SF leaders warn of tax reassessment scam

February 10, 2009 7:36:19 PM PST
A reassessment scheme, landing in Bay Area mailboxes, is coming under attack.

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This is not a new offer, it is just new this year, and extremely widespread.

A letter says it is a property tax reassessment and offers to get property taxes reduced, but there is a catch -- a fee of $179.

"The heart of the problem is we are seeing a company send out information that takes on the look, the demeanor, and the appearance and of something that may have come from a government office, when in fact it couldn't be farther from the truth," says Jose Cisneros, the San Francisco treasurer.

It is feared consumers are being tricked into sending in the cash. Others are contacting 7 On Your side wondering who is sending this letter.

"We're here to make sure that taxpayers and consumers in San Francisco get and alert not to be scammed by this letter and by this company. I say 'company' very loosely. This organization sent out letters across the state that could be considered misleading at best and fraudulent at worse," says Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor.

Why so ticked off? The letter offers to file paperwork asking for a property tax reduction because of falling real estate prices. That is something property owners can get for free. Just call your local county assessor and information will be sent to you by state law.

What does the company sending out the letter say? Not a thing. A representative told me the company doesn't talk to the media however, Michael Finney was encouraged to write a letter.

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