The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Washington, D.C.:
Using Property Taxes to Remove Working Class Park

May 15, 2023

Longtime and new residents of the Talbert Terrace neighborhood in Washington, D.C.’s black, working-class Anacostia neighborhood joined to protest a developer’s plans to destroy their longtime park.

The neighborhood association won a lawsuit in 1976 to acquire the park from a developer. Neighbors have hosted block parties and sports games there since the late 1960s. But in the early 2000s the city government decided to begin taxing the park as “vacant” and “blighted.” The city assessed enormous property tax bills on the property, including over $130,000 one year. The shaded park is only half the size of a football field. The neighbors couldn’t pay all that, and in 2019 the city seized the park and sold it at tax sale to a developer who now plans to build properties there.

The city government is dead set on doing dirty favors for the rich. The community has settled in for a long, hard fight.