Not a euphemism, for once. The Washington Post‘s David A. Fahrenthold on “The mystery of Donald Trump and the New Jersey cemetery“:
In rural New Jersey, the president’s business has proposed an unusual real estate project.
It wants to build a cemetery.
Or maybe not. Or maybe two.
According to plans filed with local and state authorities, the Trump Organization has proposed to build a pair of graveyards at the site of its tony Trump National Golf Club Bedminster course.
One would be small: 10 plots overlooking the first hole. It was intended — or so they said — for Trump and his family. “Mr. Trump . . . specifically chose this property for his final resting place as it is his favorite property,” his company wrote in a filing with the state in 2014…
The other proposed cemetery would have 284 lots for sale to the public. There, buyers could pay for a kind of eternal membership in Trump’s club — even if it isn’t clear Trump himself would ever join them…
But Trump has been talking about cemeteries here for 10 years — and he has shown the same unpredictable decision-making style about his death that he has about so many things in his life. His plans have gone through at least five major overhauls. Trump has reconsidered his own burial spot at least twice.
Local officials were left puzzling, wondering what angle Trump was playing.
Did the world’s most famous Manhattanite really want to be buried in nowheresville New Jersey?…
President Trump already has a family burial plot: His parents and his brother Fred are buried together at All Faiths Cemetery in Queens.
So it was a surprise, back in 2007, when Trump announced he wanted a mausoleum for himself in New Jersey…
The plan was big: 19 feet high. Stone. Obelisks. Set smack in the middle of the golf course. In Bedminster — a wealthy horse-country town 43 miles west of New York City — officials had some concerns about hosting a reality TV star’s tomb. The huge structure would seem garish, out of place. And there were ongoing worries that the spot might become an “attractive nuisance,” tempting curiosity-seekers to trespass on club grounds.
Trump offered a concession.
The tomb would be versatile.
It could also be a festive wedding . . . tomb.
“We’re planning a mausoleum/chapel,” Trump said, according to a news report from the time…
Trump withdrew the plan to be buried in New Jersey. But five years later, he was back with another one. Now, the mausoleum was out — but, instead, he had a plan to build a large cemetery with more than 1,000 graves, including one for him.
The idea, apparently, was that Trump’s golf-club members would buy the other plots, seizing the chance at eternal membership…
The town was, again, skeptical. So Trump whittled it down to just 10 graves, enough for himself and his family members.
Which family members, exactly?
“Only the good Trumps,” Russo said, according to a video of the town land-use board. He did not elaborate…
… Could this whole thing have been a scheme to reduce the Trump Organization’s real estate taxes? After all, nonprofit cemeteries pay no taxes on their land.
That’s possible, experts said.
But, in this case, the savings would hardly be worth the trouble. That’s because Trump had already found a way to lower his taxes on that wooded, largely unused parcel. He had persuaded the township to declare it a farm, because some trees on the site are turned into mulch. Because of pro-farmer tax policies, Trump’s company pays just $16.31 per year in taxes on the parcel, which he bought for $461,000.
“It’s always been my suspicion that there’s something we don’t know” about the explanation behind the seemingly inexplicable cemetery plan, said Bedminster land-use board member Nick Strakhov. So why were they doing it?
“I did not ask,” Strakhov said. “It’s an obvious question.”…