Are the Clintons trying to duck property taxes in New York?

Bill and Hillary split ownership of Chappaqua home, created trusts to shrink taxable estate

New York /
Jun.June 17, 2014 05:55 PM

Bill and Hillary Clinton, longtime advocates of an estate tax, are allegedly trying to avoid paying taxes on their New York home.

Federal financial disclosures and local property records indicate that the Clintons split the ownership of their Chappaqua, New York home into 50 percent shares and created residence trusts into which they placed those shares. These moves are common strategies for millionaires looking to shrink the size of their taxable estate, Bloomberg reported.

Residence trusts like the ones the Clintons created not only deflect any appreciation in the house’s value, but also create set terms after which the property is transferred to a beneficiary. Only after the term of the trust is outlived can the asset move completely outside the estate. Additionally, by creating multiple trusts, property owners are able to spread the risk so that the death of one party would not affect the other party’s trust.

The Clintons, both of whom have supported higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans, have accrued their own fortune over the past decade as a result of paid speeches and book royalties. By the end of 2012, the couple was worth between $5.2 million and $25.5 million.

The estimated value of the house for property tax purposes is $1.8 million. The couple purchased their Chappaqua home for $1.7 million in 1999.

Critics are investigating the Clintons’ finances as Hillary Clinton tours the country to promote her book, “Hard Choices” — and tests the waters for a possible run for the White House. The former secretary of state was criticized for comments she made in an ABC interview, during which she said that the couple was “dead broke” after they left the White House in 2001. [Bloomberg]Sasha von Oldershausen


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
34-24 Hunters Point Ave
City accuses its landlord of gaming property taxes
City accuses its landlord of gaming property taxes
Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin (Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal with Getty)
Manchin-Schumer deal closes real estate tax loophole
Manchin-Schumer deal closes real estate tax loophole
L+M’s Ron Moelis and 180 Broome Street (L+M, City Realty, iStock)
L+M accused of overcharging tenants at 421a building
L+M accused of overcharging tenants at 421a building
From left: General Motors Building, One Vanderbilt, MetLife Building, and the International Building (Wikipedia, iStock)
Nation’s highest-taxed office buildings are all in one neighborhood
Nation’s highest-taxed office buildings are all in one neighborhood
Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Getty Images, iStock, Yard 8 Miami, Stacks on Main, Trulia, Power Design Inc., Inkwell Decatur, Wikipedia, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
Depreciation Man: Adam Neumann’s real estate binge to ease tax bill
Depreciation Man: Adam Neumann’s real estate binge to ease tax bill
NYC hotel property taxes skyrocketed to 30% of revenue: report
NYC hotel property taxes skyrocketed to 30% of revenue: report
NYC hotel property taxes skyrocketed to 30% of revenue: report
Stephen Ross and Charles Kushner (Getty)
Stephen Ross, Charles Kushner, other titans paid no federal taxes for years
Stephen Ross, Charles Kushner, other titans paid no federal taxes for years
Attorney General Letitia James, Tax Equity Now’s Policy Director Martha Stark and Mayor-Elect Eric Adams (Getty)
Do-or-die: Group files final appeal for property tax reform
Do-or-die: Group files final appeal for property tax reform
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...