Property Tax Exemptions Expansion Proposed

Lawmakers in Olympia are looking at a bill that would give developers throughout the state a tax break for building affordable housing. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

Current law in Washington encourages the construction or rehabilitation of affordable multifamily housing in urban centers by giving developers a limited property tax exemption. The program seems to be working, but the state’s affordable housing problems aren’t just hitting big cities. Representative Amy Walen wants the tax break to be available in smaller communities around the state that are planning under the Growth Management Act, and she’s sponsoring legislation that would do just that.

WALEN: “We have housing challenges throughout the state, and the great thing about this policy is that it allows local jurisdictions to figure out what they need for their families, it allows for local control and determination of what kind of building they’re going to do, but it does allow construction of all kinds of housing for low- and middle-income and working-family housing to be built throughout the state.”

Walen, a Democrat from Kirkland, put together a bipartisan list of cosponsors for her plan, and her bill is scheduled for a public hearing at the state Capitol Friday afternoon. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.