In an effort to fight the mafia, the city of Naples is to give a tax exemption to the victims of extortions and other crimes who decide to speak out.

In the Naples area, shop owners and businessmen are often forced to pay the so-called 'pizzo' (protection money) to local mobsters, and do not seek authorities' help for fear of violent retaliation.

Proposed legislation backed by Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris, a former anti-mafia prosecutor, will exempt from all taxes and duties owed to the city council for three years those who report to police that they are the victim of such crimes.

"With this bill the administration is sending a clear message to all citizens in the fight against Camorra [Naples mafia] racket and usury," councillors Nino Daniele and Enrico Panini told Italian media.

"It is a message we send to those who are in the crushing coils of extortion so they don't feel left alone."

According to the bill, the tax exemption will start after the alleged extorters are found guilty by a court.

Similar legislation was approved in the mafia-affected southern city of Reggio Calabria in 2012.