EXCLUSIVE: City nixes property tax break for Trump’s NYC apartment
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New York City has nixed a $48,000 tax break President Trump was set to receive on his Trump Tower condo following inquiries from the Daily News about whether he is still eligible for the savings.
On Tuesday, city records indicated that Trump was set to save $48,834.62 on his tax bill for the year beginning July 1 through the city’s condominium abatement, a popular tax break available to condo and co-op owners.
But a homeowner is only eligible for the tax break if the condo is his primary residence — which the city’s tax rules define as “the dwelling unit in which the owner of the dwelling unit actually resides and maintains a permanent and continuous physical presence.”
Trump hasn’t kept a “permanent and continuous physical presence” in the swanky apartment — he moved to the White House in late January 2017, following his inauguration.
After The News asked the city’s Department of Finance about the abatement, it was removed from Trump’s tax records for the new tax year.
“We have removed the exemption and have contacted the managing agent to update their records,” Finance spokeswoman Sonia Alleyne said. “Managing agents are required by law to inform the Department of Finance of primary residency changes.”
Trump took the tax abatement last tax year — and was allowed to then, because he’d resided in the condo through January 5, 2017. To keep it this year, he’d have to have lived there until at least January 5, 2018.
According to his tax bills, his taxes were $251,574 last tax year, but were reduced by $44,025 thanks to the abatement, leaving him to pay $207,549.
Martha Stark, a former finance commissioner, told The News she thought the department was well within its rights to rescind the break based on its definition of a permanent residence — but that Trump might have room to challenge the decision under state law if he intends to continue living in New York after his presidency.
“I think that certainly just relying on that one provision one could certainly change or revoke the abatement. but I do think there is some interesting state law around primary residence which would make it so that if his intention is to come back, that he might really be entitled to the abatement.”
A White House spokeswoman referred questions about the abatement to Sheri Dillon, an attorney at Morgan Lewis who represents Trump in tax matters. She did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday afternoon.