The Real Deal Tristate

NY golf course property tax bill comes
up short

Lawmakers vow to continue pushing for a measure that would allow assessments to reflect best-use value
May 23, 2019 11:55AM

Senator David Carlucci, President Donald Trump and Trump National Golf Course Westchester

Senator David Carlucci, President Donald Trump and Trump National Golf Club Westchester

Legislation that sought to smooth the greens for higher tax rates on New York golf courses is not likely to pass this year.

The property tax bill, which stemmed from a tax assessment challenge by the Trump National Golf Club, essentially would’ve raised taxes on golf course owners by letting such letting such facilities be appraised by their “highest and best use rather than current use,” according to the proposed legislation. New York lawmakers are now preparing to take another hack at the bill in 2020.

Democratic Assemblywoman Sandy Galef in Westchester County, whose district includes Trump National in Briarcliff Manor, told Bloomberg that the issue is contentious because of the prominence that many golf course members have in their communities.

The proposed legislation would not mandate that local tax authorities make a change, but it would give them the option of using a best-use methodology. If municipalities were to do so, the results could be dramatic. The Westchester Country Club in Rye could see its 2018 assessment of $37 million rise to as much as $280 million, according to estimates.

The Trump Organization claims that Trump National should have been appraised at $1.4 million, roughly 10 percent of the $14 million assessment it received in 2015. The company’s preferred assessment for the private club and golf course has gradually increased in subsequent appeals, to $7.5 million.

State Sen. David Carlucci, another Democrat from Westchester who sponsored the bill, has said that the underlying issue is one of taxpayer fairness. A few dozen locals rallied with Carlucci outside Trump National last month with chants of “Pay your taxes!” [Bloomberg]Georgia Kromrei