Donald Trump was reportedly given a New York state property tax break that is only available to couples whose annual income is $500,000 or less, offering a rare insight into the business mogul and Republican presidential candidate’s finances.
Crain’s New York Business reported:
It’s called the STAR program, which stands for the New York State School Tax Relief Program and has been around since 1997. It offers an approximately $300 annual benefit for those who qualify. Hundreds of thousands of New York homeowners get it. Here’s where it gets interesting for Trump: To be eligible for STAR, a married couple must have annual income of $500,000 or less. One wouldn’t think a guy as rich as Trump claims to be would qualify, but records filed with the city’s Department of Finance show he received a $302 STAR benefit on his latest property-tax bill for his Trump Tower penthouse on Fifth Avenue. … "It’s strange that a billionaire would apply for a $302 tax benefit and, moreover, that he would take it," said Martha Stark, a property-tax expert and former New York City finance commissioner who is now a lecturer at Baruch College. A Trump spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
According to the report, the New York City Department of Finance verifies with state tax authorities that couples who apply for the tax benefit do, indeed, make $500,000 or less in annual income.
Trump has described himself as "really rich" throughout his presidential bid, and claims to be self-funding his campaign. However, the unconventional candidate has invited scrutiny in recent weeks by resisting calls to release his tax returns.
Trump’s corporations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy multiple times, with each of the bankruptcies centered around a casino empire he used to own in Atlantic City, New Jersey.