Donald Trump suing District of Columbia over Old Post Office property assessment

By Eric DuVall   |   Updated Aug. 30, 2016 at 2:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The District of Columbia said the timing isn't right for a lawsuit filed by a development group controlled by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump alleging the city's assessment of the Old Post Office hotel project is too high.

Trump Old Post Office LLC filed the complaint in June, alleging its 2015 and 2016 tax bill, approximately $1.7 million each year, was too high and the district's assessment of the property was incorrect because it was based on what the property will be worth when renovations are complete, rather than while it is under construction.

The district responded in D.C. Superior Court, saying the group's lawsuit for 2015 and 2016 is too late and the portion challenging the assessment for 2017 was filed too soon because it has not gone through the assessment appeal process first.

The district initially assessed the Old Post Office complex, located on Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks from the White House, at $98 million in 2015 and 2016. Trump's group made the tax payments but appealed the overall assessment amount, saying it was too high. Trump's group didn't say what it deemed a fair valuation, but eventually the district agreed to lower the assessment to $91 million -- which the Trump group said was still too high and filed suit challenging its assessment for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

According to Politico, insurance forms filed in relation to the project indicate the complex will be worth up to $220 million when construction is substantially complete.

The Trump International Hotel Washington DC is set for a "soft opening" on Sept. 12. Trump leased the Old Post Office from the federal government after signing a deal with the General Services Administration for a lease of between 60 and 100 years. Trump subsequently announced plans to renovate the structure into a large upscale hotel and restaurant space.

Politico reports rooms at the new hotel are being rented at the opening for up to $895 per night.

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