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3 Things You Should Know About Trump’s Taxes
The president only paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. But that’s only one element of what the documents reveal.
The year he was elected president, Donald Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes, far less than most Americans, according to a bombshell New York Times report published Sunday.
Trump paid that same amount in 2017, his first year in the White House, and paid no income tax at all in 10 of the previous 15 years, primarily because the self-proclaimed billionaire reported losing much more money than he made.
In total, the Times received more than two decades of tax-return data for Trump and the more than 500 entities that make up The Trump Organization.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the Times’ report:
Trump Paid Substantially Less in Taxes Than Most Americans
Trump paid only $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017 and paid no federal income taxes in 11 of the 18 years the Times analyzed—a luxury not available to most Americans.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign quickly pointed out in an ad that Trump paid far less in income taxes than the following average Americans, based on 2019 data:
- elementary school teacher ($7,239)
- firefighter ($5,283)
- construction manager ($16,447)
- registered nurse ($10,216)
Trump also paid less than those Americans earning under $5,000 per year, according to Lily Batchelder, a professor of taxation at the New York University School of Law.
Lily Batchelder@lilybatch·Sep 27, 2020Replying to @lilybatch Interesting nugget. Appears he paid $750 in 2016 and 2017 even though the rest of his returns implied $0 owed. Only reason I can think of is to be able to tell press he paid positive federal income taxes once President. I wonder how he settled on $750? Why not 1 cent? 2/xLily Batchelder@lilybatch
To give some perspective, here is how much households in each income group paid, on average, in 2017. Trump paid less than those earning under $5K, and less then every income group earning more than $20K. 3/x10:00 PM · Sep 27, 2020624437 people are Tweeting about this
The Times report also found that in some cases, Trump and his companies paid more taxes to foreign governments than the US government. Trump or his companies paid $156,824 in taxes to the Philippines in 2017, $145,400 to India, and $15,598 to Panama. Reporters and activists also pointed out that Trump paid less in taxes than the average undocumented immigrant he has repeatedly demonized.
Trump Used Shady Deductions and Refunds To Cut His Tax Bill
Trump was able to reduce his tax bill through questionable efforts, including applying for and receiving a nearly $73 million tax refund in 2010 that is currently being audited by the IRS. If the agency finds that Trump’s refund was illegitimately obtained, he could be on the hook for more than $100 million.
Trump also reduced his taxes by using deductions and classifying what may have been personal expenses as the cost of doing business. He included his residences, golf courses, and the airplane he uses to travel between them as business expenses. According to the Times, he also categorized more than $70,000 in hairstyling costs during “The Apprentice” as a business expense, as well as another $100,000 paid to Ivanka Trump’s favorite hair and makeup artist.
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Many of Trump’s businesses also reported losing tens of millions of dollars, which allowed him to lower his tax bill. Trump’s tax records showed that in 2018, he lost $47 million, and that most of his businesses, including golf courses and hotels, reported losing millions of dollars each year. Since 2000, Trump has reported losing more than $315 million at his golf courses.
Trump’s business losses were so large that they largely erased the $427 million Trump earned from “The Apprentice” and licensing and endorsement deals that came with his growing fame. But years of losses required Trump to take on hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, which are coming due soon.
Trump Owes People A Lot of Money
Trump’s loans and debts appear to total a whopping $421 million—all of which he has personally guaranteed—with more than $300 million in loans coming due over the next four years. The balances on those loans had not been paid down by the end of 2018, according to the Times.
Trump’s Doral golf resort ($125 million) and Washington hotel ($160 million), both of which are struggling, are responsible for the bulk of the debt. Trump also still owes the full $100 million principle for a mortgage he took out on the commercial space in Trump Tower in 2012. That loan comes due in 2022.
Should Trump win re-election, it raises the possibility that his lenders could have to decide whether to foreclose on a sitting president.
These debts also raise a key question: Who are his lenders?
The answer: We don’t know.
Tax returns often do not identify lenders, and that is the case in the returns obtained by the Times. The mystery surrounding Trump’s lenders raises legitimate public policy and national security concerns. If Trump owes a domestic or foreign lender hundreds of millions of dollars, it could give them an incredible amount of leverage over a sitting president.
“The potentially destructive power of that sort of hold on a President of the United States is beyond comprehension,” David Atkins noted in the Washington Monthly. “Imagine if a president owed millions to the mob or to those with close ties to a foreign government, and those individuals both controlled the president’s financial future and knew of corrupt criminal activity. The president might act with otherwise strange deference to said mobsters and those connected to them, and bend public policy on their behalf. If they were tied to fossil fuel interests, the president might set the globe on fire rather than cross them. If his creditors were simply a wealthy set of Wall Street tycoons, he might rig all financial policy on their direct behalf.”
Why This All Matters to the Presidency and 2020 Presidential Campaign
Beyond the potential power his lenders might hold over him, Trump’s avoidance of federal income tax has also deprived the US government of funds that could go towards education, healthcare, and economic programs that benefit everyday Americans.
They also give credence to the argument made by lawmakers like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont that wealthy Americans like Trump play by a different set of rules.
“Trump’s tax returns tell us that he’s either a very bad businessman or a tax cheat—likely both. But more importantly, it shows how the wealthy, unlike most Americans, are able to avoid paying taxes,” Sanders said in a tweet on Monday. “The top 1% is responsible for 70% of unpaid taxes. It’s time to tax the rich.”
Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, has released a proposal that will take steps to do that. Biden’s plan would:
- Increase the tax rate on the highest income earners (about $510,000 or more) from 37% to nearly 40%.
- Cap some deductions for the wealthiest Americans, meaning potential tax increases for some individuals or families who make $400,000 or more.
- Prevent companies like Amazon from avoiding tax payments altogether by establishing a minimum 15% tax on corporate profits.
- Make the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in Social Security taxes. Right now, any income above $137,000 isn’t taxed for Social Security. Biden’s plan would restart the tax on any income above $400,001. It would also close that gap over time, so everyone is paying a portion of their full salary into Social Security, regardless of how much money they make.
- Right now, earnings from investments are taxed at only about half as much as regular income, disproportionately benefiting wealthy Americans (only 22% of Americans making less than $40,000 per year own stock). Biden would tax investments like real estate and stock over $1 million at the same rate as regular income.
COUNCIL OF STATE TOWN HALL SERIES
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Jenna Wadsworth October 5 at 7:00pm SIGN UP HERE
As North Carolina’s executive branch of government, the Council of State makes incredibly important decisions that affect the prosperity, safety, and future of our state every day. That’s why Democrats are fighting to send our strong slate of candidates to office. They are committed to fighting for a happier, healthier, and more prosperous North Carolina for everyone.
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ACDP October Meeting
October 1, 2020 7:00 pm
Please join us TOMORROW for our monthly meeting. This may be the last time that we all will be together before the general election. We will have updates on voter protection efforts, poll greeting, etc. To register contact Elaine at email@example.com
It is a good sign for Alamance!
Support our 1st Ever Sunday Voting Hours & Our new Early Voting Location!
Thanks to the Alamance NAACP and partners for organizing this “Get Out the Vote” effort.
The Alamance Chapter of NAACP worked to expand Early & One Stop voting hours and locations in Alamance. ACDP supports these efforts because we believe that everyone should vote and it should be safe and convenient for all.
Poll Observers Needed
The Alamance County Democratic Party alongside NCDP and Biden/Harris Coordinated Campaign is recruiting poll observers to help monitor and report on possible irregularities at polling locations. This is different from poll greeting in that poll observers are there to record and report and help protect all voters. Trainings will be provided as well as PPE (masks, gloves, sanitation stations).If you are interested.
One Stop & Early Voting Poll Greeters
Please sign up to do No Contact Poll Greeting for Early Voting!
We are lucky to have five One Stop & Early Voting locations this year:
Please feel free to contact Michelle if you have any questions on how we will be ensuring no contact. If you can only do a partial shift, please let me know and I may be able to find someone to cover the rest of the time.
Yard Signs & Bumper Stickers are Here!
We are temporarily out of Biden & Cooper signs.
Call the office and get your name on the waiting list for signs 336 226 5005
You can still stop by the ACDP Headquarters at 122 South Main St, Burlington and pick up some yard signs for our local candidates. Open 10am – 4:00pm Monday – Saturday. We have signs for all of our Democratic candidates.
Make a small donation if you can.
Proud Alamance Democrat Yard Signs
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North Carolina General Assembly
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Which District are you in? HERE
and we’re all lucky enough to be able to Vote for JD Wooten
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There are four open seats on the Alamance County School Board and we have eight great candidates. Candidate information HERE
If you want to vote for Barrett you have to vote the WHOLE ballot.
Soil & Water Conservation is the last office listed.
1. Multi-Party Assistance Team
The Board of Elections is looking for folks to be part of Multi-Party Assistance Team (MAT). This is the team that goes into assisted living facilities and nursing homes to help people vote. The Board of Elections is looking for some Democratic help. Teams are composed of both Democrats and Republicans.
Contact the Alamance Board of Elections for details 337 570 6755
2. The Official Facebook Page for the Alamance County Board of Elections!
This is an information page. This page is where you’ll be able to find the latest information from our Board of Elections. This is not the place to discuss political issues or candidates. Please review their rules, posted on the page before interacting.
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3.VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE!
Alamance County Voting Locations for November 3, 2020 Temporary and Permanent Changes
Eight precincts in Alamance County are going to change the location of their polling places for in person voting on November 3, 2020. Find your precinct HERE and see if your precinct is one of those affected below.
- Albright Precinct Southern High School, 631 Southern High School Rd, Graham Temporary- COVID Location
- Central Boone Trinity Worship Center, 3157 S. Church Street, Burlington Permanent – New Location
- Boone 5 Elon Elementary School, 720 Walker Rd, Elon Temporary- COVID Location
- South Graham South Graham Elementary, 320 Ivey Rd, Graham Temporary- COVID Location
- Haw River Haw River Elementary School, 701 E Main St, Haw River Temporary- COVID Location
- North Melville E.M. Yoder Elementary, 301 N Charles St, Mebane Temporary- COVID Location
- Melville 4 Old Mebane Recreation Center, 209 W Jackson St, Mebane Permanent – New Location
- Morton Western Middle School, 2100 Eldon Dr, Elon Temporary- COVID Location
4. Alamance County needs election workers for the 2020 Elections!
Wondering what you can do to help ensure local elections meet the challenges of this health crisis?
Check this link to the Alamance County Election Official Application. We especially need elections workers during the 17-day early voting period. We have a new early voting location at the Elmira Community Center in Burlington and we have newly expanded weekend voting, including Sunday voting. This means we need more elections workers than in the past. And the COVID virus has meant that many of our predominantly older elections workers who are more vulnerable have chosen not to return to work this year’s election.You can also fill out the NC State Board of Elections Democracy Heroes form to be contacted by BOE staff: https://www.ncsbe.gov/get-involved
Get Your Absentee Ballot Now!!!
Call Alamance Board of Elections for an“Absentee Ballot Request Form” at 336- 570-6755
- Complete request form immediately upon receipt.
- Return electronically, by mail or take to Alamance Board ofElections at 115 S. Maple Street, Graham from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday.
- Mail out of ballots began SEPTEMBER 4.
- Complete Ballot ASAP upon Receipt.
- Follow Instructions Very Carefully. HERE
- Make Sure You Have One Witness.
- Make Certain Envelope Certification is Signed!
- Return completed ballot to Alamance Board of Elections by mail or in person ( No Drop Boxes in NC)
- If mailing your ballot use the NCBoE tracking tool BallotTrax HERE
Nervous About Voting Absentee? FAQs HERE
What is Power of the Pen?
The Power of the Pen is a persuasion and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) effort in which Democratic women are writing personalized letters to registered Democratic women who are sporadic in their voting habits and need to hear from regular votes like you about the importance of this election. Sign up to write 20 letters to fellow Democratic women in Alamance County and encourage them to vote in this essential election year.
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Democratic Women of Alamance County $20 for 2020
Help the Democratic Women of Alamance County Honor and celebrate the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment by donating $20 for 2020, the 100 year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which guaranteed and protected women’s constitutional right to vote. Donate Here
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99 Reasons to Flip NC
33. TO FULLY REPEAL HB2 AND LET NC CITIES WRITE THEIR OWN LABOR LAWS
In addition to enshrining LGBTQ discrimination in state law, HB2 also restricts municipalities in North Carolina from enacting anti-discrimination policies of any kind, setting a local minimum wage, regulating child labor, or making certain regulations for city workers – in yet another of example of legislative overreach into local affairs by the NC GOP.
Change is coming to Alamance
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