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Tax Day Demonstrations to Call for Trump's Returns

As the Trump administration begins to tackle overhauling the nation's tax code, activists are urging the president to release his returns. (Wikimedia Commons)
As the Trump administration begins to tackle overhauling the nation's tax code, activists are urging the president to release his returns. (Wikimedia Commons)
April 14, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY – As taxpayers hustle to meet next week's deadline, a coalition of education, labor and social-justice organizations is planning marches in cities across the nation demanding the release of President Trump's tax returns.

Stacy Hughes is helping organize Saturday's event in downtown Salt Lake, which will feature a 10-foot inflatable "Chicken Don," and expects up to 2,000 people. She says it's time for Trump to set a tone of transparency and accountability.

"It's the ultimate violation of 'no taxation without representation,'" she said. "If we don't know what your financial ties are, then how can we trust that you're representing our interests when you're making these tax policies?"

She adds Trump is the first president in four decades to refuse to release his tax returns, and Hughes believes it's important to know if there are conflicts of interest and if he has contributed his fair share. Trump has said he won't release his returns because of an ongoing IRS audit.

Hunter Blair, a budget analyst with the Economic Policy Institute, notes that leaked partial returns from 2005 show Trump paid a 25 percent rate under the alternative minimum tax, but Blair says Trump would have only had to pay four percent without it.

GOP tax overhaul plans call for repealing the minimum tax. Blair says Trump's claims that lowering taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans will revive the economy and create jobs ring hollow.

"I think we know that that just doesn't work," he said. "We've had decades of trickle-down policies that have failed to reach the vast majority of Americans, and simply trying it again isn't going to get us a new result."

Blair says the tax plan Trump outlined during his campaign would cost U.S. taxpayers more than $6 trillion, more than three times the cost of the second Bush administration's tax cuts.

More than 70 percent of Americans, including 53 percent of Republicans, say Trump should make his returns public, according to a January ABC Washington Post poll.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - UT