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D.A. Urges Property Tax Reform

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It’s a lament almost as common in the neighborhood as complaints about bar noise — property taxes are way too high. Just two days ago, the owner of Mama’s Food Shop said that his property taxes had nearly quadrupled since he took over the business around 2007. Now, District Attorney Cyrus Vance is urging reform of the assessment system for the taxes, which a grand jury found is rife with abuse. “Some unscrupulous individuals and entities routinely try to cheat the City out of this valuable revenue stream by filing false information with City agencies,” he said in a press release. In one case cited by the grand jury, “60 percent of property owners surveyed who derived income from signs posted on their property failed to report that income to the Tax Commission when they sought to reduce their taxes,” the statement noted.