Donald Trump’s shady real estate dealings have become a fascination of the New York Times in the march up to November’s general election. Now, the Gray Lady strikes again with a report on the Republican presidential nominee’s dogged quest for tax breaks that have allowed his New York City real estate empire to thrive while giving little back to the city in the form of financial contribution.
"Donald Trump is probably worse than any other developer in his relentless pursuit of every single dime of taxpayer subsidies he can get his paws on," Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen told the Times. The paper uncovers that the bronzed talking head has received at least $885 million in tax breaks, grants, and other subsidies for hotels, office buildings, and apartments that have allowed him to lower his own costs while jacking up pricing on said apartments.
Trump received a 40-year tax break on 42nd Street’s Grand Hyatt Hotel that’s cost the city $360 million over the past 36 years. The city has also missed out on $332 million in taxes for Trump Place on Riverside Drive, $8 million for Trump Palace, $13 million from Trump Plaza, $120 million from Trump World Tower, $16 million from Trump International Tower on Central Park West (h/t TRD).
The nominee also received a $150,000 grant for Financial District icon 40 Wall Street through a program meant to help small businesses recover in the years following the September 11th attacks, despite admitting that the building was unharmed in the events.
Trump also harnessed his father’s political and high-ranking connections, as well as his own, to juice the system. When an agency head rallied against a tax break for the Grand Hyatt, Trump reportedly threatened to have the guy fired. Trump went on to receive the tax break, and reluctantly deliver on half of his promise to bring two subway entrances to the base of the hotel. Trump praises the Gran Hyatt as a "great success for the city."
"His whole MO is to exploit the government for everything he could get," Jerilyn Perine, the city housing commissioner during the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, told the Times, "In the end, the letter of the law gave it to him."