How the Trump Golf Course is messing up public schools

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson / The Daily Beast / Getty

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson / The Daily Beast / Getty

Former President Donald Trump and his business empire are always actively fighting to take the lead. And this time, the sucker on the other side of the contract is a public school district.

Just north of New York City, Trump National Golf Club Westchester has fought with local governments for seven years to reduce property tax claims. Inflate its value to millions elsewhere.. Then in August, bolded by another golf club’s victory in court, the Trump club pressured locals to close the deal and reduce its valuation by a third.

That is, local governments are forking cash because Trump clubs can claim overpayment of taxes. But of all the local entities that stuck to paying a fat refund check worth about $ 850,000, the worst blow was the small suburban Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District. The public education system, which consists of a single elementary school, middle school and high school, has won the largest tab worth $ 588,155.12.

Trump and his children refuse to be testified in a tax avoidance investigation

A local official involved in the process told The Daily Beast that schools wouldn’t cut back, but instead would only pass on high costs to people who actually live in the area.

“This is frustrating that the villain doesn’t pay the tax. My tax is high because his tax is cheap,” said an official who wasn’t allowed to speak publicly.

Being a small zone, locals are more likely to actually feel it. With only 2,399 plots in Briercliffe’s books, taxpayers will pay an average of $ 245 extra next year, depending on the value of their assets.

“This is important in the sense that it has to be supplemented by all other residents who pay taxes, and most of them would not have approved the golf course they ultimately had to subsidize.” The local town of Oshining.

The new Trump tax document shows a wild contradiction, the report says.

“Everything related to Trump is sneaky and corrupt,” Briarcliff Manor homeowner Marie Charita told The Daily Beast, “I’m not happy to pay.” ..

The Trump deal is why the Briercliffe Board of Education was forced to increase its budget by 1% in October when it added more than $ 500,000 to “judgments and claims.” Prior to that, the school system allocated only $ 20,246 to incoming proceedings.

According to the numbers on recent union labor contracts, tax refunds would have been enough to pay salaries for up to 10 new teachers.

The Trump organization did not respond to requests for comment.

As the Daily Beast previously reported, the Trump Golf Club has been claiming property taxes on all relevant local organizations since 2015, including Westchester County, Ossining Town, Briarcliff Village, and Briarcliff Public Schools. We filed complaints every year with the aim of significantly reducing the amount.

For example, in 2016, the company challenged the government’s value of $ 15.1 million, claiming that the actual value was actually $ 7.5 million. The local government refused to pay taxes to the incumbent US president, claiming that his club was actually worth at least $ 50 million in the president’s disclosure form.

But in April 2021, things changed when some of these same municipalities lost a tax dispute with another nearby golf course, Sleepy Hollow Country Club.

Explosive interviews are directly related to the tax system trump card

Judge Bruce E. Tourbat of New York has determined that “there is no obligation to evaluate golf courses or country clubs using specific techniques” and has allowed members-only clubs to reduce their asset value. .. The judicial opinion established a precedent and made the local government think twice about installing a defense against stingy golf clubs in court.

“This one decision has completely changed the way golf courses are taxed,” said Stephen P. Dewey, a lawyer who represented Oshining in dealings with the Trump Golf Club. In the end, the town got stuck paying a $ 20,444 refund.

When it’s an oshining board Voted To approve the July settlement, town supervisor Dana A. Levenberg described the move as “a wise and financially responsible course for the town.”

“This avoids time-consuming and costly proceedings and the possibility that the town will not win the proceedings. In this case, the town will be worse in the short and long term, and negotiations will be made. Despite both sides giving back, the value of the settlement is closer to what the town has offered than a golf club. “

On August 13, the same judge signed a settlement agreement between Trump National Golf Club LLC and the Ossining and Briarcliff school districts. The transaction reduced the valuation from approximately $ 15 million to $ 9.5 million.

Playing cards on birthday by inflating the value of golf clubs by $ 42 million

It was defeat that the local legislature elected by the state legislature, Sandy Galef, tried to avoid for years. In 2019, she submitted a bill requiring that golf courses be evaluated based on “highest and best use of properties, not current use.” Galef felt that the system more accurately reflected the wealth behind the 18-hole golf course in the region. This golf course is set in a forest landscape with rolling hills surrounded by beautiful bubbling streams and lush mountains.

Galef told The Daily Beast that he was disappointed that Trump had finally won his tax battle.

“I feel terrible about it. I always want people to pay fair taxes,” she said. “He was the one who came up with every possible way to avoid something. If anyone really saw his business book, they would probably be surprised.”

That’s actually what some New York prosecutors are currently working on. Last year, Ossining received a subpoena from Westchester County attorney Mimi Rocah for an investigation into the highly variable assessment of Trump’s golf course. That effort reflects a long and ongoing public investigation into tax avoidance and alleged bank fraud by Attorney General of New York Letitia James. Next is a joint criminal investigation by the District Attorney Manhattan and AG James. AG James has already trapped the Trump Organization and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg on suspicion of tax fraud.

“It’s not a drop in a bucket. For a school district, it’s a lot of money, even in a school district with enough resources. Just because we’re calm doesn’t mean we’re happy about it,” he hopes to remain anonymous. Another local government official said.

For more information, see The Daily Beast.

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