Donald Trump’s plans to construct a grandiose family mausoleum with 19-foot stone obelisks on the grounds of his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, Latest Jersey, were shot down in 2007 by local officials who found the design garish and out of character with the realm.
Now there’s a single grave on the course — for Ivana Trump, the ex-wife of the previous president and mother of his three oldest children. Following her July 20 funeral, she was buried not removed from the clubhouse and behind the primary tee in a bare plot with a sprig of flowers and small granite plaque.
The grave appears to return with tax benefits for Trump and his golf course.
Latest Jersey tax code provides a “cemetery” with a “trifecta of tax avoidance,” with breaks for property, income and sales taxes, Brooke Harrington, a Dartmouth sociology professor and self-described tax researcher, wrote on Twitter. The state requires no minimum variety of graves to qualify as a cemetery, she added.
As a tax researcher, I used to be skeptical of rumors Trump buried his ex-wife in that sad little plot of dirt on his Bedminster, NJ golf course only for tax breaks.
So I checked the NJ tax code & folks…it is a trifecta of tax avoidance. Property, income & sales tax, all eliminated. pic.twitter.com/VDZBlDyuhQ
— Brooke Harrington (@EBHarrington) July 31, 2022
The tax code says any land dedicated to cemetery purposes is exempt from all taxes. Cemetery corporations are specifically exempt from paying any real estate taxes or personal property taxes on their lands, in addition to business taxes, sales taxes, income taxes and inheritance taxes.
Within the Latest Jersey Law Revision Commission, a “cemetery company” is defined as “an individual, corporation, association or other entity that owns or operates a cemetery, reported Business Insider.
It’s unclear whether Trump, who famously pays almost no federal income tax, intends to pursue the tax benefits and the way much money is at stake.
The cemetery business idea has been kicking around for some time within the Trump family.
Tax documents from the Trump Family Trust, published by ProPublica, show the trust sought in 2014 to designate a property in Hackettstown, Latest Jersey, about 20 miles from the Bedminster golf course, as a nonprofit cemetery company.
Trump’s early mausoleum idea in 2007 got nowhere.
Bedminster’s then-Mayor Robert Holtaway argued before town council that the over-the-top structure could attract the mistaken type of people, The Latest Yorker reported. He compared it to a spot “in Austria where a Nazi war criminal was buried” that “became a tourist attraction,” in line with the magazine.
In 2014, The Trump Organization filed plans to construct twin graveyards at Bedminster, The Washington Post reported. One can be a 284-plot cemetery offering gravesites on the market. The opposite would come with 10 plots overlooking the primary tee for Trump and his family.
“Mr. Trump … specifically selected this property for his final resting place because it is his favorite property,” his company wrote within the plans.
Trump’s parents and his brother Fred are buried together at All Faiths Cemetery in Queens, Latest York.
Ivana Trump, the primary person buried at Bedminster, died July 14 at age 73 in her Manhattan home after a fall down the steps. Her death was ruled accidental.