Donald Trump says the Trump National Golf Club in Florida is worth more than $50m. 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 $19m.
Consider the irony when Trump’s lawyers decide to sue the tax appraiser, saying her estimate and the nearly $400,000 property tax bill it generates are too high, even if her appraisal is only 40% of what the president listed in his 2017 financial disclosure form.
So which is it? Do we believe Trump when he says that his property is worth $50m? Or do we believe The Donald when he says that his property is worth less than $19m?
Trump’s company, Jupiter Golf LLC, does not 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 $15m.
If the course were worth at least $50m, its tax bill would be $1m or more at the county’s 2% business property rate.
Neither Jacks’ office nor Trump attorney Robert Kelley Jr would comment on 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 $18.4m valuation and that he has twice lost appeals to the county’s Value Adjustment Board.
Trump bought the club in 2012 for $5m, but has made significant improvements. He reported revenue of $20m from the course in the 15 months between January 2016 and April 2017.
Overall, he reported assets worth more than $1.4bn and income of almost $600m 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 $5.7m. Trump’s lawyers have filed an appeal.