Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "tax office" ...

  • District of Columbia tax office scandal

    The District of Columbia struck an unprecedented number of deals behind closed doors this year with prominent commercial property owners who had appealed their tax assessments, reducing the city's tax base by $2.6 billion. The settlements were kept from the public for months until The Washington Post started mining public records and filing FOIAs, which the city routinely denied until the newspaper's lawyers got involved. The Post also learned that city leaders had kept critical internal audits about the tax office in "draft" format to prevent their release under FOIA. Through sources, The Post obtained the undisclosed reports -- along with a dozen other audits that had been kept from public view -- and published the findings for the first time. The series prompted the City Council to change the law to require the tax office to immediately make public all of its reports -- bringing a new level of transparency to a once secretive agency. The Securities and Exchange Commission also launched a probe to see if the city had kept critical findings from audits used to determine bond ratings. The inquiry is ongoing.
  • D.C. Tax Office Scandal

    The District of Columbia struck an unprecedented number of deals behind closed doors this year with prominent commercial property owners who had appealed their tax assessments, reducing the city's tax base by $2.6 billion. The settlements were kept from the public for months until The Washington Post started mining public records and filing FOIAs, which the city routinely denied until the newspaper's lawyers got involved. The Post also learned that city leaders had kept critical internal audits about the tax office in "draft" format to prevent their release under FOIA. Through sources, The Post obtained the undisclosed reports -- along with a dozen other audits that had been kept from public view -- and published the findings for the first time. The series prompted the City Council to change the law to require the tax office to immediately make public all of its reports -- bringing a new level of transparency to a once secretive agency. The Securities and Exchange Commission also launched a probe to see if the city had kept critical findings from audits used to determine bond ratings. The inquiry is ongoing.
  • Playing the ponies

    This WATE investigation revealed how the mayor and a tax enforcement officer for Campbell County spend time gambling out of state during the work week while on county time. The report also uncovered how the tax officer held down two outside jobs while he was supposed to be enforcing the wheel tax, a neglect of his county job duties that cost the county about $250,000 in lost education revenue. Cell phone records helped to show where and when the men were spending their time while they were supposed to be working.
  • (Untitled)

    Willamette Week (Portland, Ore.) reports the director of a local tax office, the Multnomah County, Ore., Department of Assessment and Taxation, harassed and intimidated staff members who opposed her plan to waive taxes for three major Oregon utilities; the staff members believed the waivers to be illegal; the director fired one staff member and initiated a bogus criminal investigation against another, Feb. 2 - 8, 1989.