Cuban, who briefly flirted with the idea of backing Trump last year, admitted he and the Republican nominee have a lot in common as billionaire businessmen, including, he said, undergoing frequent audits. Cuban also said the two have access to current tax laws that might benefit the wealthy, but that shouldn’t preclude one from doing what’s right.
Cuban said he tells his tax lawyers to “take advantage” where they can, but added, “I’m not against paying taxes.”
The outspoken reality show star and sports owner gave two examples of how he’s made moves that saw him pay more than whatever bare minimum the law might require. First, he said he decided against seeking a bidding war for tax rebates when deciding where to build the new Mavs practice facility. Instead of moving the facility to a suburb, he settled on a 13-acre plot of land in Dallas’s Design District.
Cuban also said he voluntarily “wrote a million-dollar check” to the city to help Dallas police combat discrimination against the LGBT community in the area. He said he had been moved by the shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando to take action.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” Cuban concluded. “At some point you have to recognize that you have to give back.”
Trump made his remarks on Monday during a section of the 90-minute debate that zeroed in on why he has yet to release his most recent tax returns. Trump has routinely said he is not releasing them because he is undergoing an IRS audit, but Clinton postulated there might be other reasons, including that he hadn’t actually paid any federal taxes over the last few years.
“That makes me smart,” Trump chimed in.
Trump later denied saying that when talking to reporters after the debate.