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D.C. Council Pushes Property Tax Relief for Seniors

Ward 7 Council member Vincent C. Gray introduced a bill in the Committee of the Whole’s meeting last week that would reduce tax burdens for low-income seniors in the District.

The Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Relief Amendment Act of 2017 would amend current D.C. tax code and provide additional property tax relief for low-income and disabled senior citizen residents.

“Rising property tax assessments are indeed are a huge issue for seniors across the city,” Gray said.

The bill would establish a real property tax deduction of up to 90 percent depending on the household adjusted gross income for lower income District seniors.

A household with an adjusted gross income of $130,000 or less would be eligible for up to a 50 percent deduction in property tax liability while a household with an adjusted gross income of $50,000 is eligible for a maximum deduction of 90 percent.

The legislation would also eliminate the tax notch that currently exists when a household’s adjusted gross income totals $128,950 by phasing out the deduction to $180,000 for middle-class homeowners.

Gray said the bill will help senior homeowners, who often have fixed incomes, remain in the District despite rising tax valuations of their homes. He hopes that the legislation will help seniors across the city, especially in his ward.

As mayor, Gray’s last budget proposal funded a similar tax relief program that exempted low-income seniors from property tax if they were at least 70 years old and owned their home in the District for at least 20 consecutive years. However, the program was left unfunded during the budget renewal process.

“We will continue doing our work so that people can continue to live in the District of Columbia without feeling like they have to move because they believe our city is unaffordable,” Gray said.

The bill will provide additional real property tax relief for seniors of up to 90 percent for low-income senior households and residents with disabilities with household incomes of up to $50,000. The bill also will extend benefits to households with income totaling up to $180,000.

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Tatyana Hopkins – Washington Informer Contributing Writer

Tatyana Hopkins has always wanted to make the world a better place. Growing up she knew she wanted to be a journalist. To her there were too many issues in the world to pick a career that would force her to just tackle one. The recent Howard University graduate is thankful to have a job and enjoys the thrill she gets from chasing the story, meeting new people and adding new bits of obscure information to her knowledge base. Dubbed with the nickname “Fun Fact” by her friends, Tatyana seems to be full of seemingly “random and useless” facts. Meanwhile, the rising rents in D.C. have driven her to wonder about the length of the adverse possession statute of limitations (15 years?). Despite disliking public speaking, she remembers being scolded for talking in class or for holding up strangers in drawn-out conversations. Her need to understand the world and its various inhabitants frequently lands her in conversations on topics often deemed taboo: politics, religion and money. Tatyana avoided sports in high school she because the thought of a crowd watching her play freaked her out, but found herself studying Arabic, traveling to Egypt and eating a pigeon. She uses social media to scope out meaningful and interesting stories and has been calling attention to fake news on the Internet for years.

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