Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–845.01. Tax deferral — Bureau of National Affairs.

(a) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, the Mayor may enter into an agreement with The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (“BNA”), and BNA Washington, Inc. (“BNAW”), to defer, up to 10 years, any real property tax liability on property located on Lot 109 and Lot 883 of Square 24, popularly known as 1227-1231 25th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., or any property in the District of Columbia acquired for headquarters and principal operations as an addition to, or substitute for, the 25th Street address during the term of any deferral agreement.

(b) The Mayor is authorized to enter into a written agreement (“Agreement”) with BNA and BNAW on such terms and conditions as the Mayor deems to be in the best interest of the District, the purpose of which is to provide BNA and BNAW with incentives to continue their current occupancy and usage of the real property specified in subsection (a) of this section, or any similar District property substituted therefor, for which real property tax relief is to be granted and in which BNA and BNAW maintain their headquarters and principal operations, including, but not limited to, production, editorial, home office sales, and home office operations, and to expand their business operation by committing to the lease or purchase of an additional 95,000 square feet of office space in the District of Columbia.

(c) The amount of real property tax owed during an approved deferment period shall not constitute delinquent taxes nor shall BNA and BNAW be assessed any interest or penalty for the deferment period. The deferral shall be prospective and shall apply only to the specified tax years.

(d) Taxes, including penalty and interest thereon, deferred under this section shall constitute a preferential lien upon the real property which shall be payable immediately by the seller, transferor, or conveyor whenever the real property is sold, transferred, or conveyed in any manner, to an entity other than BNAW or a wholly-owned subsidiary of BNA or whenever additional co-owners (other than BNA or a wholly-owned subsidiary of BNA) are added to the real property.

(e) In no event shall the deferral granted pursuant to this section be transferable.

(f) As a condition to the grant of tax benefits under this section, BNA and BNAW shall submit to the Mayor by March 31st of each tax year an affidavit, signed under penalty of perjury. The affidavit shall contain the following averments or documentation of same establishing that after reasonable investigation, the undersigned have determined that BNA and BNAW:

(1) Have met and intend to continue to meet the requirements applicable to the receipt of the real property tax deferral pursuant to the Agreement;

(2) Are in compliance with the terms of all public benefit agreements entered into with the District;

(3) Have recorded as an obligation all unpaid taxes on the subject property in their financial statements;

(4) Are not now receiving and do not now have pending any other application for forgiveness of the obligation to pay any taxes, or for the abatement of real property tax liability imposed by the District, except as provided in § 47-825.01 [repealed] and subsection (i) of this section;

(5) Are not delinquent in the payment of taxes, assessments, fees, or other indebtedness to the District; and

(6) Are not in violation of the laws and regulations of the District.

(g) The Mayor shall make an annual determination of the compliance by BNA and BNAW with the requirements of this section and the Agreement under this section.

(1) If the Mayor determines that BNA and BNAW are in compliance, the Mayor shall issue to BNA and BNAW and to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue (“Director”) a certificate of compliance.

(2) If the Mayor determines that BNA and BNAW are not in compliance, and after the Mayor gives to BNA and BNAW written notice and a reasonable time to cure the noncompliance or default and BNA and BNAW fail to cure the noncompliance or default, the Mayor shall issue to BNA and BNAW and to the Director a certificate of noncompliance and shall direct that BNA and BNAW be billed for the assessment based on the accumulated tax liability as if the deferment had not been approved. The Mayor may waive, in whole or in part, interest and penalties, when, in his or her judgment, such waiver would be in the public interest.

(h) Any assessment pursuant to a determination of noncompliance shall be due and payable by March 31st following the end of the tax year in which the certificate of noncompliance was issued.

(i)(1) If BNA and BNAW are aggrieved by any assessment of accumulated real property tax, penalty, and interest on real property owned by BNA or BNAW covered by the Agreement and this section, BNA and BNAW may appeal from the assessment in the same manner and to the same extent as provided in § 47-825.01 [repealed] and in §§ 47-3303 and 47-3304; provided, however, that the deferred real property taxes need not first be paid.

(2) At the termination of the 10-year deferral period, BNA and BNAW shall be responsible for the payment of the deferred real property tax notwithstanding the pendency of any administrative or judicial challenge to a real property tax levy or assessment.

(j) The Mayor is authorized to develop the necessary forms and procedures, and to promulgate regulations, necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.


(Sept. 3, 1974, 88 Stat. 1058, Pub. L. 93-407, title IV, § 435a; as added Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-250, § 2, 44 DCR 1253; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 60, 45 DCR 745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-845.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-405 and § 47-3305.

Cross References

Superior Court Tax Division, appeals of real estate assessments, see § 47-3305.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

References in Text

Pursuant to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s “Notice of Public Interest” published in the April 18, 1997, issue of the District of Columbia Register ( 44 DCR 2345) the Office of Tax and Revenue assumed all of the duties and functions previously performed by the Department of Finance and Revenue, as set forth in Commissioner’s Order 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. This action was made effective January 22, 1997, nunc pro tunc.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 11-250: Section 7 of D.C. Law 11-250 provided that the provisions of the act shall apply to the tax year beginning October 1, 1996, and ending September 30, 1997, and for each tax year thereafter through September 30, 2007.

Proposed economic development incentives legislation: Section 4 of D.C. Law 11-250, as amended by § 901(a) of D.C. Law 12-60, provides that the Mayor shall submit to the Council, not later than September 16, 1997, proposed legislation to establish comprehensive standards for the provision of incentives by the District government to maintain existing employers in the District and to attract new employers to the District.

Section 5 of D.C. Law 11-250, as amended by § 901(b) of D.C. Law 12-60, provided that if the Mayor does not submit the proposed legislation outlined in § 4 of the act, the Mayor shall not reduce or defer the tax liability, including interest and penalties, or negotiate, or enter into, an agreement for the reduction or deferment of any tax liability, including interest and penalties, of any taxpayer liable to the District for the payment of any tax. Section 5 also provided that if the Mayor does not submit the proposed legislation, one position in the Office of the Assistant City Administrator for Economic Development shall be abolished.

Section 503 of D.C. Law 13-305 provided: “Sec. 503. Repealer relating to real property tax assessments. Sections 4 and 5 of the BNA Washington Inc. Real Property Tax Deferral Amendment Act of 1996, effective April 9, 1997 (D.C. Law 11-250; 44 DCR 1253), are repealed.”