Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–1101. Definitions.

When used in this chapter, unless otherwise required by the context:

(1) The word “District” means the District of Columbia.

(2) The word “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia, or his duly authorized agents or representatives.

(3)(A) The word “deed” means any document, instrument, or writing, including a security interest instrument, wherever made, executed, or delivered, pursuant to which:

(i) Title to real property is conveyed, vested, granted, bargained, sold, transferred, or assigned;

(ii) An interest in real property (including an estate for life) is conveyed, vested, granted, bargained, sold, transferred, or assigned;

(iii) A security interest in real property is conveyed, vested, granted, bargained, sold, transferred, or assigned; or

(iv) A transfer of an economic interest in real property is evidenced pursuant to § 42-1102.02.

(B) The word “deed” shall not include a will or a lease or ground rent for a term (with renewals) that is less than 30 years.

(4) The words “real property” mean every estate or right, legal or equitable, present or future, vested or contingent in lands, tenements, or hereditaments located in whole or in part within the District.

(5) The word “consideration,” except as otherwise provided in § 42-1104, means the price or amount actually paid, or required to be paid, for real property including any mortgages, liens, encumbrances thereon, construction loan deeds of trust or mortgages or permanent loan deeds of trust or mortgages.

(6) The word “person” means an individual, partnership, society, association, joint-stock company, corporation, estate, receiver, trustee, assignee, any individual acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, whether appointed by a court or otherwise, any combination of individuals, and any other form of unincorporated enterprise owned or conducted by 2 or more persons.

(7) The word “deficiency” as used in this chapter means the amount or amounts by which the tax imposed by this chapter as determined by the Mayor exceeds the amount shown as the tax upon the return of the person or persons liable for the payment thereof.

(8) The word “taxpayer” means any person required by this chapter to pay a tax, or file a return.

(9) The words “construction loan deed of trust or mortgage” mean a deed of trust or mortgage upon real estate which is given to secure a loan for new real estate construction.

(10) The words “permanent loan deed of trust or mortgage” mean a deed of trust or mortgage upon real estate which secures an instrument made by the same obligors who made the instrument which the construction loan deed of trust or mortgage secured, and which conveys substantially the same real estate.

(11) The phrase “controlling interest” means:

(A) More than 50% of the total voting power of all classes of stock of a corporation or more than 50% of the total fair market value of all classes of stock of a corporation;

(B) More than 50% of the capital or profits in a partnership, association, or other unincorporated entity; or

(C) More than 50% of the beneficial interests in a trust.

(12) The phrase “purchase money mortgage or purchase money deed of trust” means a mortgage or deed of trust provided as payment or part payment of the purchase price of real property.

(13) The phrase “security interest” means any interest in real property acquired for the purpose of securing payment of a debt.

(14) The phrase “security interest instrument” means any instrument which conveys, vests, grants, transfers, bargains, sells, or assigns a security interest in real property. A security interest instrument may include the following:

(A) A mortgage;

(B) A deed of trust;

(C) A financing statement;

(D) A refinancing statement; or

(E) Another document, instrument, or writing which creates an encumbrance on real property.

(15) The phrase “supplemental deed” means a deed that confirms, corrects, modifies, or supplements a prior recorded deed without additional consideration.

(16) The phrase "first-time District homebuyer" means an individual purchaser who has never owned improved residential real property or an economic interest in a cooperative unit that qualified for the homestead deduction provided pursuant to § 47-850 or § 47-850.01 as the individual's principal residence. The term "first-time District homebuyer" includes an individual who has divorced or separated and who, by a written settlement agreement or court order, did not obtain an ownership interest in a principal residence that had been jointly owned.

(17) The phrase "eligible property" means improved residential real property, including an economic interest in a cooperative unit, purchased at an amount not to exceed the purchase ceiling of $625,000 (adjusted annually beginning with real property tax year 2019 by the addition to the prior purchase ceiling of an amount equal to the percentage increase in the Washington, D.C., Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the preceding calendar year in which the real property tax year begins, rounded to the next lowest multiple of $500), that qualifies for the homestead deduction provided pursuant to § 47-850 or § 47-850.01; and the phrase also includes within the purchase ceiling all other real property conveyed on the same deed.


(Mar. 2, 1962, 76 Stat. 11, Pub. L. 87-408, title III, § 301; Sept. 13, 1980, D.C. Law 3-92, § 101(a), 27 DCR 3390; Mar. 10, 1982, D.C. Law 4-72, § 3(a), 28 DCR 5273; Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-20, § 2(a), 36 DCR 4564; June 14, 1994, D.C. Law 10-128, § 101(a), 41 DCR 2096; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 506(a), 48 DCR 334; Oct. 26, 2001, D.C. Law 14-42, § 11(b), 48 DCR 7612; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-268, § 2(a), 64 DCR 2159; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 7142(a), 64 DCR 7652; July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-124, § 107(a), 65 DCR 5091.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-921.

1973 Ed., § 45-721.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-407, § 42-818.02, § 47-3503, § 47-3505, and § 47-4655.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-305, in par. 3(A)(ii), inserted “(including an estate for life)”; and, in par. 3(B), substituted “lease or ground rent for a term (with renewals) that is less than 30 years” for “a lease with a term of 99 years or less”.

D.C. Law 14-42 validated the previously made technical correction in par. 3(B).

Cross References

Exemptions for qualifying lower income homeownership households and cooperative housing associations, see § 47-3503.

Nonprofit housing organizations, lower income homeownership tax abatement and incentives, see § 47-3505.

Applicability

Section 301 of D.C. Law 22-124 provided that the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 22-124 shall apply as of October 1, 2017.

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 3 of D.C. Law 21-268. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-268 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-268: § 3 of D.C. Law 21-268 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(a) of D.C. Law 21-268 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 105(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-213, Dec. 20, 2017, 64 DCR 13422).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7142(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 3 of D.C. Law 21-268, see § 7035 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(1) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-163, Oct. 23, 2017, 64 DCR 10778).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7142(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 3 of D.C. Law 21-268, see § 7035 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6(a) of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 11(b) of Technical Amendments Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-108, August 3, 2001, 48 DCR 7622).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 105(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-44, Jan. 25, 2018, 64 DCR 12387).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 6(a) of the Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Transfer of Functions

Part IV-C, 2. b. (12) of Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, assigned to the Office of the Finance Officer, Department of General Administration, the function (except as to such duties and functions as are performed in conjunction therewith by the Recorder of Deeds) of administering, as agent of the Mayor, the provisions of title III of Public Law 87-408 (now classified to this subchapter). Functions as stated in Part IV-C of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969.

Functions of the Recorder of Deeds were transferred in part to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1983, effective March 31, 1983, and in part to a Recorder of Deeds Division in the Department of Finance and Revenue by Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1983, effective March 31, 1983.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 8-20: Section 4 of D.C. Law 8-20 provided that the act shall apply to all transfers of an economic interest in real property in the District after September 30, 1989.

Application of Law 10-128: Section 801 of D.C. Law 10-128 provided that sections 101, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, and 108 shall apply as of June 1, 1994.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.