Ingenious evil plan

I was talking with someone who has been in the neighborhood a while and mentioned something I found interesting. There is a property that is a shell, now logically it would get taxed the vacant property rate, to encourage selling or fixing up the property. Well, the person I was talking to mentioned on of the houses on their block has been vacant for a good long while but isn’t getting taxed the huge tax amount. Why you may ask. Well according to the source, the property is listed for sale. So if is for sale, then you don’t get taxed the $5 per $100 in value. The property has a sign. But the owner has no real interest, according to the source, in selling the property.
I see the property is listed on the DC.Gov list (pdf file) of properties exempted from the huge honking tax rate. I noticed some other properties listed, where I wonder, wonder why would they be exempted?

5 thoughts on “Ingenious evil plan”

  1. I may be wrong but I think I read/heard somewhere that you can also get an exemption if you are “improving” the house– ie, you have work permits and are (supposedly) working on it.

    That as well as your points are frequently used loopholes… the city needs to be smarter about pursuing people that are violating the intent of the vacant property exemption.

  2. The property for sale exemption requires that the property is listed at a “reasonable market price.” The price of a property which has been on the market for 8 months or more is presumptively not reasonable. From my perusal of the property tax website, the exemptions are granted by checking and signing a form and submitting papers. I suspect that the assertions on each of these forms are not individually investigated. I would advise your neighbor to submit a query through the tax website.

    (And, yes, it’s true about the construction exemption.) You can look at the exemption forms here [hard return inserted in web address for formatting]

  3. I feel your pain. We’ve been after DCRA for months trying to get a derelict property on our block placed on the vacant properties list. This owner’s scam to avoid that was to take out permits for construction, but never do any construction. For over three years!

    The property is now on the list, but that’s only the beginning. The owner may still try the “for sale” exemption ruse. But getting the Class 3 tax rate applied requires action by OTR and that doesn’t necessarily happen. You’d think, if nothing else, the District would want the revenue, but the process is prone to breakdown at any point. If you want something to happen, being persistent and even obnoxious is probably the key.

  4. Anonymous post are deleted
    1. Anonymous
    2. Long
    3. Waaay too long
    4. No really, it was ranting on crack long
    5. Bad language
    6. Off topic
    7. ‘Cause I wanted it gone

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