D.C. Council Advances Senior Property Tax Exemption

Vote on property tax relief postponed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The district's real estate boom and resulting taxes are forcing many senior citizens out of their homes, but a new bill approved by the D.C. Council Tuesday means thousands of them will no longer have to pay residential property taxes. News4's Tom Sherwood reports. (Published Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014)

    The D.C. Council gave preliminary approval to a bill that would eliminate property taxes for some elderly residents.

    The bill would exempt residents from property taxes if they're at least 75 years old, have lived in the city for 15 years or more and earn less than $60,000 annually. It was approved unanimously Tuesday, but several members said they had concerns, and the bill could be changed before a final vote.

    Meanwhile, Council member Jack Evans postponed a vote on a more wide-reaching measure that would prevent residential property taxes from increasing more than 5 percent per year. It's meant to shield residents from huge tax hikes when their homes increase in value. Mayor Vincent Gray opposes the bill, noting its cost and the city's competitive property tax rates.

    Gray notes in a letter to the council that the bill would cost $32.5 million over four years. He also points out that the city's property tax rates are lower than surrounding jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia. And he says a panel examining changes to the city's tax structure didn't recommend any changes to property taxes.