Trump Dumps New York Residence For Florida Amid Political Tension

President Trump has changed his primary residence from Trump Tower in New York City to Mar-a-Lago in Florida, the president tweeted Thursday night. “I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

The news about Mr. Trump’s move was broken by The New York Times, which reported Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania, filed a “declaration of domicile” saying that the Mar-a-Lago Club will be their permanent residence.

President Trump, a born-and-bred New Yorker, announced Thursday that he has changed his permanent residence to Palm Beach, Fla., because of the way politicians in New York City and the state of New York have treated him.

“I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse,” the president tweeted.

“I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned. As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart!”

The New York Times originally obtained the court documents for Trump’s change of address from Trump Tower in New York City to the location of his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, where he’s built a residence. First lady Melania Trump also changed her residence to the same location in an identical document.

“If I maintain another place or places of abode in some other state or states, I hereby declare that my above-described residence and abode in the State of Florida constitutes my predominant and principal home, and I intend to continue it permanently as such,” the Trump file read.

“I formerly resided at 721 Fifth Avenue,” the document said. Trump, raised in the borough of Queens, moved into the skyscraper in midtown Manhattan in 1983.

The document lists Trump’s “other places of abode” as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, aka the White House, and his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Trump has spent 99 days at his Florida resort since becoming president, while he’s spent only 20 days at Trump Tower, according to NBC News.

In response to Trump, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted: “Good riddance. It’s not like @realDonaldTrump paid taxes here anyway… He’s all yours, Florida.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused the president of making the move so he can shield his tax information from New York authorities.

“Donald Trump doesn’t want the state of New York to see his taxes—I wonder why,” Warren wrote. “Let’s call this out for what it is: Corruption, plain and simple. Under my anti-corruption plan, all presidential candidates would be required to release their tax returns.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ended his own run for the presidency, echoed Cuomo’s remarks.

“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out or whatever,” de Blasio wrote.

Trump is due to make an appearance in New York City this weekend to attend an MMA fight at Madison Square Garden. He’s scheduled to spend Saturday night at Trump Tower.

While Trump said his change of residence was due to poor treatment by New York officials, some have speculated he could be doing so for tax purposes. Florida does not have a state income tax or an inheritance tax and has long been a haven for wealthy former New Yorkers.

In August, Heritage Foundation chief economist Steve Moore appeared on “The Daily Briefing” to say that New Yorkers fleeing to Florida for tax purposes may be the “biggest economic story” in the country.

He said there are four so-called “states of the apocalypse” – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois – from where residents are fleeing in droves due to high taxes and state budget issues.

Moore said the states benefitting the most from this population movement are Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and North Carolina.

“As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart!’ Mr. Trump tweeted.

Mr. Trump moved into Trump Tower at 521 Fifth Avenue when it opened in 1983. While Mr. Trump did not give a reason for the move, one person told the Times that it was primarily for tax purposes. Mr. Trump will have to spend 180 days, or roughly half the year, in Florida to avoid paying New York taxes.

Mr. Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, has only spent a handful of time at Trump Tower since he was inaugurated, although he is expected to spend the night there on Saturday, November 2. When Mr. Trump is not at the White House, he frequently spends his time at Mar-a-Lago or his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Mr. Trump is not popular in Manhattan, which has held some of the largest protests against his administration. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has subpoenaed eight years’ worth of Mr. Trump’s business and personal tax returns for an investigation into the payment of hush money to two women who claimed to have had affairs with the president.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted “Good riddance. It’s not like Donald Trump paid taxes here anyway.”

Trump Tower has not been without controversy since Mr. Trump took office. In April 2018, one person was killed in a fire on the 50th floor — just eight floors below Mr. Trump’s triplex apartment. In January of that same year, a fire in Trump Tower’s heating and air conditioning system injured three people.

Changing his primary residence could carry significant tax implications for Mr. Trump, although how much is unclear without seeing his returns. But in changing his residence to Florida, he would most likely be avoiding New York State’s top tax rate of nearly 9 percent and New York City’s top rate of nearly 4 percent.

Leaving New York could also save money for Mr. Trump’s heirs at the time of his death. New York imposes a top estate tax rate of 16 percent for estates larger than $10.1 million.

In an article in the Florida Bar Journal in January 2019, three lawyers with Proskauer Rose wrote about the recent wave of people moving from New York to Florida in “large part” because of the repeal of the state and local tax deduction that was a byproduct of the tax bill that Mr. Trump signed into law in 2017.

“While it may be easy enough for an individual to buy a home in Florida and move, the act of physically moving to Florida is only part of the battle,” the three wrote.

“The real challenge is proving by clear and convincing evidence that the individual is no longer a New York domiciliary and does not qualify as a New York statutory resident for New York State income tax purposes,” they said.

Beyond taxes, Mr. Trump has repeatedly signaled the importance of Florida to his 2020 re-election effort and kicked off his campaign with a rally in Orlando. And he has often mentioned Mar-a-Lago when promoting his ties to the state.

In the longer term, the change could speak to Mr. Trump’s plans after his presidency ends. It has been an open question whether he would ever return full time to New York City.

In addition, Secret Service protection for Mr. Trump after his presidency ends would continue to snarl traffic in Midtown Manhattan — as would tourists and potential protests in front of Trump Tower — particularly if Mr. Trump chose to live there full time.

David Pratt, a partner at Proskauer Rose and one of the authors of the Florida Bar Journal piece, said Mr. Trump had probably changed his primary residence for the same reason other people have left New York.

“What he’s doing is not any different than what a lot of individuals from New York are doing, and they’re becoming Florida residents,” Mr. Pratt said.

Mr. Trump is due to travel to New York City this weekend for an event at Madison Square Garden, the rare instance of him visiting when he has no fund-raiser or official event scheduled. He is due to spend Saturday night at Trump Tower.

Since he became president, Mar-a-Lago remains Mr. Trump’s favored retreat. He has a residence on the grounds, enjoys easy access to one of his nearby golf clubs, entertains foreign visitors like Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and also plays host to a regular cast of visitors and members.

Still, Manhattan has been like Oz to him.

“I believed, perhaps to an irrational degree, that Manhattan was always going to be the best place to live — the center of the world,” Mr. Trump wrote in his book “The Art of the Deal.”

Jerry Max

Jerry Max is a resource person with vast knowledge of politics and international relations. He studied at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Currently lives in Virginia, U.S.

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