By Hadassa Kalatizadeh
Former President Donald J. Trump has asked a judge to reduce taxes for the retail property at his namesake condominium tower on 59th Street and Park Avenue.
As reported by Bloomberg, Trump Park Ave LLC claims the New York City is illegally and erroneously overtaxing the retail property there, based on the 2022 assessment. The claim says that the property is being valued higher in comparison to similar ones. The estimated value of Trump’s Park Avenue retail property rose by $110,000 this tax year per the tax assessment, bringing the market value to $12.2 million. The annual tax bill comes out to roughly $520,000. “The said assessments are excessive in that (a) the assessed valuation exceeds the full value of the real property,” Trump’s company said in a filing Thursday in state court. “The property should have been wholly exempt from taxation.” The case is entitled Trump Park Avenue LLC v. The Tax Commissioner of the City of New York, 256411/2021, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.
It is common practice for firms to challenge their property taxes in New York. Property owners and in particular owners of large residential, office and commercial buildings file tens of thousands of tax appeals annually. In response, New York City’s tax commission offers partial reductions, which companies may choose to accept or to further appeal. During the current tax year, property values have dropped as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The city has already proactively cut the values for properties overall in calculating the year’s tax bills. In some cases, properties in ailing sectors including hotels and offices received double-digit reductions, on average.
As per Bloomberg News, Trump’s particular tax challenge may also stem partially from retaliation against the barrage of condemnation that NYC officials have discharged on Trump Organization properties. Trump’s ownings have been under probe since the middle of his presidency. In particular, NY Attorney General Letitia James has gone after Trump, opening two active investigations against Trump Org—which probe whether the former president’s companies deflated and inflated their real estate asset values to evade tax liability or to receive other financial benefits. His company was charged with a 15-year tax fraud scheme and his charity was shuttered for illegal use of funds. Tension is so high, that in 2019 Trump officially moved from New York to Florida.