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NYC proposal would require President Trump to release tax returns

President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference

President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Washington. Credit: AP

President Donald Trump would be required to release his tax returns to New York City officials, under proposed legislation that would make the documents mandatory for his namesake company to continue operating a golf course on city-owned property in the Bronx.

City Councilman Corey Johnson announced Wednesday he will introduce a measure to the council aimed at forcing Trump to disclose his tax returns.

The Manhattan Democrat’s proposal would require a narrowly defined group of city concession contractors to disclose the tax documents of their executives in order to remain eligible for city contracts. The measure would apply to concession operators who pay no money to the city and also are “named” in the title of their company.

The Trump Organization, the president’s hospitality and real estate company that operates the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, is the only city vendor that currently meets those specifications, Johnson said.

In 2010, The Trump Organization signed a 20-year-lease with the city to run the Ferry Point golf course. Under the agreement, the company does not have to provide the city with any payments for the first four years the golf course is open, but must provide the city with a percentage of its profits ranging from 7 to 10 percent annually for the remainder of the contract.

The Trump-branded golf course opened in 2015 and made more than $8 million in profits in its first year, according to city records.

“When you’re profiting from a city contract that doesn’t return a dollar back to the city and your name is branded all over the property, transparency is vital,” said Johnson. “Donald J. Trump has made millions of dollars off city contracts, yet his finances are a complete mystery.”

The Trump Organization did not return an email seeking comment.

Trump has long resisted calls to disclose his tax returns as typically done by past presidents and White House candidates. His 1995 and 2005 tax filings were leaked to the media, but government watchdog groups have been demanding he release recent documents in the interest of transparency.

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