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May 10, 2017

John Oliver, While Attacking Trump and the GOP for Tax Loopholes and Trusts Designed to Reduce Property Taxes, Uses Tax Loophole and Trust to Reduce Property Taxes on $9.5 Million NYC Luxury Penthouse

Ain't no hypocrisy as pungent as that of the tax-dodging champagne socialist aristocrat.

The hypocrisy really gets ratcheted up with John Oliver, the No. 1 darling to so many liberal anti-Trumpies, who regularly attacks GOP tax schemes as giveaways to the rich and detrimental to the poor. ...

Back in July 2014, in an episode in which he lamented the "Wealth Gap in America" (which has resulted in the richest one percent of Americans controlling 20 percent of annual income), Oliver said, "At this point the rich are just running up the score... What sets America apart is that we are actively introducing policies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy," such as tax cuts and loopholes like trusts.

So it's a little surprising to discover that just months before, Oliver had a tax attorney set up two revocable trusts, one for him and one for his wife, to hide the couple's purchase of a $9.5 million Manhattan penthouse. Then he used a tax loophole created by Donald Trump himself back in the 1970s, when the current president was merely a prominent New York real estate developer and aspiring celebrity author.

The loophole in question is the banally named "421-a" tax dodge, which was recently attacked in a Daily News op-ed written by two New York state Democrats, one a senator and the other an assemblyman...


But just four months before Oliverís July show, he had hired slick New York law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, which, in addition to union-busting and representing BP America, ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil, specializes in helping the rich find tax breaks and buy real estate....


In other words, [Oliver's lawyer] is exactly the type of fancy pants attorney who helps his 1 percent clientele get the tax breaks and use the loopholes that Oliver gets such mileage deriding on TV....

Oliver benefits from New York's property tax system, which offers huge advantages to residents of rich enclaves like the one where he lives. For example, even though Oliver paid $9.5 million for his penthouse, the city assessed its market value for tax purposes at just $1.3 million. However, only $515,000 of that amount was billable for property taxes. At a rate of 12.8 percent, Oliver normally would have paid $66,390.

However, property tax records show that, thanks to Trump and Roy Cohn, Oliver gets the very generous 421-a tax break on the penthouse. Hence, his property's billable value after the exemption plunged by over $300,000, and he owed just $27,343 for 2016. That comes out to a property tax rate of roughly 0.25 percent, which would make Ronald Reagan and Ayn Rand dance in their graves from happiness.

Those are the highlights but the stuff I've cut out is really good, going into detail about the luxe pad's description, Oliver's well-heeled hedge-fund-manager neighbors, and the services provided by his law firm to wealthy clients.

It's almost as if the rich clown John Oliver is just running up the score at this point and actively exploiting policies that disproportionately benefit himself at the expense of his viewers.


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posted by Ace at 05:11 PM

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