- The Washington Times
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The District’s congressional representative is urging city leaders to take action to improve neglected properties owned by foreign countries.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says the city could “tax foreign property no longer used for diplomatic purposes — such as those properties that housed former diplomats but have since been abandoned.”

In a letter Wednesday to Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt, Ms. Norton noted that New York City and other jurisdictions have taxed “foreign properties and have gone so far as to place tax liens” on some foreign-owned properties, adding that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld those actions.

In a letter last week, Ms. Norton asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to look into foriegn-owned sites in the District that have been abandoned or fallen into disrepair. She said such buildings pose health and safety risks, and lower property values.

• Carleton Bryant can be reached at cbryant@washingtontimes.com.

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