Rachel Fieldhouse

Money & Banking

“Truly grotesque”: Ivana Trump’s golf course burial may help Trump get tax breaks

“Truly grotesque”: Ivana Trump’s golf course burial may help Trump get tax breaks

Ivana Trump, who passed away aged 73 in her New York home in mid-July, has been buried on the grounds of her ex-husband Donald Trump’s golf club - and the choice of burial plot may grant the former US president some long-sought tax breaks.

Ivana is the first person known to have been buried at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, a state where land taxes are notoriously high.

But, cemetery land is exempt from all taxes, rates and assessments, with the Guardian reporting that Ivana’s grave would therefore have “advantageous tax implications”.

According to documents published by ProPublica, the Trump family trust has previously sought to classify a nearby property in Hackettstown, New Jersey, as a cemetery company.

Brooke Harrington, a professor of sociology at Dartmouth College, tweeted that she investigated claims that the placement of Ivana’s grave would benefit Trump.

“As a tax researcher, I was skeptical of rumors Trump buried his ex-wife in that sad little plot of dirt on his Bedminster, NJ golf course just for tax breaks,” she tweeted.

“So I checked the NJ tax code & folks...it's a trifecta of tax avoidance. Property, income & sales tax, all eliminated.”

In 2012, US radio station NPR reported that Trump planned to build a mausoleum on the property, with the proposal later expanding to potentially containing 1000 possible graves.

The plan, which attracted local objections, was later dropped and replaced with a design for a 10-plot private family cemetery” in the same spot before changing again into a proposal for a commercial 284-plot cemetery.

Images of Ivana’s final resting place have begun circling online, with many calling out her family for its plain appearance in comparison to memorials to everything from Richard Nixon’s dog to Internet Explorer.

“Not sure which is more shocking - - that Trump had Ivana buried on his golf course for a tax write-off or that her three kids thought this was okay,” investigative journalist Victoria Brownworth tweeted.

“You don’t have to be an Ivana fan to find this truly grotesque.”

“You should be ashamed of yourself. This is a public display of your complete disgrace towards your own mother,” another person tweeted, along with a photo of Ivana’s plot surrounded by patchy grass and a golf court in the background.

Image: Twitter