"The District is not enforcing its controversial Class 5 tax rate on much of the city's vacant land, even though the D.C. Council imposed the higher rate to stimulate development.
Developers have criticized the higher rate, saying it discourages investment in real estate in the District. But not all owners of vacant or undeveloped properties are paying the higher Class 5 rate of $5 per $100 assessed value, compared with the $2.15 per $100 rate paid by owners of other commercial property.
'They pay $5 if we can identify them,' said Natwar Gandhi, director of the Office of Tax and Revenue. 'Unfortunately, there are many properties that should be in Class 5 but are not.'
Only 2,979 properties, less than 2 percent of the District's 154,582 taxable parcels, are classified as vacant or unoccupied. City officials have no estimate of how many more properties should be in that classification."
by Thomas C. Hall
Washington Business Journal
June 26, 1998
[Note: This was published in 1998.--Ed.]