County considers special tax for Trump's Mar-a-Lago visits

Jon Howard
April 14, 2017

Three anti-terrorism teams were involved in the protection of Mar-a-Lago when Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping visited last week, Zukunft said. While passing the days in Palm Beach, Trump has been known to spend time at his nearby golf clubs, where he may or may not take the time to hit a few balls amidst meetings and phone calls.

In addition, despite regularly tweeting prior to becoming president that President Barack Obama spent too much time playing golf, Trump has been frequently spotted on the links during the six weekends he has spent at Mar-a-Lago.

Costs to the taxpayer of Trump's trips are unknown, but a conservative watchdog group puts it at $1 million. The agency requested $60 million in funding on top of its traditional budget for the next year to help pay for the travel of the president and top-ranking officials, as well as the protection of the Trump family's private home in Trump Tower, according to internal documents reviewed by The Post.

Trump is not the only president to rack up a high tab while traveling, however.

It was from Mar-a-Lago last Thursday that Trump launched his surprise strike on Syria, watching the bombing from a make-shift Situation Room established on the property.

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The county spends more than $60,000 a day during those visits for law enforcement overtime - almost $2 million since inauguration, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Each visit to Mar-a-Lago, dubbed "the Winter White House", costs taxpayers approximately $3 million.

His comments, aired Wednesday on Fox Business News, come less than a week after Trump ordered a retaliatory strike on Syria based on US evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad attacked civilians with chemical weapons. "I am sure they will get around to it".

Since Trump became president the cost of membership at Mar-a-Lago has doubled, with guests now paying $200,000 just to join. "So it's not the end of the world that he hosts the president of China, or anyone else, down there". One commissioner, Dave Kerner, had suggested redistricting Mar-a-Lago in order to cover the security costs associated with a Trump visit.

The cost of Trump's visits divides local residents, with the schism often falling along political lines.

Trump also warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin, in backing Assad, is supporting someone who is "truly an evil person".

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