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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

To Whom Much Is Given

This April, the District received another significant round of property tax payments from Shiloh Baptist Church for Shiloh's portfolio of vacant properties in Shaw. In all, Shiloh paid $94,835.03 in property taxes this April (see my breakdown by property below), bringing Shiloh's grand total for property tax payments since 2005 to $445,984.38 (assuming I've correctly transcribed every number from the Real Property Assessment Database correctly, which is a slightly cumbersome task). I believe another round of taxes -- for roughly the same amount as those received this April -- will be due this November.


In addition to property taxes, Shiloh paid for numerous repairs to its vacant buildings last year, repairs which were prompted by several condemnations. According to their final "Take the [Condemnation] Signs Down" fundraising report, Shiloh spent $185,765.00 on those repairs. In all, therefore, the church has spent (at least) $631,749.38 on these properties blighting our neighborhood since 2005.

9 comments:

Mr. Q said...

Unbelievable numbers...thanks for posting.

Does anyone know how the internal issues at Shiloh are going? Wasn't it last summer a vote was taken by parishoners to oust the current pastor but it wasn't considered legal?

Hard to imagine churchgoers voluntarily throwing their hard-earned cash donations away to support this neglect...

christopher tracey said...

Wow!

If this weren't so pathetic it would be hysterical. Waste not want not. There is no way I could put a cent into the collection plate on Sunday morning with this type of fiscal neglect going on. And for what? To keep the Shaw neighborhood in some sort of socio-economic choke hold?

They should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

sad, sad, sad....

isn't the rate for vacant properties set to skyrocket pretty soon?

How long can they stick with this pathetic strategy of holding on to these properties?

anthroresearcher said...

Wow.

This is crazy. Hey, I'm doing a thesis/research project on development work in the Shaw/U-street area.... Shoot me an e-mail, I'd love to interview you.

truth.and.beauty.bombs@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

i live next to 1601 ... boy do i wish they would dooo something with the property.... too many crack heads hanging in the butterfly garden i planted. although, i must admit that since i have complained to shiloh they are keeping up with maintaining the property..

House History Man said...

How about printing out your graph and placing it on Shiloh's parked cars some upcoming Sunday? I suspect the (MD) church goers have no idea how their money is being spent. I used to live in the Lafayette: I like your creativity!

Anonymous said...

It's been done house history man...

A parishioner just walked behind us and removed them before most of the congregation saw it...

Any other suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I'm open to handing out flyers to parishioners on a Sunday of our choosing. Seriously, we can have the tax chart and some nice photos of the multitude of people urinating etc.. on these properties, both on 8th and 9th Street. The question should be: is this what each testator wanted when they willed their property?

Stacy said...

Don't know if you saw this a few weeks ago, but the City Paper's article about Shaw had this to say about Shiloh:

"But this reliance on buildings to do the heavy lifting for city planners can backfire. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center opened in 2003 on a massive patch of real estate between 7th and 9th Streets NW. It was supposed to spur development along those corridors. It hasn’t yet, thanks in part to Shiloh Baptist Church, which, in a true display of Christian mission, has refused to sell its holdings to developers just so they could build more temples to the rich and powerful."

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=35757

I almost choked when I read that. Was Tim Carman being sarcastic, do you think? Or does the "they" slyly refer to Shiloh's leaders, who are building temples to themselves? Or does he really think that leaving buildings to crumble and paying extra vacancy taxes to the city is the Lord's work, when there are so many poor and homeless people who could be housed there? I mean, there are more choices than gentrification or abandonment.