Mayor backs District's CFO after tax questions

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said Wednesday that he continues to support the District's chief financial officer amid questions about assessments of the values of commercial properties.

"He has made an enormous contribution to this city," said Gray, who in June nominated Gandhi for another term. "I look forward to continuing to work with him."

The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that under Gandhi's leadership, the District has slashed the tax assessments of hundreds of properties this year. The Post said that Gandhi's office had entered into settlements that collectively cut the assessed values by about $2.6 billion, costing the District $48 million in tax revenue.

"Any amount that we would lose would bother me," Gray said. "At its core, really, is why did it happen?"

Gandhi's office defended the settlements, saying the final assessments were similar to those an appeals board would have issued.

But the FBI is reportedly investigating the settlements, and Gray said he wanted to see how the probe plays out in the weeks ahead.

"Whatever investigations are going to be conducted, we should go ahead and let them unfold, and we'll find out more," Gray said.

The FBI has declined to confirm whether it's investigating the agreements.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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Alan Blinder

Staff Reporter, D.C. City Hall
The Washington Examiner