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New city finds big mistakes affecting 10,000 residents

Date Posted: 2005-06-10

Only two months into a merger that created Uruma City, thousands of angry citizens are demanding answers on how their taxes are messed up.

Uruma City was created April 1st, consolidating Ishikawa City, Katsuren Town, Yonashiro Town and Gushikawa City as a cost-cutting measure triggered by changes in Japanese government policy. Already, the new city’s agencies are scrutinizing thousands of tax documents from the four communities, looking for new money.

Tax collections over the past five years are being examined, and adjusted when errors were found. The targets are land, resident and house taxes. Thus far, the findings are significant. New assessments totaling ¥50,000,000 have been levied on 10,000 citizens of the four communities, creating anger and frustration. New mayor Tsuneo Chinen has met with the 10,000 and explained how and why things happened. “There were miscalculations of land costs and set up taxes,” he told them, “mistakes for which we are very sorry.” Residents say they shouldn’t have to pay for mistakes made by the previous government agencies of the two cities and two towns. For now though, they’re being forced to pay up.

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