During the 2016 president campaign, the Trump family announced a new venture: a four star-hotel chain called Scion, with the first building project already underway in Mississippi.
The board of the Mississippi Development Authority approved the so-called tourism tax rebate, which had been requested by the development’s local owners, Dinesh and Suresh Chawla. The Trump Organization will brand and manage the hotel and collect fees from the Chawlas for doing so.
The subsidy, to be paid out over a period of many years, is expected to offset nearly a third of the Chawlas’ projected $20 million in costs for building the hotel, which is scheduled to open this fall in Cleveland, Miss.
The Chawlas began the process of working toward this goal two years ago, well before joining up with the Trump brand. But once that partnership was official, Suresh Chawla emailed numerous personal contacts and state and local officials with the news, saying “Trump Hotels Coming to the Mississippi Delta.”
In December, the Chawlas formally applied for the tax rebate from the state development agency, which is led by Glenn McCullough Jr., an appointee of Mr. Bryant, both of whom are supportive of President Trump.
Critics of the president's decision to retain ownership of the Trump Organization means this development will indirectly benefit Trump and trigger another potential violation of the emoluments clause.
Dinesh Chawla said in an email to The Times earlier this month that the Trump Organization had played no role in the rebate application and that the Trumps and the Chawlas had agreed that any rebate would not figure into fees paid to the Trumps.