Loose Lips

Jack Evans Plans His Own Tax Lien Legislation

Mayor Vince Gray isn't the only District politician cooking up legislation to stop the sale of delinquent tax liens following last weekend's Washington Post investigation. Councilmember (and mayoral candidate) Jack Evans, whose finance committee oversees the Office of Tax and Revenue, tells LL that he's working on his own bill to solve the problem of people losing their homes over a few hundred dollars in unpaid taxes.

Evans' legislation, which he plans to introduce when the Council reconvenes next Tuesday, would stop all sales on liens owed by veterans, the handicapped, and senior citizens. Evans says his bill will also raise the ceiling on lien sales from $1,000 to $2,000, and cap the amount of attorney fees delinquent taxpayers would pay to the owners of their liens at $1,500.

If a lien purchaser forecloses on a property and eventually sells it, Evans says his bill would require them to pay the difference between the sales price and the original lien amount back to the original property owner, allowing the initial homeowner to retain the equity they built up in the property.

Evans says he's "outraged" by the Post story, but he doesn't have to be so surprised. Last year, a homeowners' rights group warned both Gray and Evans about problems with the program.

Evans says he hasn't talked to Gray yet about the legislation. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is working with Evans on the bill, according to Mendelson's chief of staff.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • RealDC

    Ok, what about the folks that lost their homes? Their estates?

    What about the "scoundrels" that rigged the bidding and game the system?

    What about the incompetent monkeys at OTR that "let" this go on?

    This is a failure of leadership, Jack and you have been the chair of this committee forever. Why are you surprised?

    Now you want to be mayor, so now you want to lead. SMH.

  • vic

    The Mayor and all council members should be fired immediately - and tarred and feathered. No f**ing investigations - blah blah - you all failed in your primary duty to protect your citizens from rape and pillage. Resign now - the dismal lot of you!

    OK - first pass the f**king rules to stop the rape and pillage - then resign! Seriously - no one on the city council has any credibility now. Go away all of you!

    We could just pick names from a hat and have a better council. No excuses - you should all be ashamed!

  • NE John

    I love DC. I was born here and more or less spent my whole life here (minus college years). I hate DC government. Wait, hate is too nice a word. I despise, loathe, abhor, abominate, and detest all these guys, utterly.

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  • RealDC

    Agree with all!!

    This government has been compromised in every way.

    The "out of town" monkeys that work at these agencies are the worst. And they all live outside of DC.

    Getting paid by us to screw us over.

    All of the current elected officials are responsible for this and should be held accountable!!

  • LoveDC

    Not all of them David Grosso nor Anita Bonds for that matter

  • Typical DC BS

    Sorry, maybe folks need to PAY THEIR BILLS. I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who don't pay what they owe. Granted, losing your ENTIRE property over minor amounts due is ridiculous, but almost EVERY person they profiled in that series let a very easy situation to rectify the issue (i.e. PAY THE AMOUNT DUE) linger for A LONG TIME.

    Funny how the "family" members of the senior citizens don't bother to pay attention until it's too late.

  • lou

    @typical DC BS. I hope you never get Alzheimers or cancer and then miss a payment.

    No wait, I do. It will end up costing DC *taxpayers* more to now house the Marine with dementia than it would have, had he been able to hang on to his house and equity.

    But I'm willing to bet you're the kind of person who has no qualms about seeing someone mentally ill or old, sick and frail sleeping on the street corner.

  • drez

    @Typical DC BS
    I often agree with you but in the present case the proportionality is way way way out of wack.
    Just think: One in Five for closures was fraudulent and illegal.

  • drez

    Tax lein sales. Not foreclosures.

  • Anonymous,Too

    "This is a failure of leadership, Jack and you have been the chair of this committee forever."

    Let's see. Under Jack's "leadership" as Chair of the F&R Committee:
    --$48 million, the biggest ripoff in DC history, went missing from OTR;
    --In 2012, WaPo reported that there were still inappropriate controls at OTR five years after the scandal;
    --Evans boasts of being the brains behind the stadium deal, which maxed out DC's borrowing capacity;
    --He has had a little side job with one of the biggest lobbying firms in the region and the conflicts-of-interest with his Council job are blatant;
    --He knowingly controlled his JackPAC slush fund until Linda Cropp blew the whistle on him in 2005-6;
    --ad infinitum.

    Precisely why this guy should be laughed or booed off the dais during his mayoral run.

  • Trudat

    Not only did this happen on Jack's watch, but he supposedly learned about this abuse last year, and allowed it to happen again. Very much like his oversight of the CFO's during all of its problems. DC has real time problems, and some people want to him at the helm??

  • Anonymous,Too

    The developers, lawyers and lobbyists--including himself--that Jack has enriched over 20+ years in office don't want the spigots turned off. They've got kids and grand kids to support and this has been an incredible gravy train.

  • Trudat

    @Anonymous, exactly