Vacant Property Tax or Listing Tax ?!


This information was sent to the local Realtor Association this morning.  It seems a bit crazy to me!  It is true we have a bunch of vacant properties; but this is going a bit far.

Mayor Fenty has proposed the creation of a $250-$5,000 Vacant Property Registration Fee.  
In the Mayor's proposed fiscal year 2010 Budget Support Emergency Act, which could be voted on as early as next week without a hearing, and in his proposed fiscal year 2011 budget, if a property is unoccupied for 30 days, the owner is REQUIRED to file a vacant property application with DCRA and PAY a fee for that privilege. 
The initial registration fee will be $250.
The renewal registration fee for the first renewal year will be $500.
The renewal registration fee for the second renewal year will be $1,000.
The renewal registration fee for the third renewal year will be $2,500.
The renewal registration fee for the fourth renewal year will be $5,000.

The revenue created by this potential fee is staggering - almost $8 million in just over 4 years. 

The following existing exemptions WOULD BE ELIMINATED in the Mayor's proposals:
For Sale properties, For Rent properties, newly-constructed properties, properties under active construction, properties that are subject to probate, and properties subject to fire, flood, or other casualty.   
Only properties owned by a foreign government, the United States' government, and the District government would be exempt from this fee.
REALTORS® and their clients need to be able to list their properties without having to worry about paying a Vacant Property Registration - in effect A LISTING TAX.  Contact a DC Councilmember today.  Tell them:

NO to a Vacant Property Registration Fee 
NO to a de facto Listing Tax
NO to the District grabbing more money from property owners

E-mail all Councilmembers

To contact individual Councilmembers:

Council Chair Vince Gray: 202-724-8032 
At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown: 202-724-8105
At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown:  202-724-8174
At-Large Councilmember David Catania:  202-724-7772
At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson:  202-724-8064
Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham:  202-724-8181
Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans:  202-724-8058
Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh:  202-724-8062
Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser: 202-724-8052
Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr.:  202-724-8028
Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells:  202-724-8072
Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander:  202-724-8068
Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry: 202-724-8045

Call them today - or get ready to pay up!




Contact James Downing of the Downing Real Estate Group, if you are selling, buying or have questions!

Office: 202-362-5800   Cell: 703.244.3971

Licensed in Washington DC, Virginia & Maryland.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Chevy Chase
5028 Wisconsin Ave NW  Suite 100 * Washington DC 20016



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Contact James Downing of the MetroDCHouses Team, if you are selling, buying or have questions!

Office: 202-469-6778   Cell: 703.244.3971

Licensed in Washington DC, Virginia & Maryland.

Real Living | At Home
11 Dupont Circle #650 | Washington D.C. | 20036 | 202-518-8781

4600 N. Park Ave #100 | Chevy Chase MD | 20815 | 301-652-0643

3033 Wilson Blvd #700  | Arlington VA | 22201 | 703-390-9460

Comments (6)

Dan Benefield
Benefield Realty - Decatur, GA

Does that idiot think we like having vacant properties? Perhaps they should instead focus on some incentives to help bring in some occupants.

Apr 14, 2010 01:31 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

James, I saw that this morning and thought yikes!  I'll have to go around the corner and knock on his door and give that young man a piece of my mind!

Apr 14, 2010 11:09 AM
Ellie Shorb
Compass Real Estate - Chevy Chase, MD
Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert

I could not agree more- clearly the original intent was to try to keep homes from sitting empty and becoming 1. an eyesore 2. a place for criminals/vagrants to hang out. 3. unsightly, un-cared for landscaping, trim, etc. A home that is being actively marketed for sale, with a sign out front should be considered occupied for purposes of the proposed tax. An active listing is "occupied" frequently by stagers, realtors and their clients. Such a home is not only not going to fall into further disrepair in most cases, on the contrary, it is likely to be "spruced up" for sale and then taken care of by new owners. Doesn't DC want to facilitate this, rather than make life harder for sellers?

Apr 14, 2010 02:25 PM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

James - I am always amazed at the various things government thinks up so that they can tax us!

Apr 16, 2010 01:22 AM
Dana Couch-Davis
Kendall Haney Realty Group - Memphis, TN

There has always been something of that nature.  They used to change the tax status of the property where the owner was paying a higher tax rate for the unoccupied property.  Guess that isn't raising enough money.  I bet the banks with vacant foreclosures aren't going to like that!

Apr 16, 2010 04:12 AM
Barb & Sal Dragotta
Macomb, MI
Macomb County Michigan

James...came across for my "Beagle fix" and after reading this I had an apoplexy fit; on my way to the ER just as soon as I finish typing this, and washing my hair, changing my clothes [tore out too much carpet etc today] & getting my blood pressure under control.  All THAT & I don't even live in D.C.   Hopefully, our Gov. [2 penny Jennie] Granholm won't get wind of this & attempt a State-wide tax.  She has proposed taxing services including Real Estate professionals--all of them---to date, this has not been passed by our state legislature.  Good luck to all of you in D.C.
Anyway, I did still get my smile from your Beagle's face--love that dog.

Apr 20, 2010 01:33 PM

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