Donald Trump's Chicago property tax was slashed by 30% because retail space in the city's Trump Tower was mostly empty, a report says

·2 min read
The glassy facade of Trump Tower in Chicago next to older brick buildings
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images
  • Trump's Chicago tower got a $300,000 tax break because of its vacant retail space.

  • The assessed value of the building's retail space dropped about 37%, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

  • With a lower valuation, Trump's 2020 tax bill reportedly dropped to $698,399 from about $1 million.

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Former President Donald Trump's property tax was slashed for his Chicago office tower because the building's commercial space was mostly vacant, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The building's retail space had its assessed value cut to $12.5 million, down from $19.9 million, the report said. The assessed value was cut by about 37% because about 95% of the square footage was vacant, the report said.

"We provided a reduction based on vacancy," a spokesperson from the assessor's office told The Sun-Times.

With the lower valuation, Trump's property taxes for the commercial space fell to $698,399 for 2020, down from $1 million the year prior, the report said.

The glass-faced Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago has a prominent spot in the city's skyline. It sits along the north side of the Chicago River, straddling the line between the Loop and the River North neighborhoods.

The building's official website describes it as "a showcase of bold style and engaging design situated along the Chicago river."

A group of people celebrate Joe Biden's 2020 presidential victory in front of Trump Tower in Chicago.
People celebrate Joe Biden's presidential victory in front of Trump Tower. Scott Olson/Getty Images

But it's had difficulty attracting commercial tenants for the bottom three floors, including its ground-floor retail space, reports have said.

The building was "losing money hand over fist," Vanity Fair said. The tower's profit fell 89% in the four years ended in 2018, The Washington Post reported. One real estate blog, The Real Deal, said in 2019 that the building was Chicago retail's "biggest failure."

The building's reappraisal came a few months after Illinois officials said the value had been assessed higher than it should have been in 2011. In June, the Property Tax Appeals Board ruled that Trump was owed a $1 million refund on that year's taxes.

The building's official website said the Chicago tower was the fourth-tallest building in the US. Wikipedia now lists it as seventh, with three newer New York City towers higher on the list.

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