Just north of New York City, the Trump Organization is fighting the town of Ossining. Set along the Hudson River 35 miles north of New York City, the suburban town is home to Trump National Westchester Golf Club.
Trump bought the course in 1996 for $7.5 million and put in $40 million of renovations. The course includes a 75,000-square-foot clubhouse, a 101-foot man-made waterfall and a host of luxury condominiums overlooking the fairway.
Trump said in presidential financial disclosures that this property is worth $50 million. Ossining currently assesses the property at only $15 million.
Yet in legal filings, the Trump Organization claims $15 million is far too high. In 2015, the company said the property is worth only $1.4 million in a lawsuit filed against the Town of Ossining in Westchester County court.
Municipalities almost always settle instead of taking such cases to expensive trials. But because of public outcry, the town decided not to settle this time. It is fighting this case and another related to a neighboring private golf course, which is not owned by Trump.
Asked how it feels to be sued by the president’s company, Dana Levenberg, Ossining Town supervisor, says, “It is certainly uncomfortable at best.”
The town of Ossining has a population of 38,000 an annual budget of $5.5 million. In order to fight, it’s bringing in expert assessors and outside lawyers â and it adds up. “When you have deep private pockets, it’s a lot easier to have staying power in these cases,” Levenberg says.
Trump National Golf Club LLC, the subsidiary that owns the club, has filed lawsuits over property taxes each year since 2015. If the town loses, they’ll have to refund Trump National the difference between what it claimed was owed and the Trump Organization’s number â roughly $439,960 from 2015 alone. That will come out of school budgets and municipal funds. Briarcliff Schools, the district the course falls in, has put aside $2.8 million of their annual $51.4 million budget for future tax refunds. The town and a number of other municipal offices have set aside funds as well.
source : CNBC