[UPDATE: Sources say HB1157 will be ruled “necessary to implement the budget,” which gives it some more time to live. But it still needs your help!]
Two companion bills, HB 1157 and SB 5390, would create incentives for local government to allow more housing, but at least one of them must emerge from its committee Monday (Finance and Ways and Means, respectively) to succeed in this session.
Both versions of the bill have a bipartisan group of sponsors. In the Senate, it’s Liias (D-Edmonds), Gildon (R-Puyallup), Nguyen (D-West Seattle), and Saldana (D-Rainier Valley). In the House, there are 18 sponsors from urban, suburban, and exurban districts, including Fitzgibbon, Harris-Talley, Hackney, Walen, and Ryu from Seattle and its inner suburbs. Thank your district’s delegation for its sponsorship!
The bill would allow cities or counties to create “real estate excise tax density incentive zones” where they get a portion of the REET proceeds. To qualify, the zone must allow “Single-family detached dwellings at a net density of at least six dwelling units per acre , duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhomes, accessory dwelling units, and courtyard apartments.” To qualify, cities and counties cannot allow the units to be short-term rentals for more than 30 days per year.
Cities and counties would receive revenue for each net new unit in the zone, and nothing for sales that don’t increase unit density. In the House bill, they would get up to 50% of each such unit’s tax if within 1/4 mile of a mass transit stop, and 25% if within a 1/2 mile. The Senate uses a less logical formula, but in either case the money could only be used for planning affordable housing or code changes that increase zoning or reduce permitting times.
These bills unambiguously improve on the status quo by providing incentives for local governments to upzone in growth areas. If your representative is on House Finance or Senator on Ways and Means , it might help if you asked them to get the bill on Monday’s agenda. My source says the House Bill has a better shot, and as luck would have it Noel Frame (D-Ballard) is the Rules chair.
 a little over 7200 sq. ft. per lot.
 Braun, Brown, Carlyle, Conway, Darneille, Dhingra, Frockt, Gildon, Hasegawa, Honeyford, Hunt, Keiser, Liias, Mullet, Muzzall, Pedersen, Rivers, Robinson, Rolfes, Schoesler, Van De Wege, Wagoner, Warnick, Wellman, Wilson.