Donald Trump Is Now Florida Man
Donald Trump is moving his permanent residence south, where he should be right at home.
President Donald Trump, who was born and grew up in New York City’s Queens borough and spent the vast majority of his adult life living in Manhattan, is now officially a resident of Florida:
He came of age in Queens, built Trump Tower, starred in “The Apprentice,” bankrupted his businesses six times, and drew cheering crowds and angry protesters to Fifth Avenue after his election. Through it all, President Trump — rich, bombastic and to many Americans the epitome of a New Yorker — was intertwined with the city he called his lifelong home.
In late September, Mr. Trump changed his primary residence from Manhattan to Palm Beach, Fla., according to documents filed with the Palm Beach County Circuit Court. Melania Trump, the first lady, also changed her residence to Palm Beach in an identical document.
Each of the Trumps filed a “declaration of domicile” saying that the Mar-a-Lago Club, Mr. Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, will be their permanent residence.
The president confirmed the decision on Twitter after The New York Times reported on the move, saying that he would “be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence.”
“I cherish New York, and the people of New York,” he added, “and always will.”
But he didn’t have much nice to say about the public officials of New York.
“I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse,” he said, describing his decision as the “best for all concerned.”
Some New York leaders shared the sentiment. “Good riddance,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo tweeted. “It’s not like Mr. Trump paid taxes here anyway. He’s all yours, Florida.”
In the documents, Mr. Trump said he “formerly resided at 721 Fifth Avenue,” referring to Trump Tower. That has been his primary residence since he moved into the skyscraper off 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan in 1983.
An attachment lists his “other places of abode” as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the address for the White House, and his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he spends warm-weather weekends and a few weeks every summer.
Since becoming president, Mr. Trump has spent 99 days at Mar-a-Lago compared with 20 days at Trump Tower, according to NBC News. Although Mr. Trump ran his presidential transition from Trump Tower and some aides had expected him to spend many weekends there in his Louis XIV-style triplex on the 58th floor, his presence created traffic headaches for New Yorkers and logistical and security challenges for the Secret Service.
White House officials declined to say why Mr. Trump changed his primary residence, but a person close to the president said the reasons were primarily for tax purposes.
In his Twitter posts on Thursday night, the president claimed that he paid “millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year.” There is no way to fact-check his assertion; he has never released his tax returns.
Mr. Trump, who is deeply unpopular in New York, was infuriated by a subpoena filed by Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, seeking the tax returns, the person close to the president said. Changing his residence to Florida is not expected to have any effect on Mr. Vance’s case, which Mr. Trump has sought to thwart with a federallawsuit.
It was unclear how much time he would spend in New York in the future or if he would keep his triplex at the top of Trump Tower. Under New York law, if he spends more than 184 days a year there, he will have to pay state income taxes.
Florida, which does not have a state income tax or inheritance tax, has long been a place for the wealthy to escape the higher taxes of the Northeast.
The Washington Post notes, New Yorkers aren’ t exactly sad to see him go:
President Trump — a lifelong New Yorker who was for decades one of the city’s most prominent denizens — has changed his permanent residence from Manhattan to Palm Beach, Fla.
In paperwork filed with the Palm Beach County clerk and comptroller in late September, Trump declared, “I am, at the time of making this declaration, a bona fide resident of the State of Florida.” Melania Trump, the first lady, filed an identical document.
The form, known as a “declaration of domicile,” lists 1100 South Ocean Blvd. as the president’s new home — Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which he sometimes calls his “Winter White House” and where he has spent nearly 100 days since taking office, according to one tally.
In his first public comment on the change of address, which the New York Times first reported Thursday evening, Trump said he “hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned.”
“I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will,” Trump wrote in a series of Twitter messages late Thursday, “but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse.”
Because Trump has refused to make his tax documents public, it’s unclear how much money he stands to save in the move, but Florida notably does not have a state income tax or an estate tax.
In New York, meanwhile, the state’s top tax rate is nearly 9 percent, and the city’s top rate is nearly 4 percent. The state’s top estate tax rate — applying to fortunes greater than $10.1 million — is 16 percent.
“The move to Florida could save him a lot of money,” said commentator and former President Clinton aide Keith Boykin on Twitter, “but we don’t know how much because he won’t release his tax returns.”
Here are the Tweets from the President:
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, is the place I have come to love and will stay for, hopefully, another 5 years as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, but my family and I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence. I cherish New York, and the people of…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
….New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse. I hated having to make….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
….this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned. As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
And here are responses from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, and DeBlasio’s wife Chirlane McCray:
The paperwork that Trump and his wife Melania used to accomplish this move is fairly simple and can be seen here. Basically, all it consists of is a document filed with the State of Florida declaring the Sunshine State in general, and Mar-A-Lago specifically, to be his primary home state and state of residence. As long as Trump follows through on that by spending most of his time (with the exception of his time in the White House) in Florida, then the change will be in effect.
In addition to the savings created by the fact that there is no state income tax in Florida, something that may not actually mean much to Trump relatively speaking, there are also several other tax-related advantages to the move. A primary one is that the state has no estate tax, which will benefit Trump’s heirs when he dies. By contrast, New York has a 16% Estate Tax rate on estates worth more than $10 million. Ironically, another reason motivating the move could be the 2017 Republican tax bill, which changed the rules regarding the deductibility of state and local property taxes Additionally, the state has a generous homestead exemption which allows residents to protect their primary residence from attachment by judgment creditors in the event someone gets a personal judgment against Trump in the future. On that note, it’s worth noting that there is currently at least one multi-million lawsuit against Trump filed by a former contestant on The Apprentice who claims that the President sexually harassed her during her time on the show. That Florida exemption does not apply, though, to property that Trump may own in other states.
In any case, this move isn’t entirely surprising. Since becoming President, Trump himself has spent less than 30 days in New York at his Trump Tower penthouse, although this does not include the time that Melania Trump spent there from January to June 2017 to allow their son Barron to complete his school year rather than transferring to a new school in the middle of the year. Most of that time has coincided with events such as the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly and various fundraisers. Going forward, Trump will not be liable for state or city taxes unless he spends more than 184 days in his Manhattan residents. He has spent most of his time at Mar-A-Lago, with the exception of the summers when he has preferred to stay at his golf club resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. The fact that he’s pulling up roots and moving to Florida is therefore consistent with his preferences over the past three years.
So, he’s all yours Florida. And I have a feeling that Trump is going to fit right in.