PENNSYLVANIA — Editorial boards across Pennsylvania have taken Scott Wagner to task for refusing to release his tax returns. Wagner is the first gubernatorial candidate in over 20 years not to release his tax returns while his company, PennWaste, is raising rates on small business owners and consumers.
What is he hiding? The people of Pennsylvania deserve to know the real story. Editorial boards agree. Check out what they had to say:
The Daily Item: Candidates Should Release Tax Records
Voters deserve a glimpse of the self-made millionaire’s returns which show much more than what Wagner makes and pays in taxes.
Voters should be able to understand the financial dealings of a candidate who will oversee the state’s $32 billion budget. Voters can make their own decision what the finances mean to them.
We aren’t asking Wagner to release anything more than other candidates. Gov. Wolf hasn’t released his full returns to the public, only the first two pages. Gov. Wolf has permitted reporters to inspect the full return.
Scott Wagner should do the same.
The Times-Tribune: Candidates should reveal tax returns.
Pennsylvanians are entitled to expect far greater accountability from someone asking for their trust to manage their $32 billion government. If nothing else, returns tell voters how much a candidate has paid in taxes, or whether he has paid anything.
Wagner has not said why he won’t release his tax data. But the need for him to do so is greater that [sic] for most candidates. As Wagner says in his ads, he’s a “garbage-hauling guy from York,” operator of a large waste-hauling company. That enterprise is regulated directly by the state government. Wagner’s returns might offer some insight into that operation and his environmental policy. Given that Wagner has suggested that global warming could be caused by human body heat or the Earth getting closer to the sun, that’s an important issue in this campaign.
Penn Live: GOP governor candidate Scott Wagner should release his tax returns | Editorial
In his campaign ads, Republican governor candidate Scott Wagner likes to brag about his skills as a businessman and his ability to stretch a buck. And he’s vowed to bring that same kind of financial acumen to state government if voters elect him in November.
But Wagner owes Pennsylvanians more than just asking them to take his word for it.
If Wagner can adequately manage his own finances – something his tax returns would make clear by showing that he’s paid his taxes on time – then perhaps voters could rest easier with him at the helm.
But that’s not what he’s doing. And he should.
Altoona Mirror: Candidates For Pa. Governor Should Disclose Tax Returns.
But that opinion runs counter to the legitimate belief that voters should have more than a name, campaign signs and campaign speeches, and interviews as a basis for judging a candidate.
Incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf, who is running for a second term this year, has said through his campaign that he will release the first two pages of his 2017 return and make available the rest of the return for inspection by reporters.
Daily Item: Candidate’s Should Open Tax Records.
We would argue running for elected office at that level of government opens this door and candidates should expect the intrusion. Voters are putting absolute trust in these candidates — who could oversee a $30 billion state spending plan — with taxpayer dollars, and understanding potential financial conflicts is not “unreasonably intrusive.”
The Intelligencer: What Are Candidates Hiding By Refusing To Release Tax Returns?
In our view the incentive for candidates to disclose their tax returns is to assure voters that they are paying their fair share. And, not only that, but that they are playing by the rules. Compliant taxpayers have a right to know that people running for public office — especially high posts — are not tax cheats.
All agree that tax returns give voters important information about a candidate’s potential for conflicts of interest and whether a candidate would personally benefit from the policies he or she promotes.
Butler Eagle: Gubernatorial candidates should release tax returns.
So here is our lesson for today: Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidates need to do a better job of giving voters the information they need during the run-up to this year’s mid-term elections.
A case-in-point: the refusal of some candidates to release their tax returns — foundational documents that can shed light on a person’s priorities, financial standing and more — for public review.
LNP: GOP candidates for governor should release their tax returns.
But that’s the tacit agreement you make with the universe, and the voting public, when you decide to run for office. Like it or not, your closet doors swing open and the skeletons come running out. Details of past relationships might be revealed. You’re exposed to harsh criticism, fair and unfair. And you’re expected to open your books.
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