Trump golf course in Florida sues over property tax bill

AP News
Posted: Jan 29, 2018 6:51 PM
Trump golf course in Florida sues over property tax bill

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump says the Trump National Golf Club in Florida is worth more than $50 million.

Palm Beach County Property Tax Appraiser Dorothy Jacks disagrees, saying the Jupiter course, where Trump plays when he visits nearby Mar-a-Lago, is actually worth much less — $19 million.

But in a twist, Trump's lawyers are now suing Jacks, saying her estimate and the nearly $400,000 property tax bill it generates are too high, even if her appraisal is only 40 percent of what the president listed in his 2017 financial disclosure form.

Trump's company, Jupiter Golf LLC, doesn't say in the lawsuit how much it thinks the course is currently worth, but it sent the county nearly $300,000 as a good-faith estimate of what it believes the tax bill should be. That would make the course worth $15 million.

If the course were worth at least $50 million, its tax bill would be $1 million or more at the county's 2 percent business property rate.

Neither Jacks' office nor Trump attorney Robert Kelley Jr. would comment Monday on the lawsuit, which was filed in December. It was first reported Monday by The Palm Beach Post.

The Post reports that Trump also appealed last year's $18.4 million valuation and that he has twice lost appeals to the county's Value Adjustment Board.

Trump bought the club in 2012 for $5 million, but has made significant improvements. He reported revenue of $20 million from the course in the 15 months between January 2016 and April 2017. Overall, he reported assets worth more than $1.4 billion and income of almost $600 million during that period.

Trump lost a federal lawsuit last year filed by 65 former Trump National members who had been denied refunds of deposits they had made with the previous owner, Ritz-Carlton. The club was ordered to repay $5.7 million. Trump's lawyers have filed an appeal.