Want to see Trump’s tax returns? Give him a mortgage

Lenders and regulators got insight into the Donald’s finances

Sep.September 28, 2016 03:30 PM

From the New York websiteDuring Monday night’s presidential debate, Donald Trump once again refused to release his tax returns. But a few lucky banks and gaming regulators have had the privilege of seeing them over the years. The catch: they are legally barred from disclosing any information.

Employees of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, for example, could face a criminal charges if they leak information on Trump’s returns, according to a spokesperson. The Missouri Gaming Commission isn’t even legally allowed to disclose if they have seen the tax returns. “I could not tell you whether we had them,” the commission’s general counsel told the Associated Press.

At Monday’s debate, Trump’s democratic opponent in the presidential race, speculated that Trump won’t release his tax returns because they would show he pays no federal income tax. Trump countered: “That makes me smart.”

All presidential candidates of the past decades have released their tax returns, in part to shed light on any potential conflicts of interest. Clinton has released hers, as has Trump’s running mate Mike Pence.

Presidential politics aside, Trump’s tax returns would also help shed some light on one of the real estate industry’s greater mysteries: how much Trump really is worth. Although tax returns don’t disclose net worth, income figures could offer clues. At Monday’s debate, Trump said his portfolio of properties was valued at $3.9 billion and he made $694 million in income last year. Earlier this year, Bloomberg estimated his worth at $2.9 billion. In 2013, The Real Deal took a stab at figuring out the Republican nominee’s worth.  [AP via WSJ]Konrad Putzier

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