This year, D.C. tax officials more often settled commercial property assessment disputes directly with property owners. The cases involved owners who had appealed to an independent board or to Superior Court. Overall, reductions through settlements and board decisions cut assessments by $4.1 billion, far more than in any of the previous three years. Tax officials said the settlements were meant to avoid costly litigation and to resolve court cases lingering from the financial crisis, when owners say the city’s values were too high. (Read related article)

Sources: Washington Post analysis of data and documents from the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, BRPAA, Superior Court and Attorney General | By Ted Mellnik, Jennifer Jenkins and Laura Stanton - The Washington Post December 12, 2012
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