Donald Trump stood in a class all his own when it came receiving a property-tax break reserved for middle-income residents, according to Crain's New York Business
, which said he was the only billionaire in New York City it could find who got the credit.
Crain's examined data on 38 billionaires whose names and addresses it could identify and found that none had sought or received the benefit. The presumptive Republican nominee for president saved about $300 each year over three years on his annual $192,000 tax bill for his Fifth Avenue penthouse.
Trump, who claims he received the tax break by mistake, claims a net worth of over $10 billion, but it's estimated by Forbes
at $4.5 billion. According to the New York State School Tax Relief Program, or STAR, married couples qualify for the credit given to Trump only if their annual income is doesn't exceed $500,000. Trump maintains that the credit was mistakenly applied to him, and according to the Wall Street Journal
, requested the state cease granting it to him.
Last month, he reported earning more than $550 million
"We can't discuss whether or not he's eligible or ineligible," Sonia Alleyne, a spokeswoman for New York City's finance department, told the Journal, citing privacy issues.
Trump, unlike most presidential candidates, has balked at releasing his federal income tax returns, and refuses to reveal his tax rate, telling ABC News' George Stephanopoulos
: "It's none of your business," when asked.
"I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible," Trump added.
The New Yorker has repeatedly vowed to release his returns, but hasn't made good on those promises and hasn't said when he will. He claims his returns are under constant audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
According to an investigative report in the Los Angeles Times
, Karen Burstein, a former New York City auditor general, said Trump "cheated" the city out of millions in the 1980s. In that period, he became the first commercial-project developer to take a public subsidy usually reserved for buildings that improve poor neighborhoods.
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