DC homeowner sent tax bill nearly $24K over normal amount after property declared vacant

When Steven Glazerman received mail from the District of Columbia's Office of Tax and Revenue, he says his wife almost fell out of her chair. That's because the bill they were sent was nearly $24,000 more expensive than they expected.

"It's like a nasty surprise," said Glazerman.

He and his wife live in the Takoma area of the city. When they opened the letter, they noticed their property tax bill was higher than expected.

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"$27,806, usually these bills are a little over $4,000," he says.

To add to the surprise, the city classified his home as vacant.

On Glazerman's bill under the class section is the number 3. According to the city, class three is a "vacant real property."

"There is nothing that would make them think this is a vacant property. We've been here making sourdough, not leaving the house for two and a half years," Glazerman said.

FOX 5 reached out to the city to figure out how this happening to him. We are also told more than 500 residents in the District live in homes that are technically recorded as vacant.

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A spokesperson with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs says, "properties had prior exemptions that expired and were correctly classified as vacant until occupancy is confirmed in accordance with the law".

Glazerman says he doesn't understand how this could be possible. He's lived in his home for over 3 years.

"It's a terrible way to treat homeowners in the District," he adds.

The city goes on to say that "seller and purchasers are encouraged to review their closing documents to determine if a vacant property exemption is in place for the property."

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After numerous calls to the city and posts on social media looking for answers, the city sent Glazerman a new bill on Aug. 15 for a total of $4,392.55.

He has a message for other homeowners.

"Look at your bill when you get it, even if it's auto pay through a mortgage lender," said Glazerman.

To verify the occupancy status of your home in D.C. click here.