President Trump, who once viewed Manhattan as a promised land in which he’d make his fortune losing other people’s money, will not return to his midtown tower following the end of his administration. According to documents filed in Florida and viewed by the New York Times, Donald and Melania Trump submitted a “declaration of domicile” to the Palm Beach County Circuit Court saying that Mar-a-Lago will be their permanent residence post-presidency.
Trump Tower has been Trump’s primary home since he moved into the building’s intensely shiny penthouse in 1983. But since becoming president, he has spent just 20 days there, compared to 99 at Mar-a-Lago, according to a count by NBC News. Though Trump is not liked in Manhattan — receiving just 10 percent of the island’s vote in 2016 — the move appears to be tax-based. Shortly after the Times report, Trump confirmed the news by tweet:
If the president were to maintain Trump Tower as his permanent residence, defined as spending more than 184 days a year in his penthouse, he would have to pay the top state tax rate of 9 percent, in addition to the city’s top rate of just under 4 percent. And as the New York Times notes, the move is good news for his adult children: “Leaving New York could also save money for Mr. Trump’s heirs at the time of his death. New York imposes a top estate tax rate of 16 percent for estates larger than $10.1 million.”
As Trump prepares to relocate, a personal perk of his 2017 tax cuts is becoming clear: Its repeal of the state and local tax deduction will allow him to keep more of his money out of the taxpayer purse. (Rare is the Trump administration policy that doesn’t personally benefit the president.) The move won’t absolve Trump from all New York tax liability however: He will still have to file in the state as long as he’s earning income there.
Shortly after Trump’s announcement, Governor Cuomo pointed out that his departure might not mean all that much for the tax base: