Loose Lips

CFO Hits Back at Post Story

The city's Office of the Chief Financial Officer is pushing back against today's big investigative story in the Post, which found that officials in the CFO's office have "knocked $2.6 billion off the taxable value of commercial properties."

City officials have settled with developers over the tax bills on more than 500 commercial properties this year, which is a huge increase over the number of settlements in past years. This increase has led to some discomfort among tax assessors, which has led to the FBI poking around.

But the CFO's office is suggesting that the Post glosses over some much-needed context: the $2.6 billion knocked off this year isn't very different from the $2.6 billion knocked off by the city's independent tax appeal board in 2010, the $2.8 billion knocked off in 2009, the $2.6 billion knocked off  in 2008, and the $2.3 billion knocked off in 2007. (The outlier is 2011, when only $1 billion was reduced from initial tax assessments because of a falling real estate market.) In other words, the increased number of settlements hasn't changed the bottom line. This is how the Post handled this info:

Current tax office chief Stephen Cordi said the $2.6 billion reduction approved by the tax office is in line with overall reductions made by the appeals board in prior years.

“The results are the same,” he said.

Last year, however, the total reduction for commercial properties was $1 billion, just over a third of this year’s total. Cordi said last year’s total was an “outlier” caused by a “substantial drop in initial commercial assessments” f0r 2011.

City officials have long complained that the independent tax appeal board, known as the Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals, was letting commercial property owners who could afford high-priced lawyers off the hook on their tax bills. That's why the board was recently reconfigured and renamed. The CFO's office says it's saving money by avoiding litigation and settling before cases make their way to the board, though it's been unable to provide a figure as to how much money it's saved by doing so. Nonetheless, the CFO's point—that whether tax appeals are settled or contested by the BRPPA, the end result is the same—kind of takes the bite out of the whole story.

The OFCO's letter to editor:

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • mizluvsco

    How low will WaPo go to obfuscate the egg on it's face?

    FENTY LOST!!!!

    GRAY HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED!!!!

    HIS ADMINISTRATION HAS MOVED ON MAGNIFICENTLY!!!!

    Why can't they (Wapo and the Haters) just get over it?????

  • ShermanCircleRunner

    Misluvsco, you must have meant to write "Gray has not been charged YET."

  • Art

    If the end result is the same, doesn't that render the argument for getting rid of/ "reconfiguring" BRPAA null? I guess Gandhi gets to have it both ways again. SMH.

  • Art

    Mizluvsco, Fenty did lose and, indeed, Gray has not been charged. But, "His Administration has moved on magnificently"? Lol...good one!!

  • Ward-8

    This CFO still slipping and sliding, he takes responsibility for nothing that goes wrong yet he is in charge and take credit when he shouldn't. He should have been fired a long time ago, he was in charge when an employee in the Tax office stole millions which started when he was directly in charge of that office. What did he do, he fired the low level Supervisor who was only employed several months after the stealing was long establish, lieing about the district surplus then correcting it when called out and know we have another tax office debacle and here he go again with his song, dance and avoidance and guess what, he is in charge. However, as usual the Mayor and Council will kiss Gandi's ring, cause he is the favorite of the Congressional Rethugs saving his Ass once again. As is Gandi pattern, a low level Supervisor will probually again take the hit.

  • mizluvsco

    Yep, Runner. YET is the operative word.
    Yep, Art, The city is running magnificently; especially considering what it going on with so many people clamoring for disaster. It's amazing how anybody can focus. Must have made some good choices.

    Can you imagine what would be happening with a lesser administration? Like Sulaimon Brown's or something? Just kidding, of course. To be frank, it seems as if some people actually WANT the city to fail. Would failure make people think it's all because we didn't have a White Mayor? I have never really thought about that premise until this uncalled for fiasco.

    FENTY LOST!!! Damn, we didn't raise this much Hell after Bush STOLE the elction from Gore in 2000. Or don't you haters believe that election was stolen?

  • Art

    mizluvsco, i am not a fenty defender. he had his negatives like the rest of them. but, funny you should mention stolen elections. that could well describe gray's election with his shadow campaign and sulaimon shenanigans. before you try to separate gray from sulaimon, sulaimon made a bunch of claims and, try as they might, and odd as he may be, nobody has made a liar out of sulaimon yet. in fact, a couple of federal convictions have proven some of his claims true so far.

  • mizluvsco

    So Art, does what you state in #7 negate the fact that Sulaimon Brown was the one who admitted to campaign fraud?
    Furthermore, Mr. Brown made a liar of himself when he falsified his DC 2000 and his resume. He negated himself when he got to DCHF and didn't know how to use a spread sheet though he was hired as an accountant.

    At no time have I attempted to 'separate' Sulaimon from Gray, no more than I would try to separate Thompson from ALL the elected officials he made contributions to. \

    My gripe is the fact that so many people who claim to be righteous are so willing to throw away due process to satiate their morbid desires and petty disgruntlements by also throwing the man WE ELECTED AS MAYOR under a fast moving Metro train because the media and sore losers want them to do so. Until something happens to negate that all caps 'little truth', we should all wait until the Feds do something to justify the call for tar and feathers.

    The couple of federal convictions of which you speak were a couple of pleas to avoid the long arm of the Federal Justice Department which is not exactly known to always play fair. How about the charge against our former Chairman who is not a Sulaimon Brown, but a Kwame Brown who was misguided and delusional to the point of pity. He was supposedly this big bad criminal, but was finally brought down by this BIG BAD GOVERNMENT PROSECUTORS for doing something many, many people do every day in their quest to purchase something they really cannot afford.

    Mr. Gore was a pawn in the entire matter. I do not know much about him, but from what I understand he is a fine upstanding young man who was deuped by another

  • mizluvsco

    continuation if #8 gets through moderation:

    .....wanna be who needed S. Brown in the Catania camp as an attempt to get his failed company some medicaid bucks he was not entitled to according to his medical partner in a venture.

    There are many scenarios whereby Mr. Gore could have been persuaded to do whatever he supposedly said he did on tape. We do not know what this is, and we probably never will. What we do know at this point in time is that Vincent Gray has not been charged with anything. If and when he is charged, I will then offer up many prayers for him and wonder what he did in life to deserve the disrespect heaped upon him by the small minded people who are denying him his rights as a citzen of the US of A.

    My comments on this post are because I expect the same treatment for Vince Gray that I would want for myself. The comments made here by some are pathetic and border on the hilarious. It really would be funny if those commenters didn't take themselves so seriously and believe they are the only ones with the right to have opinions.

    LONG LIVE VINCE GRAY, CHARGED OR NOT!!!!!

    LONG LIVE ONE CITY, WHITE MAYOR OR NOT!!!!!

    That One City thing could actually be the catalyst for bringing people in DC together instead of a clarion call to drive us apart. What purpose does it serve to jump the gun and then find out there are no charges?

    Whether or not these people get their wish and Gray is forced to step down (or not), then we can go about the business of Washington, DC. The Nation's Capital. If the citizens vote him out of office, so be it. It is for the people of DC to decide, not the poor misguided wimps on this blog.

  • Petworthian

    Let go of the Fenty vs. Grey fight for a minute and look at what Gandhi is doing to ALL OF US. He's pretending to allow reform with changes to the independent tax appeal board, then he is turning around and pulling the rug out from the board by giving the tax reductions before appeals make it to the board. The owners of the large commercial buildings still get the sweetheart deal on taxes and he gets to pretend there was reform, and I bet some nice 'support' from those rich owners. Gandhi is who the FBI should be focused on, and who WE should ALL fight to have removed.

  • http://www.torchblazers.blogspot.com lioneagle

    Greetings -

    Stay tuned for the exposure episodes....

  • KeepinItReal

    Fenty was a fool. That is why he lost.

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