Monday, April 28, 2014

1526-1532 9TH ST NW- Shameful Shiloh

Shameful Shiloh Vacant Buildings
Shiloh Baptist Church, which sits at the corner of 9th and P Sts NW owns a number of vacant properties on the western side of the 1500 block of 9th St. NW. The church owns 1526, 1528, 1532, 1534, and 1536 9th St. NW. This post will just be about the buildings seen here in the photo, 1526-1532 9th St NW. 1534 and 1536 will be featured in a later posting.
1526 9th St NW, sits next to Shiloh's Family Life Center, which houses the church's cafeteria and other event spaces. It is currently taxed at the vacant rate for 2014. From 2005-2013 the church has paid between $8,513.34 and $50,191.00 a year on property taxes for lot  825 on square 365. The total taxes paid, according to the DC Office of Tax and Revenue from 2005 to 2013 is $158,794.52.
1528 9th St NW (0365 0824) is also listed as vacant and currently taxed as such. Between 2005 and 2013 it has paid from $9,408.30 in 2010 to $54,954.00 in 2009. Last year, 2013, the tax office records a payment of $20,098.00. For 2005-2013, about $175,768 in taxes were paid.
1530 9th St NW, the green building shown, is not vacant and is not owned by Shiloh Baptist. It is an active commercial enterprise and pays the commercial tax rate.
1532 9th Street NW is vacant and is owned by Shiloh. The property on lot 822, is currently taxed at the vacant rate and has a balance of $11,751.60 that has not been paid, according to the tax office's public database. Between 2005 and 2013, the lowest amount of taxes paid was $5,580.24 in 2008, and the highest was $65,329 in 2009.
The properties are being taxed and have been taxed at the appropriate rate (though 2009 seems a bit excessive). The main church building at 1500 9th Street, NW is exempt from property taxes as it serves the organization's primary non-profit purpose. The adjoining Family Life Center at 1510 9th St NW does pay some taxes, even though the building serves some church functions.  So the right buildings are taxed at the correct rates.
Unfortunately, the vacant buildings are not benign. Homeless men sleep and loiter in the entryways of the Family Life Center and the vacant buildings. Unkept rear yards harbor rats. Sadly the condition of the vacant properties have changed very little since I have lived in Shaw since 2000. Below please find posts from print media and local blogs about the problems with the Shiloh properties along the 1500 blk of 9th St NW.

2001- “Neighbors Label Church ‘Slumlord'” Washington Post April 12, 1990 (part on Renew Shaw 2007 post)
2001 Perennials- Who Cares About Vacant Properties? DC Watch
2007 Shiloh Properties Condemned- DCist
2007 Shiloh Properties Watch: Day 1- DCist
DCist articles on Shiloh Baptist
2007 Goodspeed Update- has map of properties
2007 1998 Grant to Shiloh for 1533 9th St, NW ReNew Shaw2007 Condemning a Church's Property- Washington Post
2009 Shiloh Baptist to Present Plans For Its Vacant Properties- Washington City Paper
2010 Washington Biz Journal "Evans withdraws Shiloh Bill" "Shiloh Baptist's promises earned proposed tax break" and article with same title.
2012 Why Shiloh Baptist Church Hangs On to Those Vacant Properties- Washington City Paper

2013 Worship, abandoned properties coexist, American Observer

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