The Hopewell Junction, N.Y., property filed a grievance with the town in May 2015 to reduce its assessed value by 66% from $6 million to $2 million, which was rejected. The issue has moved to the state Supreme Court.
Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., filed a grievance in May 2015 with the town to reduce its assessed value by 66%, which was rejected. Now, the issue is in state Supreme Court to determine whether the property’s real value is $2 million rather than the $6 million at which it is assessed, the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal reported.
Granting the full reduction would mean property owners would have to absorb the loss of $120,548.97 in the town of East Fishkill, Wappingers Central School District, East Fishkill Fire District and East Fishkill Community Library taxes. While the reduction suggests the golf club’s value is $2 million, as part of Trump’s run for president, he valued the golf club at over $5 million in his financial disclosure reports, the Journal reported.
Paul Steimle, of Paradigm Tax Group LLC, who is listed as the attorney on the grievance, declined to comment. Golf club General Manager Brian Freeswick, who is listed as the complainant on the grievance and petition, directed the Journal to reach out to the Trump Organization. A spokesperson for the Trump Organization declined to comment.
“Everybody has the legal right to come in and challenge their assessment. We’re constantly looking at valuations,” said town supervisor John Hickman.
Hickman said the town typically only has a few grievances filed each year, and doubted that the full 66% reduction sought would be granted. “I don’t think it’s going to be a huge impact,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll end up somewhere in between (the 66 percent and current value).”
Based on the 2015 rates, the full reduction would mean a drop of municipal property taxes from $46,393.20 to $15,464.40. That includes town, Dutchess County, East Fishkill Fire District and East Fishkill Community Library taxes. The golf course would get the most relief from school taxes. Again, based on 2015 rates, it would drop from $134,430.25 to $44,810.08, the Journal reported.
Town Attorney Thomas Wood said the court proceeding over the reduced assessment for the 2015 taxes are in the beginning stages. If any changes in the assessment are made, Wood said the impact may not be felt until 2017, the Journal reported.
The private club offers a 14,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, 150-seat pavilion, 70-seat members grill and 40-seat pub. Trump took over then-Branton Woods Golf Course in December 2009, and later added a swimming pool and tennis courts as well as upgraded the clubhouse and locker rooms, the Journal reported.
Wood said that values for golf courses nationwide had dropped, and the town is taking a look to see if the number the property is assessed at is solid. “The golf course industry, the values of golf courses are dropping because they’re just not profitable,” Wood said. “It’s very hard for them to derive a good profit.”
Wood added that if an agreement can’t be reached, the town would have to hire an outside appraiser to compare numbers with the complainant’s appraisal figures. The cost could be between $35,000 and $50,000, the Journal reported.
Golf courses may be struggling nationwide, but Trump reported on July 15, 2015 in his financial disclosure report to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics an income of $4,221,191 at the Hudson Valley club. The financial report also valued the property between $5,000,001 and $25 million, the Journal reported.
The Hudson Valley location isn’t the first of Trump’s golf clubs that recently sought a reduced assessment. Gannett’s Journal News in Westchester County reported in September 2015 that the Trump National Golf Club, Westchester, located in Briarcliff Manor, also filed a complaint for a reduced assessment—slashing it from $13.5 million to $1.4 million, a 90 percent reduction, the Journal reported.
The Briarcliff Manor club was valued at over $50 million by Trump on his financial disclosure report. Income was reported to be $9,495,179, the Journal reported.