At this point, not just in his presidential campaign, but in his life in general, Donald Trump has made it clear that he is very rich. However, what hasn’t been made clear is just how rich he actually is. Trump has boasted repeatedly about being worth over $10 billion, but there are no records — like tax returns, for example — that back up that number. It’s very likely that the GOP president-elect could be misrepresenting his net worth, just like he misrepresented the revenue from his Doral, Florida, golf resort.
In 2014, Trump reported that the resort had revenues of $50 million. The $50 million from that resort made up the largest portion of his total income for that year.
This summer, though, it was revealed that the resort actually lost $2.4 million that year. The revelation came when Trump’s company challenged the resort’s property tax bill.
The New York Times has obtained Trump’s financial disclosures — which he has touted as being more reliable than the tax returns he refuses to release — and has discovered that “what Mr. Trump has reported on those forms is nowhere near a complete picture of his financial state.”
Based on the information in the disclosures, Trump has repeatedly reported the amount of money his businesses have made before expenses like mortgage payments, payroll, and maintenance, then claimed that number as his income.
The president-elect is not breaking any laws by doing this. In the same way that he used a loophole to avoid paying taxes for 18 years, Trump also used a loophole in this situation, one that, “allows business owners to list gross revenue as opposed to net income, after expenses on their disclosure forms.”
The problem, as usual, is that Trump has not been completely honest about his use of this loophole. Instead, he has led people to believe that the numbers before expenses are his actual income.
Another Trump property that is making a lot less than reported is Trump’s 40 Wall Street office building. Trump has said that he makes a profit on this building. Based on the information The New York Times unearthed, it seems that, once again he is not being truthful.
Trump reported earning over $5 million dollars from building rentals in 2008. However, when he appealed his property taxes with the New York City Tax Commission, it was revealed that the building produced about $104,000 after mortgage payments and other expenses. It was also revealed, three years prior, that the building had a negative cash flow of $5.5 million.
Even when business improved and the 40 Wall Street property began to turn a profit, it was still much lower than what its owner reported. In 2015, the building turned a profit of just under $3 million after expenses.
As The New York Times suggests, the lack of cash flow may be the reason Trump has refused to release his tax returns. Many people have already guessed — and these reports indicate that their guesses were spot on — that Trump doesn’t want the world to know that he doesn’t make as much money as he says.
Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said that Trump’s financial disclosure form “speaks for itself” and refused to comment further about the way in which he reports his income.
Read The New York Times’s full report here.
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