The Real Deal New York

Francis Greenburger recounts teaming up with Trump to oppose SALT tax changes

The Time Equities head also talked 50 West, global money hunts, and Macklowe's career
January 03, 2019 09:35AM

From left: 50 West Street, Francis Greenburger, and Donald Trump (Credit: Michael McWeeney)

Time Equities head Francis Greenburger was surprised to see President Trump’s stance on limiting state and local tax deductions.

In an interview with Bloomberg Radio, Greenburger chatted about tax proposal negotiations during the Reagan presidency — as well as his thoughts on the current market and overseas investments.

Greenburger recalled being in the room with Trump and other industry players in 1982, to oppose similar legislation — limiting SALT deductions — then proposed by President Ronald Reagan. The group sought to raise $2 million to $5 million and Greenburger said he and Trump made substantial contributions to the effort.

“If he has a good memory, he certainly knows that this is a pivotal issue that has existed over a long period of time,” he said. “I was very surprised to see him not appreciate the importance of what was involved.”

Trump “seems to have transferred all of his allegiances to the right wing base which he credits with his election,” he added.

Separately, Greenburger spoke about skewing his firm’s portfolio “to a Europe centric one.” Investments in the Netherlands, where Time Equities bought 25 to 30 office buildings in the last two years, have been particularly fruitful, he said.

Greenburger also chatted about his book “Risk Game,” describing New York City has a market with a mixed bag of successes and failures — and alluding to Harry Macklowe’s “mixed career.” Last year, Greenburger turned some condos at 50 West Street into rentals. In the interview, he noted that plans for the building once included a hotel and condos, “but our plans got interrupted by the course of events in the financial world.” [Bloomberg] — Meenal Vamburkar