Trump got a $21 million tax break for saving the forest outside his N.Y. mansion. Now the deal is under investigation.

The size of Trump’s tax windfall was set by a 2016 appraisal that valued Seven Springs at $56.5 million — more than double the value assessed by the three Westchester County towns that each contained a piece of the property.

The valuation has now become a focal point of what could be one of the most consequential investigations facing President Trump as he heads into the election.

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is investigating whether the Trump Organization improperly inflated the value of Seven Springs as part of the conservation easement on the property, according to filings in the case in August. The investigation also scrutinizes valuations, tax burdens and conservation easements at Trump’s holdings in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

Trump’s son Eric, who now helps run the Trump Organization, sat for a deposition in the case Monday.

The Seven Springs appraisal, obtained by The

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Chesmar Homes to break ground on Benefit home in Lago Mar

Chesmar Homes will be breaking ground on Nov. 5 in the Texas City community of Lago Mar as it begins construction of its seventh Greater Houston Builders Association Benefit Home. Land Tejas donated the homesite, which is their 18th lot donation to the Benefit Homes Project, a 40-year-old charity fundraiser of the GHBA.

Their team of vendors and suppliers have already begun committing donations of materials and services to construct the home. These donations will ensure that, when the house sells at market value, proceeds will go to two local charities, HomeAid Houston and Operation Finally Home. Since the fundraiser began 40 years ago, nearly 12 million dollars has been raised.

Vendors and suppliers who are committed include: Builders Post Tension, Crossville, DataSmart, Boan-NuTone, Houston Window Fashions, Templar Electric, Houston Hurricane, The Ark Cast Stone, Austin Windstorm Construction and Stewart Door Company.

“Our vendors and suppliers are one of the

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CMBS Foreclosures Start Rising As Hotel Defaults Break 50% In Some Cities

The market for commercial mortgage-backed securities, particularly hotels and retail, continues to worsen with no sign of an imminent turnaround.

The September edition of CMBS analysis firm Trepp’s monthly report found that 26% of hotel-backed CMBS loans are in special servicing, while the same is true for 18.3% of CMBS loans tied to commercial retail properties. Both sectors’ special servicing rates are the highest on record, while industrial, office and multifamily all have below 3% of their CMBS loans in special servicing.

Luxury hotels in major cities seem to be the hardest-hit subsection of the hospitality industry because they are more dependent on business travel and large events that remain all but nonexistent across the country.

Hotels in Houston, which has also been hurt by the oil industry’s struggles, hit a 69% delinquency rate in September, according to Trepp data obtained by Commercial Mortgage Alert. Just over 50% of Chicago’s

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URI cancels spring break; nursing homes to take on testing

KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) — A look at developments related to the coronavirus in New England on Saturday.

RHODE ISLAND

The University of Rhode Island has joined a growing number of U.S. colleges canceling spring break to reduce travel and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

University officials announced the measure Friday evening, a week after the Faculty Senate approved the change, according to The Providence Journal. It was also supported by university President David Dooley.

Classes will continue from March 22 to 28, the period originally set aside as spring break, and the semester will end on April 27, a week earlier than initially planned.

In a statement announcing the change, officials cited “uncertainty” created by the virus, “and the need to prepare for the likely persistence of existing outbreaks and potential for a new wave of infections.”

Several large universities have announced similar measures in recent weeks, including Ohio

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This tax break for first-time home buyers could keep the housing market afloat

MARKETWATCH FRONT PAGE

Federal tax relief for new homeowners would help millennials and support prices, writes Sanjiv Das. See full story.

Why Oct. 9 is a day that lives in infamy among stock investors

Two major stock market trend changes have occurred on this day since 2000, Mark Hulbert writes. See full story.

Mitch McConnell meets with pot execs in California, pitched need for cannabis banking reform

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a longtime opponent of reforming marijuana laws, is spending more time than usual thinking about cannabis on a trip to California this week. See full story.

What a Trump vs. Warren 2020 showdown would mean for the U.S. dollar

President Trump doesn’t care for a strong dollar — but neither does Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. With Warren’s rise in the polls causing heartburn on Wall Street, one strategist took a look at what the 2020 presidential race could

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New-Home Sales Break 1M Mark For First Time Since 2006

Historically low-interest rates and a lack of existing homes pushed new homes sales to a new high, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

August’s new residential sales reached a record high not seen since 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s latest new home sales report released on Thursday.

New home sales increased 43.2 percent year-over-year to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1,011,000 — 46,000 above July’s revised rate and 305,000 above August 2019’s rate. The median sales price of homes sold in August was $312,000, while the average sales price for all listings was $369,000.

Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said the boom in new home sales is due to buyers taking advantage of historically low-interest rates.

“Sales of new homes broke the 1 million mark for the first time since 2006, rising 43.2

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