D.C. Council Likes Picking Winners and Losers
The D.C. City Council recently rejected Donald Trump’s request seeking a possessory interest tax (PIT) exemption for the hotel and spa currently being built in the Old Post Office. The PIT is designed collect revenue from businesses that operate in tax exempt federal buildings. Trump’s organization requested such an exemption for the hotel and spa that is to be located a stone’s throw from both the White House and Capitol Hill.
“Members of the D.C. Council were not receptive to the idea of providing a tax break to one of the world’s most famous wealthy people, someone who claims to be worth $7 billion, despite their interest in adding high-end hospitality on Pennsylvania Avenue.”
The D.C. Council acts as though it was strange for Trump to seek a PIT exemption. Well, he would hardly be the first; the top developers at Union Station Development Corps requested and were also denied a similar tax exempt status for the shops at Union Station. The D.C. City Council should not be shocked by Trump’s request, as the District regularly hands outs tax exemptions to favored businesses.
Just last year the D.C. Council gave a $32.5 million tax break to LivingSocial because District officials deemed them to be fashionable and edgy. At least Trump’s venture will likely turn a profit, as opposed to Living Social, which lost $650 million last year.
The upshot: If you’re a company that the notoriously corrupt D.C. City Council deems “cool”, you get a tax break; everyone else is left to foot the bill.