An Illinois tax agency ruled that former President Donald Trump is owed a $1 million refund on the 2011 tax bill for the downtown Chicago skyscraper, however Cook County officials are doing their best to block the refund, the Associated Press reported.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the issue was that the Cook County Board of Review overestimated the value of the Trump International Hotel & Tower’s hotel rooms and retail space. The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board voted 5-0 to reduce the assessment on the building’s commercial property last month.
The Cook County State’s Attorney disputed the refund and filed a lawsuit with the Illinois Appellate Court in order to block it. The vote would mean that Trump is owed $1.03 million which would come out of the property taxes due the city of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools and several other government agencies. The schools stand to lose about $540,000 if the refund is not blocked.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
The dispute is the latest chapter in a long-running legal battle over Trump’s tax bills that started more than 12 years ago and has led to more than $14 million in tax breaks for Trump. It also involves not only a former president who is at the middle of a host of legal battles but a Chicago alderman whose own legal troubles had been making headlines in Chicago for months.
Alderman Edward M. Burke, whose former law firm, Klafter & Burke, won the tax breaks for Trump, has been indicted on federal charges that he blocked businesses from getting city permits unless they hired the firm. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
The dispute over the tax bills on the high-rise building has it’s own long history. Originally, the state agency rejected Trump’s argument that the vacant stores had no value because he could not find any tenants to lease them. A hearing officer for the state agency rejected Trump’s argument that the vacant stores at the building had no value because he couldn’t lease them. But a staff member later wrote a report that Trump was entitled to the refund.
The agency delayed acting on the case until Trump was out of office and in June voted to reduce the assessment on the building’s commercial property.