Trump’s charitable donations under scrutiny

Donald Trump speaks about his gift of land for use as a state park as then-Gov. George Pataki, center, looks on in Yorktown, N.Y., on April 19, 2006. (Librado Romero/The New York Times)
Trump's charitable donations under scrutiny. Source: NYT
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Daily US Times: According to President Donald Trump’s claim, he is a committed philanthropist with strong ties to many charities. Now his several charitable donations came under scrutiny.

In his book “Trump 101: The Way to Success,”, the US President wrote: “If you don’t give back, you’re never ever going to be fulfilled in life.”

Mr Trump has given back at least $130 million as charitable donations since 2005, his second year as a reality TV star, according to his tax records.

But the long-hidden tax records, obtained and later published by The New York Times, show that Mr Trump did not have to reach into his wallet for most of that giving.

The vast bulk of Trump’s charitable tax deductions, worth of $119.3 million, came from simply agreeing not to develop land — in several cases, after he had shelved development plans.

Three of the agreements involved what are known as conservation easements — a maneuver, popular among wealthy Americans, that typically allows a landowner to keep a property’s title and receive a tax deduction equal to its appraised value. In the fourth land deal, Donald Trump donated property for a state park.

According to court filings, the New York attorney general is investigating whether the appraisals on two of his easement donations were improperly inflated to win larger tax breaks.

The president’s organization’s biography says Mr Trump is “involved with numerous civic and charitable organizations.” When he announced his presidential campaign in 2015, he said he had given more than $102 million to charity over the previous five years.

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