ReNewShaw Twitter

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Update on Shiloh’s Vacant Tax Liability

Yesterday I pontificated on Shiloh’s tax liability for its vacant properties in light of the mistaken re-classification of the same last year. I feared that the church may not be liable for back taxes as if the reclassification never occurred, a fear fueled by in part by quotations from a recent D.C. North article. I’m happy to report that the church will indeed be liable as if the re-classification never occurred.

As background, the Real Property Assessment Database seems to indicate that Shiloh’s April 2009 tax payments reflect payments according to the mistaken re-classifications of its properties as non-vacant. For example, 1534 9th Street shows a payment on April 4, 2009 of $861.64. By contrast, in April 2008, when the property was properly classified as vacant, the church paid $11,992.25 in taxes. Taken in conjunction with the D.C. North article, this caused concern that the city might not recoup the difference between the vacant and non-vacant rate for the six properties that were subject to the re-classification.

An extremely informative and helpful representative of DCRA reached out to me today and told me that the church will, indeed, be liable as if the re-classification never occurred. I confirmed this by further review of the OTR’s tax assessment database, which shows that the church is currently owes $130,909.75 in taxes for the six properties in question, as broken out in the table below:

I posit that the church will pay this bill soon, as Shiloh seems to make timely payments consistently (the tax bill they paid in April likely reflected the prior mistaken non-vacant classifications).

Thanks to Councilmember Evans, all folk on the Shaw Yahoo Group Message Board and representatives from the DCRA who responded to the issue. Hopefully Shiloh's seven properties will see new life soon.


Chris said...

This is great! Thank you for your hard work and following up on the situation. As a resident near a vacant property, I truly hope this sparks the development of the vacant homes. Thanks again

Mr. Q said...

Good work Shaw Rez...thanks for the update!

ML said...

Yes indeed. Great job!

It's a shame that the DC gov't doesn't have the process and execution capabilities in place to provide oversight for appropriate and fair taxing of properties in the city. Leaving it to citizens to pick up the slack and make sure that the city is collecting the taxes it's owed is ludicrous.

But here we are, and thanks to your hard work perhaps we'll soon see the Shiloh properties move into hands that can afford to actually redevelop them, and not just talk about it.

Shaw Rez said...

For the record, I don't think my post on Tuesday accomplished anything new.

I do think our fuss raised back in March over the re-classifications is a major reason for Shiloh being on the hook for another ~$130k. We'll have to be on the watch to make sure the church indeed pays this bill without protest.

There may be an additional issue and chance for additional tax liability relating to the six exemptions from 2008. I will report later after investigating it further.

wasmalling said...

As an Eighth St. resident of many years and FRUSTRATED by many, many years of bullshit, don't expect too much anytime soon. I'm thinking a single sheet of paper under 150 windshields on Sunday morning saying "You work hard for your money. Do you tithe to Shiloh Baptist Church? Do you know where your money is going every year? To taxes for empty and useless houses that are falling down and causing a neighborhood blight". That might get some attention.