Here is a story of how to avoid the vacant tax rate. There are two little tricks to buy time. One is to get a permit to do work on the vacant property. The property won't be taxed at the higher rate while significant work is being done. To the left is a permit for repairs of the Hoagie House (see image above). Windows were put in, but not much more. There is a long story of the ever vacant Hoagie House and the blighted tax rate has been a part of that story. The permit sports the name of a person who has been involved with other projects that have taken far longer than normal to get off the ground, such as the North Capitol firehouse. The permit is also set to expire in a few days, which brings us to the second way to avoid the vacant tax rate.
Putting a vacant and blighted property on the market is the second method that holds off the vacant tax rate. A few days ago 1251 4th St NW, was put on the market for $2.4 million dollars. This includes lot 0858 and lot 0873 and it is a commercial property. According to whomever is selling this they are awaiting zoning approval to divide into 3 lots and they say the structure has a certificate of occupancy for four units. Any buyer should verify that last statement, as DCRA's online permit application didn't show any certificates of occupancy. Other headache for any potential buyer is this property is that it is in an historic district. Looking at DCRA's PIVS, it appears that the property was found to be vacant, but is being taxed at the commercial rate.