Trump could claim over $320M in tax deductions thanks to Doral golf course deal

Developer’s 2022 easement donation to the city of Doral could save the former president $120M in taxes

Trump Could Get $323M Break Thanks to Doral Golf Course Deal
Donald Trump with the Trump National Doral (Getty, Trump National Doral)

Donald Trump may claim more than $320 million in federal income tax deductions, thanks to an easement that restricts development of the Blue Monster golf course at Trump National Doral Miami. 

The Trump Organization struck a deal in late 2022 to donate the development rights for the 184-acre course to the city of Doral. The Blue Monster is one of four golf courses at the 664-acre resort, which is considered Trump’s most valuable asset

The deal could save the former president and Republican frontrunner nearly $120 million in taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported. Trump has used the conservation easement tax break before, but the Doral arrangement provides the largest tax break of any of his other properties. 

The Trump Organization’s agreement with the city allows the Blue Monster to remain operational, but Trump is banned from constructing buildings that are more than 25 feet tall (about two stories) or more than 10,000 square feet in size, according to the Journal. 

Federal law allows property owners who make conservation easement donations to claim income tax breaks based on appraisals. The deductions are calculated by marking the difference between the valuation before and after the donation. At Trump Doral, the easement created a potential $323 million deduction, by subtracting $345 million from $668 million, using fair market value, according to an IRS form obtained by the newspaper. 

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Trump could use the deduction for his 2022 taxes. That was the same year he sold his Washington, D.C. hotel for a profit that may have ranged from $100 million to about $285 million, according to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, respectively. 

Trump bought the Doral property out of bankruptcy for $150 million in 2012, and said he spent $250 million in renovations.

Trump sought approval in 2022 for more than 2,200 residential units as part of a larger mixed-use addition on a 56-acre portion of Trump Doral that does not include the golf courses. Last year, Doral approved a land use change allowing for fewer units — about 1,400 residential units. 

Katherine Kallergis

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