Cordray begins investigation into real estate appraisals

Keith Loria Sep. 28, 2009, 2:30pm

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - In response to alleged irregularities in real estate appraisals in Cuyahoga County over the past 10 years, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray announced Monday that he was launching an investigation to examine these figures.

Since the appraisals are used to value real estate for property taxes, the Democrat said that any manipulation of the numbers would have affected all citizens and taxpayers.

"We have been monitoring these events closely and are deeply concerned about admitted and alleged wrongdoing by public officials and those in the private sector who have been entrusted to do the people's business," Cordray said.

"We are specifically disturbed by new allegations regarding Cuyahoga County's property tax appraisal process and the potential impact of unfairness at the core of that system."

So far, the investigation has revealed details about criminal activity related to property appraisals for the county, resulting in possible shortchanging of key local services such as police, fire, social services, and schools, he said.

"Any long-term, systematic rigging of property taxes would undermine those things that maintain our basic quality of life and would destroy the public's confidence in the fundamental certainty that we share the burdens and benefits of local government fairly and equitably," Cordray said.

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