Contrary to Customs, Adams Won’t Commit to Releasing His Tax Returns

New York Mayor Eric Adams has broken on Friday the decades of custom with past mayors and executives throughout the United States who willingly disclose their filings and refused to commit to making his tax returns public.

Albeit not a legal requirement, releasing the tax returns to the public while in office is a standard practice among New York politicians.

Likely referring to a financial disclosure to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board, Adams said he will comply with whatever rules are in place to ensure transparency for those who are in public office.

But when asked by a reporter if he could get a firm commitment to release the filing, Adams told him that he can’t. He reiterated his remarks made previously on Sunday from Gracie Mansion, where he has been forced to isolate since testing positive for Covid-19.

Local elected officials, candidates, and policymakers are required by the city conflicts board to submit a complete picture of their income, assets, and liabilities. Though there’s no city rule requiring mayors to make their tax returns public, refusing to do so would mark a shift in transparency from past administrations that go back to 1994.

Adams was forced to refile his taxes last year, when he was a mayoral candidate, following media reports that he failed to properly disclose rental income on his 2017, 2018, and 2019 tax returns.

According to financial disclosures on file with the Conflicts of Interest Board, Adams is reportedly collecting up to $50,000 a year in rent on a multi-unit attached row house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn he owns. However, he made no mention of that to the IRS.

The City has later found more inconsistencies in September in Adams’ returns – he reported zero days of living in his Brooklyn property – which was explained by Adams’s campaign spokesperson at the time as a mistake made by the accountant, who filled out the wrong number of days.

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