First, and I mean no offense to say this: consider the source.
As a tax researcher, I was skeptical of rumors Trump buried his ex-wife in that sad little plot of dirt on his Bedminster, NJ golf course just for tax breaks.— Brooke Harrington (@EBHarrington) July 31, 2022
So I checked the NJ tax code & folks...it's a trifecta of tax avoidance. Property, income & sales tax, all eliminated. pic.twitter.com/VDZBlDyuhQ
The first thing you learn as a lawyer is that the plain language of a statute is not the last word; it’s only the first one. “Change the facts, change the outcome.” Case law decides what the words of the statute means and how they apply. Does Trump have a cemetery plus golf course, with all the tax benefits New Jersey law allows? I have no idea. Do I think so anyway? No. Because it’s complicated.
I'm a sociology professor who's spent the past 15 yrs dedicated to research on how the world's wealthiest people avoid tax & any law they find inconvenient, mostly via the offshore financial system ("tax havens"). To do that, I first trained for 2 yrs to become a wealth manager. pic.twitter.com/Ep3OgA4LTS— Brooke Harrington (@EBHarrington) July 31, 2022
Did he file the correct paperwork to have his golf course become a cemetery? Again: I have no idea. I’m pretty sure New Jersey public health law wouldn’t allow a burial near a golf course just because someone owned that property.
"According to plans filed with local and state authorities, the Trump Organization has proposed to build a pair of graveyards at the site of its tony Trump National Golf Club Bedminster course."https://t.co/9KtDJWjiQ3— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) July 31, 2022
Yeah, most of the conversation is putting the cart before the horse. Ivanka is buried there because it was already a cemetery; it didn’t become one when the grave was opened.
Burying one person there makes it become a dedicated cemetery property?— Ski the Madman, Pro-choice, Anti-fascist (@SeveralMadmen) July 31, 2022
Isn't that like saying that wherever I park my car becomes a parking lot?
More likely than not, but I don’t know New Jersey law; by which I mean statutes and case law. Trump’s tweet supports that, so I’m going to assume Trump didn’t remove Deadminster from the tax rolls when Ivanka died. I don’t see the state allowing only 10 burial sites and then declaring all contiguous property a cemetery, just without graves or crypts or columbariums.
It has to be just that section. The law says the primary purpose of the land must be for a cemetery which would certainly exclude the golf course.— David C. (@drumboston) July 31, 2022
Unless Trump’s tweet is just bullshit, New Jersey law probably provides for a state agency to promulgate regulations pursuant to statutes regarding establishing and operating cemeteries. That could be how Trump was restricted to 10 plots. Or it could be something else entirely; other statutes, case law, even state constitutional provisions.
Full text of NJ tax code for land used for human burial.— Brooke Harrington (@EBHarrington) July 31, 2022
No stipulation regarding a minimum # of human remains necessary for the tax breaks to kick in--looks like one corpse will suffice to make at least 3 forms of tax vanish. @alexcobham @RichardJMurphyhttps://t.co/WOHuuJhFmk