The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "valuation" ...
This investigation explores Texas' high property taxes, which are based on valuation of land by a government appraiser. The investigation reveals that appraisals are often made with incomplete data about home prices in the area. Consequently, appraisal values are often off by as much as ten percent and sometimes more.
In no time, valuations are reduced: Douglas County Board members, alone or in pairs, cut almost $60 million from tax rolls this summer in unreviewed decisions
"A World-Herald analysis shows that the seven Douglas County board members, working alone or in pairs, cut almost $60 million from county tax rolls in cases that the full board rubber-stamped -- but never reviewed. Individual board members made decisions on the spot, often with little evidence or little time to examine property owners' claims. Most property owners obtained at least some reduction. In one noteworthy example, a lone commissioner cut nearly $11 million from the valuations of a campaign contributor who owns numerous apartments and office buildings -- reductions that were opposed by the county assessor's office and not supported by the board's own professional advisor. Some of his decisions took as little as one minute, and the whole process lasted less than an hour."
Dubious Value: A Haphazard System for Assessing Property Values Produces Huge Differences in Tax Bills for Similar Properties
This investigation unearthed some major issues with property assessment in New Orleans. People who bought homes in New Orleans in 2003 paid, on average, 70 percent more than the value assigned by the assessor. These deficiencies in the appraisal process occur because many valuations have been "...Out of whack for decades, leading to accumulated tax inequities in the tens of thousands of dollars on some properties." The biggest breaks go to homeowners in neighborhoods that have experienced steep price appreciation in the last decade. The implications of this problem manifest themselves in the potholes on the streets and low-quality school buildings -- the city is losing tens of millions of dollars in property tax revenue every year.
The Florida Trend looks at the controversies that have teared apart the "once a billion-dollar family empire that encompassed Sunkist juice, Peoples Gas, Lykes hot dogs and meats, First Florida Banks and half-a-million acres of cattle ranches" in Florida. The story reports how 81 Lykes family shareholders have "dragged the once-formiddable, and always private Lykes Bros. company into court over their fair share of a shrunken empire." The author finds that regardless of the lawsuit's outcome, the future of the company is at risk.
WWOR-TV reports "'Home Buyer Beware' is the blanket title for a series of investigations that uncovered a widespread pattern of deception by real estate operators, mortgage bankers, lawyers and appraisers, preying primarily on African-Americans and Latinos in urban neighborhoods."
Tags: TAPE NO TRANSCRIPT foreclosure; mortgage; HUD; Federal Housing Administration FHA Housing and Urban Development fraud inspections appraisals loan qualifications inflated valuations Mortgage Lending of America
The Charleston Gazette series exposed problems in the methods used by the West Virginia Tax Department to value coal reserves and and timberland; the series also showed how timber companies save millions of dollars under a managed timberland tax-break program that is not monitored by any state agency, August - December 1994 (Has a 22 - pp supplement from the WV Natural Resource Property Valuations Task Force.)
Arizona Daily Star examines Pima County, Ariz., which is overwhelmed by the number of suits filed by landowners challenging the assessor's property valuations; finds that the number of suits has so clogged the system that the county is having a hard time defending its assessments, March 22, 1992.
Tags: AZ Nett Burchell
Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) finds special-interest loopholes in Kentucky's tax collection and property valuation systems; using computer-assisted analysis, the reporters examined 29,274 real estate transfers, Aug. 27 - 31, 1989.