The business of being Donald Trump is going great for Donald Trump. Yet, in the wake of his success, the conflict between his business life and his presidential life is becoming more difficult to maneuver. The Trump organization not only continues to pick up a paycheck from the U. S. government but also seeks to reduce their tax obligations to the communities where their properties exist. For any other business, it may have been called good business but then you are the president of the United States there is a line that should not be crossed and the Trump organization is right there on the line.
Wednesday, ABC News reported the Trump Organization has asked for a reduction in their real estate taxes for their Trump National Golf Club, seated in Westchester, New York. The reason behind the Trump Organization’s application to reduce their tax share, the golf course has been overvalued by the town at $15.1 million but the actual value should be half at $7.5 million.
The thing about asking for a relief of taxes because you say that the property isn’t that valuable, you had better have something to back it up. Unfortunately, for the Trump Organization, the proof shows quite the opposite. In the 2016 Financial Statement, which Trump is better than a tax return, shows that the value of the golf course is more than $50 million. The purchase history is that Trump bought the land in 2009 for $8 million and built the 18-hole golf course, along with a housing development. To now say the property is worth less than when the Trump Organization bought it, is as some of the residents say, a bit of a stretch. The Trump Organization already received one relief of taxes in 2008 when the assessment was changed from $38 million to $16 million.
Gloria Fried, a Democrat who collects taxes for Briarcliff Manor stated that “It is very difficult when you see someone who has all these assets at his disposal who would rather pay lawyers to avoid his civic duty of paying taxes.” Fried also stated that the Trump Organization filed a tax grievance Tuesday with the town assessor’s office in Ossining where the company valued the course at $7.5 million, or half of the $15.1 million the town calculates should be the tax basis for the course. Fried also explained that the Trump Organization have paid their taxes over the years but have paid with a check that states, “Paid Under Protest.”
On June 14, the president’s birthday, residents held a protest of the golf course and their appeal of the tax bill. Ossining town supervisor Dana Levenberg stated that when speaking to those who support the politics of the president but they do not agree with this tactic to have the towns people foot more of the tax bill for schools. “Even people who are Trump supporters say: ‘You have to fight this, ’Levenberg stated. Continuing Levenberg stated, “[We are] carrying the burden to support these tony golf courses which have some of the most sought after tee times in the country.”