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NCJ Number: 64652 Find in a Library
Title: SCANDAL IN CALIFORNIA
Journal: NATIONAL CIVIC REVIEW  Volume:60  Dated:(1966)  Pages:305-309
Author(s): W J BOW
Corporate Author: National Municipal League
United States of America
Date Published: 1966
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Municipal League
New York, NY 10021
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RECENT CASES OF BRIBERY AND OTHER MALPRACTICES RELATED TO TAX ASSESSMENTS IN CALIFORNIA ARE DESCRIBED, TOGETHER WITH LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS FOR REFORM OF THE STATE ASSESSMENT SYSTEM.
Abstract: IN SAN FRANCISCO AND ALAMEDA COUNTIES, GRAND JURIES HAVE INDICTED ASSESSORS AND A TAX CONSULTANT WHO ALLEGEDLY GAVE MONEY TO THE ASSESSORS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES TO REDUCE ASSESSMENTS FOR HIS CLIENTS, MAINLY BUSINESS FIRMS. CALIFORNIA'S ATTORNEY GENERAL SAID THAT UNREASONABLY LOW TAX ASSESSMENTS FOR BUSINESSES COST THE STATE'S HOMEOWNERS $200 MILLION LAST YEAR IN HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES. THE ENTIRE ASSESSMENT SCANDAL HAS INVOLVED TAXES ON PROPERTY SUCH AS INVENTORY, OFFICE EQUIPMENT, MACHINERY, AND SUPPLIES, RATHER THAN REAL ESTATE. STATE LEGISLATORS HAVE CONCLUDED THAT UNWARRANTED SECRECY AND LOOSE ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICES CAUSED THE UNDERASSESSMENTS AND ABUSES. CURRENT STATE LAW GIVES EACH COUNTY WIDE LATITUDE IN SETTING TAX ASSESSMENTS ON PERSONAL PROPERTY AND COLLECTING THEM. ONLY ONE COUNTY USES AUDITORS TO CHECK OWNERS' TAX ESTIMATES. PROPOSED LEGISLATION WOULD MAKE TWO MAJOR REFORMS: UNIFORM STATEWIDE TAX ASSESSMENT METHODS AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS. A BILL INTRODUCED IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE ON MARCH 1 WOULD SET UP UNIFORM ASSESSMENT RATIOS, ESTABLISH ASSESSMENT APPEALS BOARDS IN ALL COUNTIES, AND REQUIRE REGULAR AUDITS OF PROPERTY STATEMENTS. THE STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION HAS PROPOSED ADDITIONAL LAWS AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS. CONTINUING REPORTS OF UNDERASSESSMENTS, FRAUD, THEFT, 2ND CONSPIRACY RESULTED IN FORMATION OF A STATEWIDE TEAM TO INVESTIGATE THE SCANDAL. ALTHOUGH MONTHS OR YEARS MAY PASS BEFORE THE SUGGESTED REFORMS ARE ADOPTED, THE MOMENTUM FROM THE SCANDAL IS CONTINUING AND MAY MAKE ASSESSMENTS A NATIONAL ISSUE. A LIST OF PROPOSED REFORMS IS INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Bribery; California; Corruption of public officials; Fraud; Law reform; State laws; Tax evasion; White collar crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64652

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