- Darrell Hofheinz Daily News Real Estate Writer
Palm Beach County properties related to President Donald Trump have generated bills totaling $64,728 more in property taxes this year than in 2016, according to the final bills mailed by the tax collector’s office on Halloween.
Those Trump properties include four in Palm Beach — The Mar-a-Lago Club, a pair of adjacent houses and a next-door vacant parcel — along with two golf-course facilities carrying the president’s last name. They have been billed a grand total of about $1.182 million for 2017, tax records show. Last year, their bills totaled about $1.117 million.
In all, his county properties have been taxed based on so-called “taxable values” totaling about $61.06 million. Of that total, his Palm Beach properties are taxed on values of just under $34 million, while the taxable value of the property at the two golf clubs totals a little more than $27 million. The bills were figured using “total market values” assigned by the county property appraiser’s office, based on the properties’ values as of Jan. 1.
The latest round of bills is $8,680 lower than what the tax collector’s office estimated it would be in August.
The final payments are likely to be even less than the billed amounts, however. Property owners are eligible for a discount if they pay their bills in full before the March 1 deadline. Trump, who is no fan of taxes, has a history of paying his tax bills by the end of November — and that earns him a 4 percent discount, records show. The discount drops by 1 percent each month through February.
Following standard protocol, the August tax estimates were mailed to property owners before the town, the county and several other taxing authorities, including the county school board, finalized their tax rates in September and October, based on the new budget year.
The estimates were intended to give property owners a general idea of what they might pay in taxes based on the values the county property appraiser’s office assigned to their properties. Under state law, final tax bills must be mailed by Nov. 1 each year. This year, that number totaled 609,649 bills in the county, according to Tax Collector Anne Gannon’s office. Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks certified the tax rolls to the tax collector Oct. 10.
The 17½-acre Mar-a-Lago Club, known as Trump’s “winter White House,” has been billed $459,164 based on its “taxable value” of $23.1 million. That’s about $4,777 less than its August estimate.
The club’s bill also is $49,405 more than its final bill last year and includes a new annual assessment of about $27,500 to help pay for a multiyear project to bury utility lines in town. Two other assessments pay for solid-waste removal.
The two adjacent Woodbridge Road houses the president bought in 1993 — plus the adjacent vacant parcel — will generate an additional $183,013, compared with $190,667 last year.
That brings his total estimated 2017 taxes for his Palm Beach properties to $642,177.
Golf course revenue
At the Trump International Golf Club near West Palm Beach, only the clubhouse is taxed under two longtime lease agreements with the county and the Palm Beach International Airport. The clubhouse parcel’s tax bill is $141,203, or $525 less than what was estimated in August. Last year, its tax bill totaled $133,370.
The lease agreements, meanwhile, will bring in a total of $922,287 this year. Of that total, $351,600 goes to the county’s general fund, while $570,687 benefits airport operations.
And as with his property taxes, Trump’s finance department has a history of paying the rent on time, said Michael Simmons, deputy director of the airport’s finance and administration division.
“They’re very good payers,” Simmons said. “They have been good tenants.”
Meanwhile, separate tax bills for the six parcels that comprise the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter total $398,315, or $1,771 more than the amount estimated in August. The club generated bills totaling $383,171 last year, according to online records at the tax collector’s office.
The August estimates gave property owners who disagreed with the values assigned to their properties time to notify the property appraiser’s office. If the matter wasn’t resolved there, owners had until mid-September to file an appeal with the state-authorized Value Adjustment Board. The tax rolls will likely be finalized sometime next year, once all of those appeals are heard, according to Jacks’ office.