Advocacy Updates

Tax Relief Bill for Sprinkler Retrofit Heads to Last Reading

City Council Bill 101 provides real property tax relief for installation of an automatic sprinkler system on an owner's high-rise condominium property. An owner of a residential unit in an existing high-rise residential would be entitled to up to a $2,000 tax credit against the owner's real property tax liability if an automatic sprinkler system is either installed throughout the high-rise building or the common areas of the existing residential high-rise building. Existing high-rise residential building means any building that has floors used for human occupancy located more than 75 feet above the highest grade, contains dwelling units, and which was erected prior to 1993.  The credit will be applied against real property tax liability for the tax year immediately following approval.

The bill was met with some opposition over the appropriateness of offering real property tax relief to benefit owners who are improving their property. The public relies on real property taxes to fund various municipal services provided by the City and Bill 101 would shift the burden of paying for those services to all other property owners and specifically to owners of single-family homes. Opponents believe that providing owners with access to low interest loans to fund their improvements would be a more equity direction. Bill 101 needs to pass third reading before City Council to provide tax relief to property owners.

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