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Gandhi's testimony

Gandhi's testimony

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Published by Tim Richardson
Natwar Gandhi's testimony during a public oversight hearing (Oct. 10)
Natwar Gandhi's testimony during a public oversight hearing (Oct. 10)

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Published by: Tim Richardson on Dec 11, 2012
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05/13/2014

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PUBLIC OVERSIGHT HEARING
 
ON THE MATTER OF:OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICEROFFICE OF TAX AND REVENUEREAL PROPERTY TAX ADMINISTRATION
 
Before the
 
Committee on Finance & Revenue
 
Council of the District of Columbia
 
The Honorable Jack Evans, Chairman
 
October 10, 2012John A. Wilson BuildingCouncil Chambers
 
Testimony of 
 
Natwar M. Gandhi
 
Chief Financial Officer
 
Government of the District of Columbia
 
 2
Good Morning Chairman Evans and members of the Committee on Financeand Revenue. I am Natwar M. Gandhi, Chief Financial Officer of theDistrict of Columbia. I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss thereal property assessment process as administered by the Real Property TaxAdministration of the Office of Tax and Revenue and the backgroundinvestigation process conducted by the Office of the Chief Financial Officerwith respect to candidates for employment. With me today is StephenCordi, the
District’s tax commissioner 
, who will also present testimony andanswer questions, and Robert Farr, Director of the Real Property TaxAdministration, who is here to answer questions as well.As you know, questions have been raised
about the District’s rea
l propertyassessment and appeals process. I welcome and appreciate this opportunityto present the facts, answer your questions and to set the record straightabout the appeals process and the actions of OTR which is under thepurview of the Chief Financial Officer.The most fundamental and essential function in any municipal governmentoperation is the assessment and collection of taxes. Without revenue, thegovernment cannot fulfill its mission and provide essential services.
 
 3
The public must have confidence in the integrity and fairness of the taxcollection process.The bottom line is we have an obligation to make sure that there is publicconfidence in the DC government's tax assessment and collection process.This includes how changes are made to the assessed valuation on residentialand commercial properties, requiring an auditable trail for changes that aremade to the assessment rolls, providing multiple levels of approval beforesignificant changes can be made to the assessed value of real property andother modernization and improvements that have addressed many of theproblem areas that were identified in the aftermath of the scandal.OTR has the responsibility of not only being an aggressive taxing agency,but one that is fair and equitable as well. It is a responsibility that theleadership within OTR and I take seriously, and it is the reason that we havebeen so emphatic in disputing the erroneous allegations that the OTR failedto collect over $40 million in tax revenue in 2012.
This is absolutely false
.

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