Former President Donald Trump and his sons complained on Tuesday that a judge undervalued Mar-a-Lago, arguing that the property could be worth well “over a billion dollars.”
“In an attempt to destroy my father and kick him out of New York, a Judge just ruled that Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach Florida, is only worth approximate ‘$18 Million dollars’… Mar-a-Lago is speculated to be worth well over a billion dollars making it arguably the most valuable residential property in the country,” Eric Trump wrote. “It is all so corrupt and coordinated.”
In a court filing Tuesday, New York Justice Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump committed fraud through falsely inflating the value of multiple properties, including Mar-a-Lago and the Trump Tower in New York.
Engoron rejected various rationale for how the supposed inflated figures were achieved, such as by valuing apartment complexes with rent-stabilized the same as those without rent regulation due to the fact that one day the unit may no longer be regulated.
“That is a fantasy world, not the real world,” the court filing reads.
Engoron found Mar-a-Lago to have been consistently and massively overinflated by Trump, noting in the filing that in one financial statement, the property had been overvalued by at least 2,300%.
He cited restrictions on the property that limit its ability to be divided for any purpose, including for the use of single-family homes and pointed to a Palm Beach County Assessor’s appraisal from 2011-2021, which put Mar-a-Lago’s value somewhere between $18 million and $27.6 million.
Donald Trump Jr. similarly scoffed at the $18 million figure on Tuesday, arguing that if his “father tried claiming the property was worth $18 million, he would probably then get charged with trying to underpay his real estate taxes!”
“They’ve set the game up so it’s always lose/lose in these blue states. If you don’t abide by their narrative they will target you,” he added.
“If Mar-a-Lago is worth $18 million… I’ll take 10 please!!!” Trump Jr. joked in a separate post.
Eric Trump also cited nearby real estate listing on Zillow to prove his point.
Others posted Zillow screenshots as well to criticize the ruling.
In a statement, Trump slammed Engoron as “DERANGED” and reiterated his assertion that the suit is part of a Democratic-led effort to prevent him from winning election in 2024.
“As my lead in polls over Joe Biden continues to skyrocket, these Corrupt and Highly Political Prosecutors and Judges are getting more and more desperate and dangerous,” Trump said. “We are rapidly becoming a Communist Country, and my Civil Rights have been taken away from me. The New York State Attorney General went before a Highly Politicized Democrat Judge…to simply rule, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that I committed fraud, which is both ridiculous and untrue.”
Trump noted the $18 million figure for Mar-a-Lago, adding that “in actuality, it could be worth almost 100 times that amount.”
In 2020, lawyers for Trump filed an appeal challenging the county Property Appraiser’s valuation of Mar-a-Lago at $26.6 million, the figure used to determine its taxes for the year. According to Palm Beach Daily News, Mar-a-Lago’s bill totaled $511,673 that year.
Assessed value of a property is typically lower than its market value since the assessment does not consider current market conditions. Most property owners strive for a lower assessed value as well, since that translates to a lower tax bill.
In April 2023, Forbes estimated the market value of Mar-a-Lago to be $325 million. That’s up from Forbes Covid-era estimate of $170 million in 2020. At the time, the Trump Organization argued its value was “closer to $500 million”—not over $1 billion.
After the court’s decision, many conservatives online defended the Trump family and its valuation of the resort.
“I’ve been to Mar-a-Lago many times. It is a spectacular property,” wrote Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “The idea that it is worth only $18 million—given Palm Beach astronomical real estate prices—is utterly idiotic.”
Rep. Marjorie Greene Taylor (R-Ga.) weighed in as well, writing: “Democrats are so jealous of President Trump’s extraordinary success, they will do anything to destroy him, even weaponizing judges benches against him and his great family.”
“Mar-a-lago sits on the most premier location in Palm Beach County on 20 BEAUTIFUL waterfront acres built out in spectacular fashion,” she continued. “Not to mention it functions as one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. Mar-a-lago’s value is far more than real estate and buildings, beautiful ones at that, it’s one of many Trump extremely successful businesses, which sets it’s value extremely high! That Democrat activist judge wouldn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.”