From the Philly Inquirer:
Ivana Trump is buried at Donald Trump’s New Jersey golf club. Could that mean a tax break for the former president?
Ivana Trump’s death grabbed international headlines, but her New Jersey burial place is now garnering suspicion that its location could mean tax breaks for her ex-husband, former President Donald Trump.
Ivana, Trump’s first wife, died July 14 after suffering blunt-impact injuries during a fall at her home in New York City, ABC reports. A medical examiner ruled her death an accident. She was 73.
She has since been buried in a plot of land at Trump National Golf Club, a sprawling course in Bedminster, N.J., that opened in 2004. Now, due to the intricacies of New Jersey’s tax laws and how they apply to “cemetery companies,” some say the course could be getting a tax break.
After the burial, some critics pointed out that by using an area of the golf course as a cemetery, the Bedminster property could be eligible for tax breaks under New Jersey law.
According to the Garden State’s tax code, “cemetery companies” — any entity that “owns, operates, controls, or manages land or places” used for the burial of human remains — is exempt from many forms of taxation. Those include property taxes “on lands dedicated to cemetery purposes,” income taxes, sales and use taxes, business taxes, and inheritance taxes.
Brooke Harrington, a Dartmouth College sociology professor and tax researcher, tweeted over the weekend that Donald Trump employing the golf course as a cemetery is a “trifecta of tax avoidance.” She added that there is“no stipulation regarding a minimum # of human remains necessary for the tax breaks to kick in” and that having one body buried there could “suffice to make at least 3 forms of tax vanish.”
“If Trump did this for the tax break, he may well have complied with NJ law — which case there would be no legal basis for punishment,” Harrington said.
A Trump Organization representative said in an email to Fortune that calling Ivana’s grave a way to avoid taxes was “truly evil.”