Ten bills dealing with affordable housing made it out of their original committee by today’s deadline. Since none of the policy committees meeting today have any housing bills before them, this is the whole list of surviving housing bills. Any of these bills that got referred next to a fiscal committee (the House Appropriations Committee, which handles budget bills; the House Finance Committee that handles revenue bills; or the Senate Ways & Means Committee) have until next Tuesday to get voted out of that committee. All of these bills have until February 17 to pass out of their original house.
Substitute House Bill 2544, originally by Rep. Noel Frame (D – Ballard), and amended by the House Committee on Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs, would allow a city or county to create a local property tax exemption program to promote the preservation of affordable housing available for very low-income households. The tax exemption could apply for up to 15 consecutive years, but could be extended for an additional three years if the project meets certain energy standards.
The exemption would apply to certain multi-family properties if at least 25 percent of their units are rented at rates that are affordable to households with an income up to 50 percent of the median family income of the area. The threshold household income level could be lowered to serve severely low-income households, or raised up to 60 percent of the median family income in high-property-value areas. The affordability and occupancy requirements could be waived for up to three years for an incidental number of units occupied by over-income tenants at the time of the application. The multi family property would have to be part of a residential or mixed-use project and have a 90 percent occupancy rate. It would have to provide at least half of its space for permanent residents.
The city or county would be allowed to establish its own additional requirements, including a limit on the number of units eligible for the exemption, and designate target areas for affordable housing.
The tax exemption would be cancelled if the owner fails to meet the affordable housing requirements or intends to discontinue compliance, fails to complete a rehabilitation plan, or fails to substantially comply with any applicable building, safety, or health regulations.
The committee substitute bill would require cities to obtain county permission before they exempt the county property tax. It would limit the ability of a city or county to waive health and quality standards for qualifying properties. Additional procedures are included for how the tax exemption certificate would be cancelled. Provisions are included regarding the effect of a transfer of property on the tax exemption. The tax exemption could be claimed beginning in 2017.
SHB 2544 passed out of committee Tuesday, and is scheduled to be heard at 10 am today in the House Finance Committee.
Substitute HB 2585, originally by Rep. June Robinson (D – Everett), by request of the state’s Housing Finance Corporation, and amended to make technical corrections by the House Committee on Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs, would shift a portion of the state’s allowed private activity bond sales each year from student loans to the state’s Housing Finance Corporation. The student loan share would drop from 15% to 5%. The HFC’s share would increase from 32% to 42%.
SHB 2585 passed out of committee on January 28 and is now in the House Rules Committee, waiting to be scheduled for a floor vote.
HB 2647, originally by Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D – Tacoma), would allow cities to buy properties foreclosed on by the county for tax nonpayment, so long as the city agrees to do so within 30 days of a notice of public auction, and the city then sells the property to a local housing authority or nonprofit for the same price, for the purpose of building affordable housing.
The House Committee on Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs amended the bill to specify the price the city has to pay to the county: the minimum bid for that property at auction, set by state law.
SHB 2647 passed out of committee Tuesday, and has not yet been referred to its next committee.
HB 2795, by Rep. Steve Kirby (D – Tacoma), would exempt labor and materials purchased for the construction of adapted housing for qualified disabled veterans from sales and use tax.
HB 2795 passed out of the House Committee on Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Tuesday, and is scheduled to be heard in the House Finance Committee at 10 am this morning.
HB 2843, originally by Rep. Joan McBride (D – Kirkland), would create a business tax credit program to support affordable housing.
The bill was amended in the House Committee on Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs, to create a property tax exemption program, instead of a tax credit program.
SHB 2843 passed out of committee Tuesday, and is scheduled to be heard in the House Finance Committee at 10 am this morning.
Senate Bill 6211, originally by Sen. Bruce Dammeier (R – Puyallup), would exempt properties owned by non-profits from property taxes for the purpose of building and selling affordable housing (for households less than 80% of the median household income in that county), provided that the nonprofit entity sold at least one residence to a low-income household within ten years preceding the submission of an application for this exemption.
The exemption would expire after 8 years, or when the property is transferred. If the nonprofit believes that the title will not be transferred by the end of the sixth consecutive property tax year, the entity could claim a three-year extension by filing a notice with the Department of Revenue and providing a filing fee.
If the title has not been transferred within seven years and an extension has not been granted, the property would be disqualified from exemption, and back taxes would be collected.
SB 6211 passed out of the Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health & Housing on January 21, was amended in the Senate Ways & Means Committee, and the substitute bill passed out of Ways & Means Wednesday. The Ways & Means committee report detailing the differences between the original and substitute bill is not yet available online.
SB 6239, originally by Sen. Joe Fain (R – Auburn), is the companion to HB 2544.
The Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health & Housing amended the bill to allow local governments to require construction work on affected properties to pay at least the prevailing wage.
SSB 6239 passed out of committee Monday and was heard in the Senate Ways & Means Committee Thursday.
SB 6311, originally by Sen. Karen Keiser (D – Des Moines), “providing a property tax exemption for certain property within an affordable housing incentive zone” got its hearing on January 21 in the Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health & Housing, but only a proposed substitute version that has not yet been made available on the legislature’s website was discussed.
Per the committee report on the substitute bill, it would authorize counties to create, or allow cities in that county to create, affordable housing incentive zones.
Property within an incentive zone that provides affordable housing would be exempt from local property tax. All claims for exemption and renewal would have to be submitted by the owner of the property under penalty of perjury. Applications would include documentation that rents are affordable in each of the units for which an exemption is sought and households in those units have an annual income at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income. Rent would be considered affordable if including utilities other than telephone, the rent does not exceed 30 percent of the monthly household income of persons at 80 percent of the area median income. The affordable housing units would have to meet health, building, fire, safety, housing, zoning, and land use codes.
If a unit identified is no longer eligible for a property tax exemption, the property owner would have to notify the county assessor within 60 days of not being eligible. Upon revocation of the exemption, the county treasurer would collect all taxes that otherwise would have been paid had the exemption not been granted, along with interest.
SSB 6311 passed out of committee Thursday. It has not yet been referred to its next committee..
SB 6337, by Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D – Tacoma), is the companion to HB 2647.
SB 6337 passed out of the Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health & Housing yesterday. The committee report is not yet available to detail any amendments. The bill has not yet been referred to its next committee.
SB 6342, originally by Sen. Mark Miloscia (R – Federal Way), at the request of the state’s Housing Finance Corporation, is the companion to HB 2585.
The bill was amended by the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions & Insurance to make technical fixes.
SSB 6342 passed out of committee Wednesday. It has not yet been referred to its next committee