There’s a reason Donald Trump is refusing to release his taxes, and it’s not just because of an ongoing audit at the IRS.
Recently it has just been discovered that Trump, in an effort to show the world how rich he is, valued one of his properties at “more than $50 million,” yet his attorneys, for tax purposes, tried to argue that it is really only worth $1.35 million. The property in question, The Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, is a sprawling 147-acre private club with manicured lawns, stone bridges, and has a 101-foot waterfall.
If Trump’s attorneys are legitimately trying to value the property correctly, then that means Trump lied on his candidate disclosure form.
But, here’s the thing: chances are what’s really happening is that Trump is drastically undervaluing the property in order to not pay his fair share of taxes on the property. Either way, he’s lying.
Here’s what we know: Trump bought the property for $8 million in a foreclosure sale and then immediately spent $45 million to build an 18-hole golf course, as well as a 75,000-square-foot clubhouse. Those improvements are quite substantial. That begs the question then, how on earth would Trump’s tax assessment decrease from the purchase price even with all of those upgrades?
That’s exactly what the town of Ossining is trying to figure out. Dana Levenberg, the town supervisor, says this is hurting their town’s revenues.
“Trump says he represents the little guy, but the little guy is going to have to pay his taxes for him here in Ossining.”
If Trump gets his way then that means he would be cutting his tax burden by 90 percent, dumping the burden on everyone else.
Further investigative research reveals that Trump’s lawyers are taking the same approach at Trump’s other properties around the country, in an attempt to limit how much taxes the billionaire actually pays.
Everyone is well aware of the loopholes that currently exist in the complicated environment of tax policy in the United States but this is something entirely different. On one hand, Trump is publicly boasting about how rich he is, and how much his properties are worth, but on the other hand, is trying to say they’re worth just a fraction of that when it comes time to pay Uncle Sam. And – it’s just wrong.
No wonder Trump is the only presidential candidate since 1976 to not release his tax returns. It all makes sense now.
Featured Image via Getty Images.