Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

NEW YORK CITY-At least one major developer claims that the tax assessor’s bribery scandal is taking an escalating toll in cold, hard cash. Donald Trump, who last week sued the city for $500 million in damages for lost apartment sales at Trump World Tower, tells GlobeSt.com that his organization is expanding the net and exploring potential losses at other properties as well.

“We’re looking at the other assessments,” he states, “and we’ll make a determination in the next three or four weeks about adding” buildings to the suit. But Trump stopped short of naming specific addresses. So far, the suit seeks to claim damages on the “ridiculously high” assessments at Trump’s 72-story World Tower. “I was forced to sell those apartments with an artificially high tax on those units because the city didn’t negotiate the tax to what it should have been due to the scandal. And there was nobody left to cut the assessments because they were all in jail.” Trump says the 376-unit East Side tower is currently 81% sold out.

The developer’s claim is that assessors hiked taxes at his property–forcing his prices up–in order to compensate for illegal breaks they gave other building owners around town. According to published records, assessors took some $10 million in bribes to lower assessments on a variety of city assets. Earlier this year, some 15 people pleaded guilty to the charges.

Not everyone in the local industry fully embraces Trump’s lawsuit. “It sounds totally frivolous,” Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, tells GlobeSt.com. “There is a normal process for filing appeals on your property; you go to the tax commission and make an appeal. I don’t believe any owner who has professionals looking at their assessments would know right away if they were over-assessed and not challenge it” at the appeals level. Spinola also voiced doubt that there is enough “evidence to prove his claims.”

Clearly, Trump is unfazed by the criticism. “I think I’m entitled to [the money], that I can tell you,” he states. “The suit will work its way up the ladder, and we’ll see how it turns out. I think we have a very good chance. Besides, I haven’t lost too many times.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


Join 1000+ of the industry's top owners, investors, developers, brokers & financiers at THE MULTIFAMILY EVENT OF THE YEAR!

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.