tax returns.
(4) The Secretary of State shall retain the paper copies of the submitted tax returns until the completion of the official canvass of the ensuing general election. Thereafter, the paper copies of the submitted tax returns shall be destroyed as soon as practicable, unless the Secretary of State has received a court order, or a lawful written request from a state or federal governmental agency, directing the Secretary of State to preserve the submitted tax returns.

SEC. 3.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure that the protections afforded by this act are in place for the 2020 primary election, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.