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Washington DC. Property Tax Updates

Updated MARCH 2019

Tax Rate Rollercoaster

In the summer of 2018 the District, for the first time in over a decade, changed the real property tax rates for commercial properties. For Tax Year 2019 (October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019) the District implemented tired commercial tax rates. Those rates are as follows:

New Rates - Tax Year 2019

Assessment                             Rate

$1 - $5,000,000                        1.65%

$5,000,001 - $10,000,000        1.77%

$10,000,001 +                          1.89%

The top rate of 1.89% constitutes a 2% increase over the prior top rate of 1.85%. However, in December 2018 the District enacted legislation that reduced the top back to 1.85% for Tax Year 2020 (October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020). This reduction in the top rate was made possible by revenue associated with a newly created internet sales tax.

In March 2019 Mayor Muriel Bowser released her budget for Tax Year 2020. The proposed budget proposed increasing the top commercial rate back to 1.89%. Mayor Bower’s budget also called for an increase in transfer and recordation taxes (payable upon the sale of a property) from 2.90% to 5.00%. The DC Council will soon start debate on the Mayor’s tax proposals, but it can be safely said that the volatility of the commercial tax rates is on the rise and that the District is looking to commercial property owners to compensate up for slowing tax revenue growth.


Scott B. Cryder, Esquire
Wilkes Artis, Chtd.
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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