The message is pretty clear in D.C., if you don't pay your property taxes someone else could acquire your property.
On Monday, the District auctioned off property citywide. But even the highest bidder may not be the real winner.
Development in the District is on fire, property values have shot up and so have taxes. But if owners refuse to pay their taxes, the District will step in to auction off the property.
The current list of property being auctioned takes up 92 pages. 2,000 properties in all, totaling $24 million.
Most of the owners have been delinquent for years. Each bidder must pay the diligent tax bill and then bid up the property.
Even if you win the bidding, it does not mean you will win the property. Tax officials say once the property is auctioned off the original owner can step in, pay the taxes and retain the property.
You may be a winner today, but that doesn't mean you'll get the property. The city and courts could give the original property owner another three years to pay up or lose it.
The property owner has up until the day the judge issues the order to make final payment.
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