With Donald Trump claiming he’ll be spending time in his beloved Trump Tower partially while as President of the United States, it raises the serious question of at what cost that brings to New York City.
Catherine Rampell of WaPo writes:
“The challenges of securing this 58-story building in a high-density neighborhood will, by Inauguration Day alone, drain $35 million of local taxpayer money. Who knows the additional costs to commerce and property values?
The feds have thus far been stingy about footing the bill. Fortunately, I’ve come up with a solution that should warm the cockles of the president-elect’s heart: New York should use eminent domain to seize Trump Tower.”
What is eminent domain?
“The power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners.”
And as Rampell explains:
“Trump loves eminent domain, especially this ruling. He thinks it’s wonderful. And there’s no question why: Throughout his career, Trump has lobbied governments to seize properties from those who refuse to sell when he wants to build amusement parks, golf courses, office buildings and parking lots on their land. He believes expansive use of eminent domain is necessary to promote economic growth and “beautification,” and that it’s even a good deal for property owners who don’t want to sell.”
The ruling she’s speaking of was a 2005 Supreme Court ruling that said, “governments may now use this power to condemn property if they can devise virtually any use that better promotes “economic development” — kicking out poor people and building luxury condos, for example.”
Will New York City take Rampell up on her advice? Probably not, but it’s definitely a good idea especially for any smart deal maker that wants to save the government money, like Trump said he would.
Rampell also points out the fact that Trump isn’t only costing taxpayers millions of dollars, but he’s also negatively affecting his neighbors making him a public nuisance, so:
“Some case law even suggests that if the city allows Trump to continue to damage his neighbors, it will have effectively taken the neighbors’ property without just compensation. Which might suggest government has an obligation to act.”
“The best part about this “public nuisance” strategy (besides its name)? The city could condemn Trump Tower without having to pay Trump “just compensation.” It wouldn’t owe him a dime, in fact.”
This is an idea that Trump should really get behind considering he loves to use eminent domain so much himself. And if it happens, which it likely won’t, but should, his favorite law will come back to bite him in the ass.
Featured Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images