Former President Trump’s habit of manipulating the value of his properties in an attempt to evade taxes is causing problems for a public school district and local landlords.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Trump’s Golf Club in Westchester, New York, recently negotiated with the local government to reduce its value by a third – from about $ 15 million to $ 9.5 million – in order to reduce its property taxes.
Trump has listed the value of the Trump National Golf Club Westchester elsewhere – such as on White House financial disclosure forms – as being worth over $ 50 million.
Because the property is now valued at a lower amount, the club is seeking a refund of approximately $ 850,000 from local governments on taxes it now says it has overpaid. The vast majority of that amount, $ 588,155.12, will be paid by Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District, a small suburban district that includes a combined elementary, middle and high school. In order to repay that money to Trump, a local official told the Daily Beast that the government will need to raise taxes on people who own property in the region. “It’s really annoying that a scoundrel doesn’t pay taxes,” the outlet manager said. “My taxes are higher because his taxes are lower.”
The village of Briarcliff has around 2,400 registered property plots, and property taxes are likely to rise by an average of $ 245 over the next year due to the club’s actions. This means that local residents will effectively subsidize Trump’s golf course. The club were emboldened to withdraw this program because the same local government recently lost a lawsuit against Sleepy Hollow Country Club in which a judge ruled that “there is no warrant to assess golf courses or country clubs using particular techniques “. The club are now exploiting this decision to their advantage.
New York prosecutors are investigating Trump’s frequent attempts to reduce his tax burden. The city of Ossining was subpoenaed last year by Westchester County Prosecutor Mimi Rocah, who is reviewing the finances of Trump’s Westchester golf property, including its changing valuation. New York Attorney General Letitia James is also investigating Trump’s manipulation of his property values to avoid paying higher taxes.