§ 47–805. Office of Real Property Tax Ombudsman.
(a) There is created within the Office of the Mayor the Office of the Real Property Tax Ombudsman (“Office”), which shall be headed by the Real Property Tax Ombudsman (“Ombudsman”), who shall be appointed by the Mayor pursuant to § 1-523.01(a), as a statutory employee in the Excepted Service pursuant to § l-609.08. The Ombudsman shall serve for a term of 5 years. The Ombudsman shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor.
(b) The Ombudsman shall appoint staff and additional personnel as provided for in an approved budget and financial plan for the District.
(c) The Ombudsman shall:
(1) Consult with and advise Class 1 real property owners on any real property tax matter arising under Chapter 8 or 13A of this title or under Chapter 31A of Title 42;
(2) Receive and investigate concerns and complaints from Class 1 real property owners related to real property tax matters;
(3) Provide counsel and assistance to Class 1 real property owners relating to real property taxes, including referring Class 1 real property owners to appropriate:
(A) Legal service providers;
(B) Public interest organizations; and
(C) Government offices;
(4) Maintain a list of organizations that provide free or reduced-price legal services to District of Columbia residents and a list of housing counseling agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(5) Protect the confidentiality of records and comply with all applicable confidentiality provisions, including § 47-821(d)(2); and
(6) Prepare and submit to the Council and the Mayor an annual report on the activities of the Office that the Mayor shall make available to the public on the Mayor’s website.
(d) The Ombudsman may assist an owner with matters concerning an abutting lot where the abutting lot and the Class 1 property are owned by the same owner.
(e) The Ombudsman shall not appear on behalf of Class 1 real property owners in any court, administrative, or quasi-judicial proceeding.
(f) The Office of the Chief Financial Officer may share confidential tax information with the Ombudsman.
(g) For purposes of this section, the term “Class 1 real property owner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 47-813(c-3)(1); provided, that the term owner as used in § 47-813(c-3)(1) shall be construed broadly and include the persons defined as owners in § 47-802 as well as other persons with an equitable interest in the property, and any other persons the Ombudsman determines to be appropriate representatives of the property owner (or, if applicable, the property owner’s estate), or any other persons the Ombudsman determines to be consistent with the purposes of this section.