Trump organization, already indicted, faces new criminal investigation



Every year since 2015, the Trump club has taken its tax bill to court, prompting a outcry in the district of Ossining, where hundreds of demonstrators marched in 2017, chanting: “Pay your share.”

By seeking to reduce the tax bill – sometimes up to 90 percent –The club argued that the property was worth much less than what Ossining officials had determined, a strategy common to many country clubs, not just Mr. Trump. In one year, the Trump club assessed the property’s value at approximately $ 1.4 million, while the city valued it at around $ 15 million.

Prosecutors for Ms Rocah could compare the figures the club submitted to Ossining with other statements by Mr Trump on the property’s value. For example, he stated in the federal disclosure shapes when he was president the club was worth over $ 50 million.

Yet the method of determining this higher figure is different from how golf courses typically calculate their value for tax purposes. And some golf course operators claim that in tax appeals they regularly offer lower numbers to start negotiations with local authorities and to protect themselves in the event of an unexpected disaster destroying their properties, so as not to mislead the tax authorities into fault.

This year, after Ossining lost a tax appeal filed by a golf course not owned by Mr. Trump, local officials worried that he could also win in court. And so, in July, the city announced a compromise with the Trump Club, reducing the estimated value of the property by about 30 percent in recent years. Collectively, Ossining and other local entities provided the club with a reimbursement of approximately $ 875,000.

“We believe this regulation is in the best interest of the city’s residents and businesses,” Ossining city supervisor Dana Levenberg said in a statement, citing the benefit of avoiding what would likely be a costly litigation with uncertain outcome. “Each party made compromises in the interest of reaching an agreement,” she said, noting that they settled on values ​​closer to what was “presented by the city than the club of golf”.

Ms Levenberg declined to comment on the subpoena the city received from Ms Rocah’s office.

As the Westchester investigation progresses, the case of Mr. Vance against the Trump Organization and Mr. Weisselberg, the chief financial officer, points to a possible trial in August or September, which would coincide with the home stretch of next year’s congressional elections. The case centers on what prosecutors have described as a 15-year program to distribute lucrative non-accounting benefits to employees.


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