Councilmember Bowser and Councilmember Evans held a joint hearing yesterday on B18-546 and B18-448. Both bills are an attempt to better define who gets hit with the city’s super-tax on problem buildings, which was essentially eliminated right as it started to produce results. I testified yesterday on four key points that I believe need to be addressed in the bills.
- Keep the vacant property registration system.
- Include ANCs in the exemption process.
- The proposed “blighted” classification is too subjective. An objective system, such as DMV-style points, should be considered.
- Vacant (but not “blighted”) properties are still a problem. Multi-year vacancies must also be taxed at a higher rate to promote their productive use.