HB 1596 - BAD Bill

Bill Title: Providing local governments with options to increase affordable housing in their communities.

Committee: Finance
Companion Bill: None

Bill Summary:

  • AN ACT Relating to providing local governments with options to increase affordable housing in their communities; adding a new  chapter to Title 84 RCW; and creating new sections.

What the Bill says:

  • A county or a city with a population of 1.5 million people or more may create a low income property tax exemption program for residential housing units which lasts 6 years The six years may be extended every 6 years. It gives oversight to ensure that the landlords or exempt property owners are still in compliance. 

Our Summary Opinion:

  • Low income housing is an industry these days. There are tax emptions for developers near mass transit lines. Tax exemptions for developers in mixed use construction to provide higher density. Tax exemptions for mixed use/mixed income (moderate income) and tax exemptions for low income already in place. Not to mention housing subsidies with paying for rents and facilitating the financial capability for low and moderate income to buy homes. We are a tax shift state so every single exemption becomes some one else’s tax burden. We need some accountability with regards to how many, how much money, and just exactly who is not having to pay for the taxes this state uses to operate its government branches and provide the services. I suggest we stop and take a look at that first.

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