Taxpayers in New York are effectively subsidizing one of Donald Trump's golf courses after he was successful in dramatically lowering his tax bill.
"Former President Donald Trump and his business empire always fight aggressively to come out on top—and this time, the sucker on the other end of the deal is a public school district," The Daily Beast reported Monday. "For seven years, the Trump National Golf Club Westchester just north of New York City battled with the local government to lower its property tax bill—while simultaneously inflating its value elsewhere by millions. Then in August, emboldened by another golf club’s victory in court, the Trump club pressured locals to strike a deal and cut its assessed value by a third."
The three schools in the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District — an elementary school, middle, and high school — were forced to refund Trump $588,155.12.
One local official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly, blasted the former president.
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“This is freaking annoying that a scoundrel won’t pay taxes. My taxes are higher because his taxes are lower,” the official said.
Briarcliff only has 2,399 parcels on the tax roles, meaning the average taxpayer will pay $245 more next year.
Fernando Gonzalez, the tax assessor for the local town of Ossining, explained that locals may not have allowed Trump's golf courses if they'd known they would get stuck with the bill.
“It's significant in the sense that this has to be made up by all the other residents that pay taxes, and most of them would not have approved a golf course that they would eventually have to subsidize,” Gonzalez said.
Trump's own financial disclosure bills suggest his course may be worth five times as much as the $9.5 million at which it is now assessed.
"For example, in 2016, the company challenged its government-assessed value of $15.1 million, arguing that the real value was actually $7.5 million. Local governments refused to budge and let the sitting U.S. president reduce his tax bill—while claiming on presidential disclosure forms that his club was actually worth at least a whopping $50 million," The Beast reported.
Trump is under investigation in New York for allegedly inflating or deflating the value of his assets to receive financial advantages.
Read the full report.
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