Donald Trump is due a $1 million tax refund on his controversial Chicago skyscraper, but state attorney Kim Foxx’s office is attempting to prevent him from getting it.
The billionaire ex-president is in line to get a windfall after the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board voted 5-0 to refund the amount levied on the Trump International Hotel and Tower’s commercial units for the 2011 tax year.
About $540,000 of that money will be redirected from Chicago’s public schools to pay Donald Trump.
His lawyers had previously argued that he was paying too much tax on the 98-floor building because he couldn’t obtain tenants to fill the tower’s commercial units, indicating they’d been overvalued.
Previous efforts to claw back tax failed because assessors insisted the vacant retail units added contributory value to the building and should be taxed as if they were occupied.
The Appeals Board has now sided with him, with the money that Donald Trump is owed coming out of a public kitty that pays for the Windy City’s public schools, and other government services.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the city’s schools would lose the biggest chunk of cash to Donald Trump, an estimated $540,000.
Cook County State Attorney’s office, led by well-known prosecutor Kim Foxx, has objected to the proposed settlement and is now attempting to hinder it.
Lawyers working for the office filed a suit with the Illinois Appellate Court in the hopes of blocking it.
The controversy is the latest episode in a long-running legal dispute over Donald Trump’s tax bills that began more than 12 years ago and has led to more than $14 million in tax breaks for Trump.
It also involves not only a former president who’s amid a multitude of legal actions but a Chicago alderman whose own legal problems has been making headlines in Chicago for months.
Alderman Edward M Burke, whose former law firm, Klafter & Burke, won the tax breaks for Donald Trump, has been indicted on federal charges that he blocked businesses from getting city permits unless they hired the firm. He’s pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
The dispute over the tax bills on the high rise building has its own long history.
Originally, the state agency rejected Donald Trump’s argument that the vacant stores had no value because he couldn’t get any tenants to lease them.
A hearing officer for the state agency rejected Donald Trump’s argument that the unoccupied stores at the building had no value because he couldn’t leave them, but a staff member later wrote a report that Donald Trump was entitled to the refund.
Pulling the funds from a school budget isn’t the greatest idea, although I guess it is if you want to make Donald Trump look bad it’s the best way to go. Still, he has zero control of where the funds are found.
What they should be doing is taking the money from wasted bureaucratic spending – lunches, flights and raises, rather than taking it from children, but now they’re robbing it from Peter to pay Paul, or should I say, vulnerable school children, and I do hope that Donald Trump donates some of that money to these school children, who need it far more than he does.
But I’m sure there are numerous people out there that have been waiting for their tax refund for months, and they could be saying the same thing: ‘It’s my money, give it back to me!’
And let’s face it Donald Trump managed to lower his taxes over the years by reporting substantial losses on his businesses, and this one isn’t much different, and after the success of The Apprentice TV show he did initially pay significant taxes, $95 million over 18 years, but then he later got most of that back via a $72.9 million federal tax refund, although those funds were under review.
See the pattern forming here?