Photo by ~ragio~.
The city keeps track of vacant and blighted buildings since it charges a much higher property tax on those properties. For instance, an ordinary residential building is charged 85 cents for every $100 of assessed value. If a building is found to be vacant, though, the rate is $5.00 per $100 of assessed value. If the city finds that the house is blighted, the rate jumps to $10. The purpose of these increased rates is to discourage extended vacancies, which have a long list of negative societal impacts.
Typically the discussion of vacant and blighted buildings focuses on transitional neighborhoods like Shaw. But vacant buildings exist in neighborhoods like Georgetown, and their negative effects can impact any neighborhood, rich or poor. Continue reading