‘Tax Review Board’ Is Bogus, State Says

     PHOENIX (CN) – A California corporation is scamming Arizona property owners with a mass mailer that promises help getting property tax reduction, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said. Goddard said the time has expired in which taxpayers can appeal their 2009 assessments, but the so-called “Property Tax Review Board” is charging $189 for “preparing, signing and filing an application and/or appeal, requesting a property tax reduction.”

     The company promises it can help Arizonans get “the maximum property tax reduction and greatest savings,” according to the state’s complaint in Maricopa County Court.
     Goddard says the official-looking mailers are misleading because they make Property Tax Review Board look like a legitimate business; by claiming that property tax information is enclosed; and by including a notice number and property description that allegedly “provides the property’s current assessment value, a proposed assessment value” and unrealistic estimated tax savings.
     The mailers also falsely claim that the company evaluated the consumer’s property and “suggests that the property taxes … may be too high.”
     The company mailed hundreds of solicitations to Arizona property owners starting in July.
     Michael McConville, chief executive officer of the company, and Carmen Mercer, owner of the post office box listed on the mailers, are also named as defendants.
     Arizona seeks an injunction, fines and preservation of books and records.

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