The golf industry is pushing back against a new bill that could raise property taxes for golf course owners in New York.
The proposed legislation would give local governments the option to assess and tax golf courses on “highest and best use,” the Wall Street Journal reported. That means many facilities could be considered residential developments with a much higher value.
Industry players have argued the change would raise taxes on many facilities and lead to golf course closures, hurting the hospitality and tourism sectors at a time when golf already faces competition from other sports.
The bill’s Democratic sponsors, state Sen. David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, believe it will force facilities like country clubs to pay their their fair share of taxes. One example they’ve cited is the Briarcliff Manor-based Trump National Golf Club, a private membership club in Westchester County.
Trump National is challenging a $14 million estimate of its market value in a lawsuit, according to the Journal. The club claims the property is worth 10 percent of that figure and the assessed value is “unequal, excessive and unlawful.” President Donald Trump, however, valued the club at $50 million or more in federal financial disclosures — but the methodology behind that appraisal is unclear.
The Journal noted that since golf courses are not usually sold on the open market, assessors have struggled to find comparable sales data, often looking at market rents for catering halls, clubhouses, restaurants and tennis facilities.
George Amedore, a Republican state senator from New York opposing the bill, told the Journal the measure is “politically motivated” and “ludicrous.” [WSJ] — Meenal Vamburkar