- The Palm Beach County Assessor’s appraisal of Mar-a-Lago cited by the judge in Trump’s civil fraud case is well below market value, local real estate experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- Judge Arthur Engoron cited an estimate valuing it “between $18 million and 27.6 million,” but Palm Beach Board of Realtors President John O. Pickett III told the Daily Caller News Foundation that colleagues believe it to be “worth $250 million or more.”
- Becky Robinson, public information officer for the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office, told the DCNF that the value is “for taxation purposes only.”
The Mar-a-Lago property value cited by the New York judge overseeing Trump’s civil fraud case is far less than market value, local real estate experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Judge Arthur Engoron ruled last week that Trump committed fraud by exaggerating his net worth and assets, deceiving banks and insurance companies. Engoron cited the Palm Beach County Assessor’s appraisal of Mar-a-Lago in the ruling, which was “between $18 million and 27.6 million” from 2011-2021, numbers local real estate experts say do not match market value.
“I don’t think the numbers being reported ($18-25 million) are even close to the true market value of Mar a Lago,” Palm Beach Board of Realtors President John O. Pickett III told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“I don’t know what the current Mar a Lago zoning is, and zoning is critical in establishing value; however, if Mar a Lago was zoned residential, the property alone (not including the buildings) is worth well, well over $100 million,” Pickett said. “Without doing a detailed analysis, and just based on what people have paid for other properties, I should say that many of my colleagues believe Mar a Lago to be worth $250 million or more.”
Based on the assessor’s numbers, the judge wrote that Trump overvalued Mar-a-Lago by at least 2,300%. Trump placed the value as between $426,529,614 and $612,110,496 on filings over the same 2011-2021 period, according to the ruling.
“That property is so unique that it would not be easy to value but the market would support a much higher value than the tax assessment in my opinion,” Doug Martin, a real estate broker in Palm Beach, told the DCNF. “It’s hard to gauge what billionaires will pay if they want it.”
Some single-acre pieces of waterfront land without property located in the same ZIP code as Mar-a-Lago are valued higher on Zillow than the judge’s number, including one listed at $74,500,000 and another at $21,900,000. Two empty parcels of land just over 2 acres are listed at $200,000,000 and $150,000,000, respectively.
Forbes has pegged Mar-a-Lago’s worth at $325 million.
Becky Robinson, public information officer for the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office, told the DCNF that the value is “for taxation purposes only.”
“While there are private appraisers who may value a property for other purposes, we adhere to Florida law to fairly and equitably value each parcel in Palm Beach County for property tax assessments,” Robinson said.
She explained that the value was calculated “based on the amount of income that it generates as a club” because the Mar-a-Lago’s deed of development rights “prevents the property from being redeveloped or used for any purpose other than a club.”
“Mar-a-Lago is one of nine deed-restricted clubs in Palm Beach County, and all are valued in the same manner,” Robinson said. “The income approach to valuation capitalizes the net operating income that private clubs could generate.”
Trump called for Engoron to be disbarred Monday during remarks outside the courtroom, pointing to his use of the county appraiser’s assessment of Mar-a-Lago’s value.
“This is a judge that should be disbarred. This is a judge that should be out of office. This is a judge that some people say could be charged criminally for what he is doing,” Trump said. “He’s interfering in an election.”
Engoron hit Trump with a gag order Tuesday blocking the former president from speaking publicly about Engoron’s staff. The order came after Trump posted a picture of law clerk Allison Greenfield with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Truth Social, calling Greenfield his “girlfriend.”
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