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Property tax reduction efforts to be “Trumped” again?


As the President of the United States, Donald Trump is fighting to reform taxes. While action has yet to be taken by his administration, Trump, the brand and business, are pursuing its own form of a lower tax assessment on his golf club in Jupiter, Florida.

As a titan of industry, Trump has made no secret about doing everything the law allows to lower his tax bills, tactics that are common in enterprises that own real estate. In fact, his business has a pattern of challenging tax assessments on all of his properties, including his well-known golf clubs.

Since 2014, Jupiter Golf Club, LLC, owned by the Trump Organization, has annually sued over the amount of taxes require to pay for the property. However, with each passing year, they have been unsuccessful in getting the value of the property lowered.

This year is no exception. While the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser currently values the property at more than $18 million, “Team Trump” claimed it wasn’t worth more than $5 million, according to a 2014 lawsuit.

Financial disclosure records, including submissions from 2017, tell a different story. The former reality show star turned Commander-in-Chief claimed that the golf club was worth in excess of $50 million.

The current lawsuit does not allege any value. It just disputes the assessor’s findings. A successful reduction would save Trump approximately $260,000 in taxes.

Jupiter is not alone. Trump’s businesses have continually fought tax assessmentson nearly all of its 12 U.S. golf courses. One exception is the one located in Bedminster, New Jersey that qualifies for that state’s farmland tax break because of goats being raised on the property.

Other efforts have succeeded. The company successfully had the value of golf clubs reduced in Charlotte, North Carolina; Hudson Valley and Westchester County, New York; Washington, D.C.; and Miami, Florida.

Posted on Real Estate Litigation

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