Donald Trump has a lot going on right now, but he’s somehow found the time to draw attention to one part of his empire in particular: his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The former president has drawn fire from families of 9/11 victims for hosting a (sparsely attended) Saudi golf tournament at his NYC-adjacent course. But there’s more: When he buried his late ex-wife Ivana near the course’s first hole, he may have done so for tax break purposes.
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.
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
— Brooke Harrington (@EBHarrington) July 31, 2022
As caught by The Daily Mail, Dartmouth sociology professor Brooke Harrington suspected something was up when Trump buried his first wife on one of his golf courses. So she did some snooping, and she discovered that in Jersey, there is no minimum number of bodies required for a plot of land to be designated a cemetery…and therefore be exempt from all taxes, rates, and assessments.
What’s more, tax documents reveal that the Trump Family Trust recently sought to designate a property only 20 miles from the golf club, in Hackettstown, to become a non-profit cemetery company.
So, did self-professed rich guy really use his late ex-wife’s death to save some money? He of course hasn’t addressed the matter. But as per Insider, he’s tried to turn his golf club into a makeshift cemetery before:
Trump has planned for at least a decade to build variations of a cemetery on the course. NPR reported in 2012 that his intention was to build a mausoleum to one day be buried in himself. He later amended his proposal to create a cemetery on the property to suggest building more than 1,000 possible graves.
He later changed designs again, planning to create a “10 plot private family cemetery” in the same location, The Washington Post reported in 2017. Trump further amended the proposal to include a 284-plot cemetery, which would have gravesites available for sale.
If this was on an episode of Veep, it would be criticized as too far-fetched. Then again, so would the fact that he tried to fundraise after her death.