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Trump Must Pay D.C. Property Taxes for Old Post Office

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Donald Trump is in negotiations to put a luxury hotel in the Old Post Office Pavilion, which is on federal property. The organization would still owe D.C. taxes, and the city says the group will have to pay. Tom Sherwood reports. (Published Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013)

    Donald Trump's new, five-star luxury hotel planned for Pennsylvania Avenue has gotten some bad news from D.C. tax collectors. The historic Old Post Office building may be on federal property, but Trump will have to pay millions of dollars in local property taxes to the city.

    Since early last year, Trump has been negotiating with federal officials for a multi-million dollar lease to turn the underused building into his latest hotel. Negotiations are expected to wrap up this spring, but the city says the local tax bill is not negotiable.

    Trump's representatives sought out city officials asking if the local tax could be waived -- as much as $2 million a year -- D.C. tax officials said.

    D.C. Council Finance and Revenue Chairman Jack Evans said the Trump folks visited him, too.

    “They were unaware that the tax existed, wanted to know if the tax could be in any way waived,” he said. “I believe it was made clear to them that it could not be waived by the District of Columbia.”

    City officials said there are many private businesses in government buildings and it would be unfair if they didn't pay taxes like everyone else.