CFO Natwar Gandhi in 2004
CFO Natwar Gandhi in 2004

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Property taxes! They just don’t save city budgets like they used to.

The AP has a story out today about the District’s $340 million two-year budget shortfall. One of the main culprits is undelivered property taxes—-or as the city’s Chief Financial Officer Nat Gandhi said:

Much of the latest shortfall comes from a $123 million reduction in property taxes collected this year. Gandhi said almost one in five property owners is delinquent on taxes.

This isn’t the first surprising gap. Previously, I’ve written about owners appealing their property tax assessments, and how the city neglected to collect fines from property owners. But one in five delinquent owners? Seems extreme.

According to the story, “city officials attribute the problem to the city’s 10.7 percent unemployment rate. They do not expect the trend to reverse itself until homeowners receive official notices that their properties could be sold off.”

Image by Darrow Montgomery