Many people responded to the news that Ivana Trump, the first wife of disgraced ex-president Donald Trump, would be buried near the first hole of Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey golf course with puzzlement and disdain at what seemed like a classless and narcissistically controlling act.
It was as if Trump wanted to maintain dominion over his former spouse even in any possible afterlife.
Yet, now that Ivana is firmly interred in the newly consecrated grounds of the Trump National Golf Club (and Cemetery), word is leaking out about the actual reason for the highly unusual use of the property — which until recently was reserved for hosting golf tournaments such as the recent LIV Golf event financed by the bone saw murderers of Saudi Arabia.
It turns out that properties designated as cemeteries are exempt from property and sales taxes, and, perhaps even more importantly, given Trump’s current legal peril, cannot be seized in judgment in the event of a bankruptcy or other civil proceeding.
Business and inheritance taxes are exempt, too.
Also, cemetery property is exempt from sale for collection of judgments.
— Phoebe Wall Howard (@phoebesaid) July 29, 2022
The New Jersey statute that Trump is exploiting reads:
“Graveyards and burial grounds used or intended to be used for the interment of bodies of the dead or the ashes thereof not exceeding ten acres of ground, and cemeteries and buildings for cemetery use erected thereon, and all mausoleums, vaults, crypts or structures intended to hold or contain the bodies of the dead or the ashes thereof, and solely devoted to or held for that purpose shall be exempt from taxation under this chapter.”
While the tax benefits wouldn’t extend beyond the 1.5-acre portion of the Trump National Golf Club property that is specifically dedicated to burial plots, it’s worth noting that Trump — who never met a tax avoidance scheme that he didn’t rush to take advantage of — keeps a small group of goats on the Bedminster property in order to be able to classify it as a working farm and benefit from the attending tax breaks that such status confers.
I believe only the portion dedicated as the cemetery and its proportional share of taxes is avoided, but Trump has had a tax deduction on both his New Jersey Golf courses for years by keeping a handful of goats which allows him to classify them as farms. https://t.co/DJBcCwSyz5
— Damon 🧢🇺🇸💉🇺🇦 (@DamonMast) July 31, 2022
The Trump Organization has said in its filings with Bedminster, NJ authorities about the Trump National Golf Club that:
“Mr. Trump… specifically chose this property for his final resting place as it is his favorite property.”
If so, New Jersey residents can likely expect to see a garish mausoleum that will become a pilgrimage site for disgruntled MAGA fans in the future once Donald Trump has shuffled off this mortal coil into the depths of some fiery inferno.
But at least his estate won’t have to pay taxes on it.
Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.