Moving to seize the initiate on real estate taxes, D.C. City Council member John A. Wilson yesterday proposed a 15 percent cut in the tax rate for homeowners recommended by Mayor Marion Barry.
Wilson (D-Ward 2), chairman of the council's tax-recommending Finance and Revenue Committee, also proposed keeping the tax rates for other classes of property at last year's levels rather than cutting them, as the mayor recommended.
Wilson, who recently told a reporter he hoped to attain a influential role on city finances similar to that wielded in Congress by Sen. Russell Long (D-La.), made his proposal in a memoranduum and press release.
He issued them as the mayor was leaving for a 10-day tour of Africa. Wilson's finance committee has scheduled a hearing for next Tuesday on the mayor's proposed tax rates.
Under the mayor's proposal, the tax rate on an owner-occupied dwelling, including a condominium unit, would be $1.44 for each $100 of assessed value. On an average D.C. home assessed at $60,000, that would produce a tax bill of $734, after deducting the homeowner exemption of $9,000 from the home's value. Wilson proposed a rate of $1.22, cutting the tax bill by $112.
Wilson explained that his proposal would bring in 3 percent less revenue from single-family homes than last year's rate of $1.54, while the mayor's proposal would increase revenue from that source by 14.4 percent.
For rental properties of up to five units (other than ones in which the owner occupies one of the units), the mayor proposed that these be taxed at last year's residential rate of $1.54.
For commercial properties, including large apartment development, the mayor proposed a rate of $1.72. Wilson proposed keeping last year's rate of $1.83 which, he said, would produce 11 percent more revenue than last year.
The hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 500 of the District Building, 14th and E Streets NW. A finance committee aide said the full council will be asked to pass legislation setting the rate on July 31.