While he likely won’t do it, three-fourths of Utahns want GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to release his tax returns, a new UtahPolicy poll shows.
No law requires presidential candidates to make public their personal income taxes, but since Richard Nixon in the 1970s all have, to various degrees, done so.
Trump refuses, his son Donald Jr. saying his father’s last returns ran 11,000 pages, and political enemies would shift through them to find something questionable.
But many tax experts say Trump is withholding the returns for one big reason: He probably paid NO federal income taxes for years – citing as evidence a legally-required Trump public disclosure of 20 years ago associated with a federal loan project.
In a new survey by UPD pollster Dan Jones & Associates, 75 percent of Utahns said Trump should “definitely” or “probably” release his tax returns.
Only 19 percent said he shouldn’t. And 5 percent don’t know.
Many Americans pay little or no federal personal income tax because they don’t earn enough money to do so.
But Trump, who claims to be a billionaire, certainly is not in that category.
Real estate developers, like Trump, can use any number of federal tax loopholes – or legal deductions – to show no actual taxable income. And thus pay no federal income taxes.
Trump has said that he is “aggressive” in his personal and business tax liability, and pays tax accountants and attorneys a lot of money to ensure he pays as little tax as possible.
But Trump’s basic supporters, polls show, are lower-income white folks. And whether they would look favorably on a billionaire, living in high style atop his Manhattan golden skyscraper, is unclear.
In any case, Trump has refused to date to release any tax data.
68 percent of Utah Republicans believe Trump should release his tax returns; 25 percent say he doesn’t need to, and 7 percent don’t know.
93 percent of Utah Democrats want Trump to release his taxes; only 6 percent say no, and 1 percent don’t know.
79 percent of Utah independents say Trump’s taxes should be public; 18 percent say no, and 4 percent don’t know.
The latest UPD Jones’ poll shows Trump holds a healthy lead in Utah over Democrat Hillary Clinton, 39-24 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 13 percent.
Utah Republicans don’t much like Trump, yet 61 percent still say they are going to vote for him. Only 6 percent of Utah Republicans say they will vote for Clinton.
Trump will certainly get less than 50 percent of the Utah vote, but as long as he gets the most votes, he will receive Utah’s six Electoral College votes come Nov. 8.
The GOP candidate is going against his strongest supporter base in withholding his tax returns: Jones finds that 65 percent of Utah Tea Party members – basically older white voters who greatly distrust politicians both nationally and locally believe Trump should release his tax returns.
Jones polled 605 likely Utah voters from Sept. 1-9. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.98 percent.