New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday night that he plans to initiate an investigation into President Donald Trump’s taxes and will have city officials check whether Trump has paid his “fair share.”
The New York Times published the first in a series of reports Sunday claiming that Trump paid no income taxes in 11 of the last 18 years and that Trump’s tax burden was reduced to just $750 after he used ongoing business losses to offset millions in profits. The report does not allege that Trump committed any crime — as the Daily Wire reported Monday, the word “illegal” does not appear in any form in the article, though the NY Times does speculate — and notes that the Internal Revenue Service is aware of Trump’s tax returns.
Trump remains the subject of an ongoing audit, centered around a $72.5 million deduction, and appears to be aware of Trump’s tax situation, suggesting Trump is not under investigation for tax-related crimes, like evasion.
De Blasio, who has been under fire for other issues, largely related to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that centered on New York City, seized on the report to attack the president.
“Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday night said the city will look into whether President Trump has paid the correct amount of city taxes,” the New York Post reported Tuesday.
“Our City Finance Department will get to work right away to determine if, in fact, the President of the United States cheated New York City on his taxes,” de Blasio told local media. “We’re going to pursue this with all we got because he needs to pay for his fair share.”
De Blasio seemed to ignore the suggestion that Trump’s tax returns are the center of a battle between the president’s former businesses and the federal government and instead appeared to claim that Trump is evading paying his “fair share” to both the federal and New York state coffers.
“I think a lot of his supporters are going to look at this and be very angry that it’s the least patriotic thing you could do to use your wealth and power to evade the taxes you owe the people of this country,” de Blasio added. “I think we can guarantee based on the information from New York Times, that he hasn’t paid his City taxes the way he should have.”
Both the president and one of the Trump Organization’s attorneys, Alan Garten, have denied the New York Times’ report, with Trump claiming the story is “totally made up,” and his former attorney noting that the New York Times piece is “riddled with gross inaccuracies.”
“The New York Times’ story is riddled with gross inaccuracies. Over the past decade the President has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government,” Garten said in a statement to media Monday. “While we tried to explain this to the Times, they refused to listen and rejected our repeated request that they show us any of the documentation they purport to be relying on to substantiate their claims.”
Trump also boasted on Twitter Monday that he’s paid “millions” in taxes — a claim that’s borne out by the NY Times report, which does note that, before the $72.5 million deduction, Trump paid around $95 million to the IRS.
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