Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) targeted GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s historic hotel project in Washington, D.C. as an example of wasted tax-dollars, arguing that taxpayers will help foot the bill with $40 million in credits through the National Historic Tax Credit.
Lankford released his annual report on government waste, fraud and abuse of tax dollars, Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball, on Monday. On page 98 of the 145-page report, Trump’s hotel project in Washington, D.C. was highlighted.
The report notes that the Internal Revenue Service reduced the cost by $40 million through the National Historic Tax Credit. Companies that renovate old and historic buildings are eligible for federal funding or tax credits for the cost of repairs. Lankford argues the credit program should be eliminated.
Lankford’s report cites the Trump Organization, which purchased the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C. in 2013, “in what the organization claims to be ‘the most sought-after hotel redevelopment opportunity in the country.’”
The Trump Organization is investing roughly $200 million in renovations, but Lankford argues, “When all is said and done, American taxpayers will chip in $40 million to help cover the costs to ‘restore this magnificent building to even well beyond its original grandeur.’”
Taxpayers help fund these projects through the National Historic Tax Credit which “allows an investor to claim 20 percent of rehabilitation costs for certified historic structures…and ten percent of rehabilitation costs for buildings built prior to 1936.”
The tax credit has been used in the past on projects such as Boston’s Fenway Park and Millionaire’s Row in Miami, Florida.