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OTR Vacant Real Property

The "Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Act of 2010" created a Class 3 property tax rate for vacant commercial and residential properties and a Class 4 tax rate for blighted properties in the District of Columbia. Class 3, vacant property, is taxed at $5.00 per $100 of assessed value and Class 4, blighted property, is taxed at $10.00 per $100 of assessed value.

The DC Code allows for exceptions that may allow a vacant property to receive the lower Class 1 or Class 2 tax rate, provided that certain conditions are met. Vacant property owners should contact the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) for information regarding exceptions related to improved vacant property.

Roles in Vacant Property Identification

The Nuisance Properties Abatement and Real Property Classification Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 made several changes to the Class 3 tax classification program. This act defined the roles that DCRA and the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) have in the identification and processing of vacant properties.

DCRA receives complaints, identifies and processes the registration of vacant properties by owners, and administers certain fines if property owners do not register.

DCRA also inspects properties, completes an annual survey of vacant properties, and certifies a list of vacant improved properties to OTR. OTR then changes the classification for the properties on the tax roll to the correct status for the appropriate real property tax year.

Reporting Vacant Property

Individuals can report vacant property directly to DCRA by calling (202) 442-4332 or by emailing dcra@dc.gov