Mona Das. COURTESY PHOTO

Mona Das. COURTESY PHOTO

Das bill expanding affordable housing development becomes state law

Extends Multifamily Tax Exemption for developers on certain property taxes

A bill signed by Gov. Jay Inslee extends the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) for developers to pay certain property taxes in an effort to expand affordable housing building incentives.

“Now more than ever, we need to advance solutions to our housing crisis and get – or keep – a roof over our neighbors’ heads,” said Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the sponsor of the bill, in a May 3 state Senate Democrats news release. “This bill was a top priority for our community, and a broad coalition of local lawmakers, low-income housing advocates, associations of cities and counties, and housing developers came together to see this through.”

Inslee signed the bill May 3.

In Washington, where there are only 29 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income households according to a 2019 report, Senate Bill 5287 broadens access to housing during a critical period of economic recovery in the state, according to the news release.

The new law authorizes a 12-year extension of existing eight-year and 12-year MFTEs that were set to expire if they met certain affordability requirements. It also establishes a new 20-year property tax exemption for those who build permanently affordable homes. Additionally, the law expands the definition of a city for 10 years (through Dec. 31, 2031) to include those not currently eligible for the 12-year MFTE and the 20-year exemption for permanently affordable homes.

Developers who apply and qualify for the exemption would still pay taxes on the land but not on the residential buildings.

“This is a critical tool that can be used to support the development of missing middle-range housing,” said Rep. Alex Ramel, D-Bellingham, one of the bill’s champions in the House of Representatives. “Washingtonians have been advocating for real solutions to the lack of available housing in our state, and this is one way to sustainably promote the long-term development of affordable options.”

Without this extension, more than 7,000 currently rent-restricted units would shift to market-rate rents, ultimately exacerbating Washington’s shortage of affordable housing inventory, according to the news release. Extending the MFTE program timeline will help address the deadline for these thousands of units that were otherwise set to age out of the program.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Medical examiner identifies second victim in fiery Kent car crash

Troy Thorp, 61, died in May 11 single-vehicle crash along South 272nd Street on West Hill

t
Kent man, 52, receives reduced sentence in Seattle fatal shooting

Pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter after video of 2020 shooting indicates self-defense

t
Kent Police use drone, K-9 unit to capture assault suspect

Man had fled after fight with security guard at apartment complex along SE Kent-Kangley Road

Jail bars. File photo
Renton man convicted in 2018 Des Moines homicide

Jurors found 28-year-old Yourhighness Jeramiah Bolar of Renton guilty of two felony charges.

t
One of two victims identified in fiery Kent crash

Kristen Anne Meyers, 53, died in May 11 crash on West Hill, according to medical examiner

t
City-owned ShoWare Center in Kent loses $742,675 in 2023

Losses lower than projected but expenses continue to exceed revenue at 6,200-seat arena

t
Kent firefighters extinguish two fires on the same morning | Photos

Friday, May 17 at apartment leasing office in the Valley and at a vacant East Hill house

Courtesy Photo, City of Kent
City of Kent population drops by 1,051 in 2023 compared to 2022

Decline similar to many cities of 50,000 or more across the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau

t
Kent Police Blotter: April 25 to May 8

Incidents include burglaries, robberies, shootings

t
Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

t
Feds indict 9 South King County residents on drug trafficking charges

Those accused from Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Enumclaw

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.