Pennsylvania Democrats are pressuring Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner to release his tax returns. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s campaign said in a statement Monday that voters deserve to know more about the Republican’s business interests.
Wagner owns the York-based trash hauling company, Penn Waste, and his financial disclosure suggests he also has holdings in hotels, freight companies, and other enterprises.
At a news conference in downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday, State Senator Jay Costa said voters also need to know more about Wagner’s possible business dealings with state and local governments.
“Those are all important questions, so voters have the opportunity to assess and measure their support for a candidate,” Costa said. “By releasing this information, it gives ... a broader picture of who the candidates are and what they believe are important to them.”
The Pittsburgh Democrat also noted that candidates for governor typically release personal tax details even though they’re not required to.
“Over the course of the past 20 years, gubernatorial candidates have all agreed to release their tax returns, except for Scott Wagner.”
The Wagner campaign said Democrats shouldn’t criticize the Republican candidate. It cited Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s lack of transparency on a number of issues, including the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters and an inquiry into Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack’s alleged abuse of staff.
In March, Wagner told the Tribune-Review he won’t make his tax returns public because, he said, how much money he makes is private information. He added that he complies with all rules for reporting financial information.
Wolf's campaign has said the governor plans to release the first two pages of his 2017 return and open the rest of the return to inspection by reporters.
This story was updated at 8:36 pm on July 24 to reflect why Wagner won’t release his tax returns. A previous version incorrectly said he hasn’t stated a reason.