Code of the District of Columbia

§ 9–401.06. Improvement and repairs of alleys and sidewalks; construction of sewers and sidewalks.

(a) The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized and empowered, whenever in his judgment the public health, safety, or comfort require it, or whenever application shall be made therefor, accompanied by a deposit equal to one-half the estimated cost of the work, to improve and repair alleys and sidewalks, and to construct sewers and sidewalks in the District of Columbia of such form and materials as he may determine, and to pay the total cost of such work from appropriations for assessment and permit work.

(b) Said Mayor shall give notice by advertisement, twice a week for 2 weeks in some newspaper published in the City of Washington, of any assessment work proposed to be done by him under this section, designating the location and the kind of work to be done, specifying the kind of materials to be used, the estimated cost of the improvement, and fixing a time and place when and where property owners to be assessed can appear and present objections thereto, and for hearing thereof. One-half of the total cost of the assessment work herein provided for, including the expenses of the assessment, shall be charged against and become a lien upon abutting property, and an assessment therefor shall be levied pro rata according to the linear frontage of said property; provided, that no such assessment shall be levied against abutting property for the cost of repairing alleys or sidewalks when the damage requiring such repair is caused by the growth of roots of trees on public space or the cause of such damage is otherwise beyond the control of the owner of such property. One-half of the cost of the assessment work done under the provisions of this section shall be paid to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue of the District of Columbia, as follows: one-third of the amount within 60 days after service of notice of such assessment, without interest; one-third within 1 year, and the remainder within 2 years from the date of such service of notice, and interest shall be charged at the rate of 6 per centum per annum from the date of service of such notice on all amounts which shall remain unpaid at the expiration of 60 days after service of notice of such assessment, which in all cases shall be served upon each lot owner, if he or she be a resident of the District, and his or her residence known, and if he or she be a nonresident of the District, or his or her residence unknown, such notice shall be served on his or her tenant or agent, as the case may be, and if there be no tenant or agent known to the Mayor, then he shall give notice of such assessment by advertisement twice a week for 2 weeks in some newspaper published in said District. The service of such notice, where the owner or his tenant or agent resides in the District of Columbia, shall be either personal or by leaving the same with some person of suitable age at the residence or place of business of such owner, agent, or tenant; and return of such service, stating the manner thereof, shall be made in writing and filed in the office of said Mayor; provided, that the cost of publication of the notice herein provided for, and the service of such notices shall be paid out of the appropriations for assessment and permit work. Any property upon which such assessment and accrued interest thereon, or any part thereof, shall remain unpaid at the expiration of 2 years from the date of service of notice of such assessment shall be subject to sale therefor under the same conditions and penalties which are imposed by existing laws for the nonpayment of general taxes; and if any property assessed as herein provided for shall become liable to sale for any other assessment or tax whatever, then the assessments levied under this section shall become immediately due and payable, and the property against which they are levied may be sold therefor, together with the accrued interest thereon, and the cost of advertising, to the date of such sale. Property owners who request improvements under the permit system shall deposit in advance with the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue of the District of Columbia an amount equal to one-half the estimated cost of such improvements, and in such cases it shall not be necessary to give the notice hereinbefore provided for. All moneys received by the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue of the District of Columbia for work done upon the request of property owners, as herein provided for, shall be deposited by him in the United States Treasury to the credit of the Permit Fund. Upon the completion of work done as aforesaid at the request of property owners, the Mayor shall repay to the then current appropriation for assessment and permit work, out of the Permit Fund, a sum equivalent to one-half of the cost of the work, and shall return to the depositors, from the same fund, as application may be made therefor, any surplus that may remain over and above one-half of the cost of the work. All sums received by the Director under the provisions of this section on account of assessment work, and in payment of assessments heretofore made prior to August 7, 1894, for compulsory permit work, shall be credited to the appropriation for assessment and permit work for the fiscal years in which they are collected; provided further, that the costs of service connections with water mains and sewers shall be assessed against the lots for which said connections are made, and shall be collected in the same manner and upon the same conditions as to notice as herein provided for assessment work.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding Chapter 3A of Title 2 [§ 2-351.01 et seq.], the Mayor may enter into an agreement, excluding grant agreements, with a BID corporation, as defined in § 2-1215.02(4), or with DC Surface Transit Inc., a nonprofit corporation in the District of Columbia, to maintain or improve public space, such as sidewalks and signage, within the boundaries of the BID, as defined in § 2-1215.02(7), or to engage in public space planning activities in the District.

(2) The Mayor shall pay or reimburse to a BID corporation or DC Surface Transit Inc. for reasonably incurred expenses in maintaining or improving public space or for engaging in planning activity under this subsection for services customarily provided by the District to any similar geographic area pursuant to § 2-1215.20(a).

(3) An agreement with a BID corporation or DC Surface Transit Inc. made pursuant to this subsection to complete work in public space shall contain provisions requiring adequate insurance and indemnification.

(4)(A) An agreement with a BID corporation or DC Surface Transit Inc. made pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed $250,000 for a single fiscal year; provided, that a multiyear agreement shall be allowed, subject to annual appropriation.

(B) Beginning October 1, 2015, the amount referenced in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be indexed by the percentage that the average of the Consumer Price Index for the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Statistical Area for all-urban consumers published by the Department of Labor, as of the close of the 12-month period ending on March 31 (“Consumer Price Index”) for the preceding fiscal year, exceeds the Consumer Price Index for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014, and each succeeding fiscal year.


(Aug. 7, 1894, 28 Stat. 247, ch. 232; Feb. 20, 1931, 46 Stat. 1198, ch. 246, § 9; Sept. 25, 1962, 76 Stat. 598, Pub. L. 87-700, § 1; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-264, § 2, 62 DCR 1527.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-609.

1973 Ed., § 7-608.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1217.31, § 9-421.09, and § 9-421.10.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-264 added the subsection (a) and (b) designations; and added (c).

Cross References

Taxation and fiscal affairs, special assessments for public improvements, see § 47-1201 et seq.

Water and sewer systems, flood hazard prevention, see § 6-503.

Water mains and service sewers, see §§ 34-2401.01 and 34-2405.01.

Editor's Notes

Office of Collector of Taxes abolished: The Office of the Collector of Taxes was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Collector of Taxes including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies are transferred to the Director, Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, transferred the functions of the Collector of Taxes to the Finance Office. The same Order provided for the Office of the Collector of Taxes headed by a Collector in the Finance Office, and abolished the previously existing Office of the Collector of Taxes. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, which provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officer, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) would continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and that the Treasury Division would perform the function of collecting revenues of the District of Columbia and depositing the same with the Treasurer of the United States, and Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. The collection functions of the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue were transferred to the District of Columbia Treasurer by § 47-316 on March 5, 1981.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.