Billionaire Timothy Mellon contributed nearly 98% of the $54 million in donations to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s wall fund. Mellon, who now lives primarily in Wyoming, is the grandson of a banking tycoon and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, donated $53.1 million in stock to Texas in August.
Prior to Mellon’s donation, Abbott’s private fundraising campaign, which had begun in June, had raised roughly $1.25 million in its first two months.
Mellon, whose estimated net worth is roughly $1 billion, made a sizable donation to the re-election campaign of former President Donald Trump and has also contributed money to defend legislation addressing immigrants.
Along with Mellon, there have been 12,100 individuals that have donated to the fund in a combined amount of approximately $1.3 million.
Tax experts explain that by donating stock instead of cash, Mellon could qualify for a significant tax benefit.
"It’s common to give stock that’s increased in value because they can get rid of the gains and they can deduct the donations," Notre Dame Law School Prof. Lloyd Mayer explained.
In addition to the wall fund, the Texas Legislature has approved nearly $3 billion over the next two-year budget cycle for added security along the Mexican border.
The budget includes some $1 billion for the governor’s office to use for grants, $750 million of which is dedicated to the construction of a border wall.
Texas was forced to take these measures because President Joe Biden stopped the funding for Trump's border wall almost immediately after entering the White House. The Crisis at the border has become overwhelming as the numbers of migrant encounters have grown exponentially since the new administration's change in border policies.