07.02.2017

How Donald Trump is the owner of a property in Saint-Martin

In 2013, Donald Trump acquired the Castle des Palmiers located on the beach at Baie aux Prunes on the French side for the sum of around USD 17 million.

He bought it through 2 companies - Excel Venture I LLC and Excel Venture Corporation. The first is 99% owned by him and 1% by the second company in which 100% of the shares are owned by Donald Trump. The two entities are registered in Delaware in the United States (state known for tax exemptions) but domiciled in New York, on Fifth Avenue.

Donald Trump does not occupy the villa personally ; it is rented to tourists. It is a business out of many for the current President of the United States. Excel Venture I LLC appears in the list of property owned by Donald Trump, and he had to reveal it in formalizing his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. According to this document, which includes 92 pages, rents are unique sources of revenues of the company, which estimates revenue in the range of USD 100,001 to USD 1 million.

Donald Trump has several other companies in the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Saint-Vincent) and elsewhere in the world with similar activity.

During the publication of the list of his assets, he was scrutinized by foreign media. They noticed that Donald Trump was using the legal form LLC, which has tax advantages. And to mention as an example Excel Venture I LLC and Excel Venture Corporation.

Beyond highlighting the legal form, the English media, such as The Guardian, indicate that Donald Trump is seeking to bring back his revenues in the United States without paying (too many) taxes.

We interviewed the tax services of the Collectivité in order to know if Excel Venture I LLC was paying taxes and fees in Saint-Martin. According to the book "Doing Business", the foreign company must indeed pay tax on the company (corporate tax), the property tax, the license fee, the contribution of business on licensing tax. It must also collect and redistribute the visitor’s tax. Does Excel Venture I LLC comply with these rules? The services of the Collectivité did not respond. “The rules applicable in France, in knowing that the information is covered by tax secrecy, are such that the Collectivité, assuming that it has this information, cannot submit them to the press”, we were told.

According sources, Donald Trump paid all the taxes to the Collectivité before his election.

 

 

Estelle Gasnet

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