Thanks to Huge Tax Breaks for Real Estate Developers, Trump Sells Condo to His Son at Huge Discount but Pays No Gift Taxes
In April 2016, Donald Trump sold two luxury condos in Manhattan for less than half the price his company had said they were worth. Who did he sell them to? His son, Eric.
These real estate deals would normally incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in gift taxes, but it appears Trump paid nothing close to that because of benefits only available to real estate developers.
According to ProPublica, Eric Trump bought two penthouse condos at the Trump Parc East building for $350,000 each. Two months before Donald Trump sold the apartments to his son, the condos were priced at $790,000 and $800,000.
In Showdown with His Own Party over Healthcare, Gov. John Kasich is a Winner – and so is Ohio’s Economy
After calls, letters, rallies and unprecedented lobbying efforts, Ohio House Republicans overrode 11 of Governor Kasich’s vetoes but the freeze in Medicaid enrollment was not one of them. Speaker Cliff Rosenberger said he would not bring it up if he did not have the 60 votes needed for an override.
So 500,000 Ohioans continue to have access to healthcare, for now, and hospitals and other providers won’t have to cut staff or services. We celebrate today, and continue the fight at the federal level tomorrow.
ECOT Lobbyist Says Deceptive Ad Paid for with Tax Dollars, But ECOT Boss Says It Wasn’t
According to the Associated Press, a television ad paid for by the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) attacking Ohio’s effort to have the school repay $60 million was not funded with taxpayer money and is no longer being broadcast. This contradicts an ECOT spokesman’s earlier statement about the funding source.
This comes after Auditor Dave Yost warned ECOT that it couldn’t fund such advertising with taxpayer dollars intended for education and after ProgressOhio sent a letter asking TV stations to take down the ad because it amounted to false advertising.
The ad says the state wants to “end school choice.’’ The state doesn’t want to end it. It wants to fix what’s wrong with charter school funding and accountability.
Because ECOT can’t take “no” for an answer, it’s asked the Ohio Supreme Court to block efforts to recoup the money that ECOT received for services it couldn’t document. The trial court and appeals court already ruled against ECOT.
Injection Well Linked to Mahoning Valley Earthquake Will be Capped
The company that owns the Northstar Injection well that caused a 4.0 magnitude earthquake in 2011 will be capped, according to The Vindicator. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the purpose of plugging the well is so that “oil, gas, water or other fluids are confined to the reservoir rock in which it occurs.”
Once a well is plugged and abandoned, it’s unlikely to be used again.
Ohio Refugee Families Harbor New Fears Amid New Travel Ban
A partially reinstated travel ban took effect last week, which is a scaled-back version of Donald Trump’s more restrictive travel ban issued in January. The new ban requires travelers from certain countries to prove a close family relationship or connection to a U.S. institution in order to receive a visa.
President Trump’s executive order also puts a 120-day stall on the arrival of refugees who cannot prove a “bona fide relationship” with a close family member or organization in the United States. However, the narrow definition of “close family” excludes grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
“Particularly in countries that have been subject to famine and war, the definition of ‘close family,’ as laid out in the Department of State’s cable, is far too narrow and divides family,” said Eugenio Mollo, Jr., a managing attorney for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality. Read the full story here.
Portman Avoids Life-or-Death Questions over Healthcare, Meets with Friendly Crowds Instead
Senators on recess typically use the 4th of July for parades, political and community events and patriotic posturing. But this year things are different. Senators are weighing which events will bring them the greatest possibility of protests, and scheduling accordingly. With a Senate healthcare bill dubbed by the The New York Times as “unpopular as sunburn,” (although our understanding is that the tanning industry supports the AHCA) many Senators are avoiding anything but sure-fire friendly events. Sen. Portman is no different.
Over recess Senator Portman hasn’t participated in any healthcare related in-person events or community forums, despite his constituents organizing them for him.
As The Plain Dealer reports:
Healthcare, and specifically the proposed Obamacare repeal-and-replace proposals, is dogging the second-term Ohio Republican unlike any other bill he has had to vote on. Taken at his word, the Ohio Republican is hard to read so far. Take this recent inkblot test of a Portman statement:
“I am committed to creating a better healthcare system that lowers the cost of coverage, provides access to quality care, and protects the most vulnerable in our society.”
That could sum up the sentiments of every Republican who wants to gut Obamacare – and of every Democrat who wants to keep it.
You can read the complete story here.
Faith Leaders and Physicians Stand Up for Medicaid as Ohio Christian Alliance Crusades for Less Care for Ohio’s Working Poor
After issuing a statement that “We are losing our freedom to choose our healthcare,” the Ohio Christian Alliance called on legislators to freeze Medicaid enrollment. That’s right, the Christian Alliance thought providing care for those who need it was wrong.
But over 1,000 faith leaders, healthcare providers and consumers shared a differing perspective on Wednesday at a rally at the Ohio Statehouse.
“We came here for a fight today,” the Rev. Tim Ahrens, senior minister of First Congregational Church in Columbus, told the large crowd.
Ahrens suggested that it’s un-American not to support low-income Ohioans who rely on Medicaid for health coverage.
Hospital executives weighed in, too. Mary Boosalis, president and chief executive of the Dayton area’s largest health system, told the Dayton Daily News, “Our 14,000 employees are on the front lines of caring for our residents who are confronting significant health challenges, such as the opiate epidemic, and they are vital to our state’s success in combating them.”
Ohio’s Top Elections Official Refusing to Give Trump Private Information about Voters; Ohio’s AG Fails to Protect Student Loan Borrowers
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted declined to provide specific voter information to President Trump’s Election Commission. Is this possibly because he knows voter fraud isn’t really a problem here in Ohio?
Husted has gubernatorial aspirations. Attorney General Mike DeWine, who also wants to be Ohio’s next governor, is not among the 18 state AG’s who joined a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her delay of regulations meant to bring justice to student loan borrowers who’ve been defrauded by their schools.
November Ballot Issues Likely on Drug Pricing and Crime, Congressional Redistricting Waits Another Year
This fall, voters will have their say on the Drug Price Relief Act, an initiated statute proposed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Marsy’s Law, a proposed constitutional amendment that would boost protections for crime victims. Find a summary of those issues here.
The Fair Districts, Fair Elections campaign is eyeing 2018 for its proposal to end congressional gerrymandering. Volunteers collected an unprecedented number of signatures and are building a robust campaign effort moving forward. The Gerrymander was spotted at the Doo Dah Parade in Columbus and activists all over the state celebrated Independence Day by collecting signatures.