NYC’s Cancelling Of Trump Contracts Is Largely Symbolic

The Trump International Hotel & Tower In New York City

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the city is severing ties with the Trump Organization by cancelling its remaining outstanding contracts. While the decision affects a relatively small amount of money, the announcement — which came on the same day Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice — adds to a growing list of financial rebukes.

De Blasio referred to last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in his administration’s decision Wednesday to cancel all Trump Organization contracts. New York City joins a growing list of entities (including PGA of America and Deutsche Bank) to sever or pause business ties with the organization following last week’s events that resulted in several deaths.

“The President incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power,” de Blasio said in a statement. “The City of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form.”

But according to The Washington Post, the organization’s existing contracts are relatively small for a multi-billion-dollar corporation: The contracts to run concessions at several locations in New York City are collectively worth $17 million a year to the Trump Organization. Certainly not a small number — but it is a fraction of the estimated worth of the organization and the president himself.

At last count by Forbes’ Dan Alexander, Trump is worth $2.5 billion. His portfolio, which includes commercial buildings, golf properties and branding businesses, is worth an estimated $3.66 billion before debt.

What’s more, NPR reports that two of the four agreements were already set to expire in a few months.

The $17 million figure also pales in comparison to two more numbers. The first is New York City’s total budget, which this year is about $88 billion.

It’s also just a fraction of what the city has given the Trump Organization in tax breaks over the years. In 2016, the New York Times

tallied up at least $885 million in tax breaks, grants and other subsidies for Trump luxury apartments, hotels and office buildings in New York since the 1970s.

More than have of those breaks came from just two deals. According to the corporate subsidy tracker Good Jobs First, one agreement in 2003 was worth nearly $120 million. And an investigation by WNYC and ProPublica found Trump got an unprecedented 40-year tax break on his first hotel deal in the 1970s — at a cost to New York City taxpayers of more than $410 million.

So, while the de Blasio administration says it believes in “terminating its business ties with the Trump Organization,” the city’s finances will remain linked linked to the out-going president and his real estate empire.

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