President Trump’s company owed $36,200 in delinquent property taxes on its California golf course until Monday — when it paid, after the delinquency was pointed out by The Washington Post.
The unpaid taxes were for two parcels of land, totaling about 25 acres, at Trump’s course in Rancho Palos Verdes. The parcels are crucial to the Trump Organization’s future at the course: They include land where the company plans to develop and sell 23 new home lots.
When tax bills for the golf course came due from Los Angeles County last fall, the Trump Organization paid most of them.
But it let these two parcels go unpaid. The county declared them delinquent after Dec. 10.
On Monday — after a reporter noticed the delinquent taxes on a county government website — The Post asked the Trump Organization about the unpaid bills.
Later that day, the company paid the bills, plus $3,600 in late-payment penalties, according to the office of the L.A. County treasurer and tax collector.
The Trump Organization declined to offer a public explanation as to why the bills had not been paid before The Post’s inquiry. Instead, a company spokeswoman sent a brief statement Tuesday morning, the day after the delinquent bills were paid.
“All taxes are paid in full,” spokeswoman Kim Benza wrote Tuesday morning. “To suggest otherwise would be an outright lie.”
This was the second year in a row that the Trump Organization had missed a deadline to pay taxes on the two parcels in California, according to the county. Last year, the company paid about $3,500 in penalties on the parcels.
Last year, Trump’s company also did not offer an explanation for the missed deadlines.
The Trump Organization is primarily a real estate company, and it is standard practice in that industry to promptly pay property taxes. Until last year, the Trump Organization had a near-perfect record of paying its hundreds of property-tax bills on time.
But last year, the company began to miss some deadlines it had met before.
As a result, the company paid late fees and interest in some jurisdictions and also missed out on early-bird discounts that had previously shaved thousands off its bills. In all, the missed deadlines added $61,800 extra to the company’s tax bills, according to a Post analysis.
This year, in addition to the delinquent bills in California, the Trump Organization also missed some early-bird deadlines in Florida. Those delays affected bills for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and three golf clubs and increased the company’s Florida tax bills by about $30,000, according to a Post analysis of county records.
Matthew L. Cypher, who runs a real estate center at Georgetown University’s business school, said the delays and missed deadlines had produced self-inflicted costs for the Trump Organization. But, he said, the costs were too small to affect the company’s bottom line.
“I don’t think anybody’s going to lose any sleep, because it’s not huge dollars,” Cypher said.
Trump will be visiting Los Angeles later this week, according to news reports, but it is unclear whether he will stop at the golf club.