Thanks to the president’s continued refusal to release his tax returns, the public remains in the dark about the entirety of his tax payment history. His refusal to release his tax returns breaks with decades of precedent, but that obviously hasn’t affected his decision-making.
Even still, there are some things that we do know. First, we know that business has been struggling at Trump Organization hotels to the point of the president recently being forced to abandon their Manhattan hotel, formerly known as Trump SoHo. (It’s now known as The Dominick.)
There’s now something else that we now know that the president has to worry about. As has been stated time and time again at this point, the president shouldn’t have private business concerns to occupy himself with while in office at all, since he’s supposed to be working for the good of the American public and not for his private business interest.
Yes, technically Trump doesn’t exercise executive control over his businesses, but he retains a financial stake in his businesses, and it’s not as though anyone can suggest that Trump’s sons heading his businesses means he’s not going to be privy to the Trump Organization’s concerns.
Eric Trump himself quipped at one point that he would be periodically delivering business updates to his father.
That makes an issue with one of Trump’s overseas golf courses that has now arisen all the more complicated, since although he’s president of the United States and has to be leading the execution of our foreign policy, he has his own private business interests to worry about.
Scotland Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has now “stripped Trump Turnberry of a lucrative tax break that this year amounted to nearly £110,000, which is about $147,000, in business rates relief,” Newsweek reported recently, having based its report on a Sunday report from Scotland’s Sunday Herald.
Trump’s Turnberry golf course was stripped of the tax break, but not out of some sort of solely personal grievance of the Scots against the president. Rather, Scottish leaders found it ludicrous that an equivalent of nearly $150,000 in “public money” was going to prop up the U.S. president’s bank accounts.
As councilor in Aberdeenshire and “longtime Trump critic” Martin Ford put it:
‘Absolutely no one would think that the best use of nearly £110,000 of public money is to use it to enhance Mr. Trump’s bank balance. He clearly doesn’t need it.’
Trump’s business was stripped of the tax break through the cap on how much businesses can be worth to get it being lowered to £1.5 million.
The Sunday Herald notes that the exact cost to the president incurred by the change is unclear, since the amount of the tax rebate is estimated to change from year to year.
The tax breaks will now be confined to more of those businesses that really need them and fewer of those that, like Trump’s, could no doubt get along fine without them. The breaks are meant for businesses that are not based in Scotland.
The situation is ironic considering the fact that Trump recently signed a tax reform bill into law that faced wide criticism for favoring the rich like him.
While Trump sits at home advancing an agenda that benefits his own personal interests, government leaders around the world are taking steps to undercut that same agenda.
Trump and the Scottish government have feuded in the past, with him having taken it as a personal slight that the Scots planned to put an offshore wind farm near one of his two Scottish golf courses.
Trump Turnberry is one of the president’s many hotels to have seen a slump in business since Donald took office in January. The average cost of a two night stay fell by about 57 percent between January 2017 and January 2018.
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