Saturday, November 11, 2017
Republican lawmakers pushing to close dozens of tax loopholes have left open one that's been good to President Donald Trump: the golf break. With Senate Republicans expected to unveil the outline for a sweeping tax rewrite on Thursday, a lucrative break for golf-course owners -- including the president -- remains firmly in place in the House version of the measure. The Obama administration estimated in 2014 that closing the controversial loophole would save more than $600 million over a decade. While Republicans are eliminating many write-offs, the House version of the bill allows golf-course owners to claim deductions for promising never to build on their links. The Trump Organization, which owns a dozen courses in the U.S., has taken advantage of the break in the past, using a law that's supposed to help preserve open space.
The golf deduction is just one example of how Trump businesses would benefit under the House Republican plan. Interest expenses for loans on commercial real estate, for instance, would also remain deductible in many cases, even as that benefit is reduced for most other industries.
"The commercial real estate industry is looking at this and saying, 'I love it,'" said Daniel Shaviro, a tax-law professor at New York University. "Despite his efforts to prevent us from knowing about his tax returns, it's clear this is a huge plus for Trump."
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