MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Legislature mulls expanding partial exemptions for property taxes

Feb 10, 2023, 11:27 AM

real estate power property taxes...

A residential home in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood (brewbooks via Flickr)

(brewbooks via Flickr)

One of the groups hit hardest by inflation may get more of a break on property taxes if a bill in the Legislature becomes law.

Partial property tax exemptions exist for certain groups in Washington, such as low-income seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities.

Whether a senior qualifies for tax relief and how much of a reduction they get is based on their earnings as a percentage of their county’s median income. Currently, households earning 65% of their county’s median income or less can get partial exemptions.

“A lot of times, property tax bills run right around $5,000,” said Clark County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick in testimony at the State Legislature. “And with the senior exemption program, a lot of times we’ll see those bills go down to maybe $2,000 or less.”

Legislature considering bill to lower taxes on canned cocktails

Now, a bipartisan bill in the Legislature would, if passed, expand the groups of people who qualify for partial property tax exemptions.

House Bill 1355 would increase exemption categories by 5% of county median income. This means that anyone making up to 70% of their county’s median income could get a tax reduction.

Income thresholds would also be re-adjusted every three years to keep up with inflation. Right now, they are only re-adjusted every five years.

Representative Sharon Wylie (D-Vancouver), the bill’s prime sponsor, said this would mean the world to seniors on a fixed income who have been harmed by record inflation.

“It’s in everybody’s interest to be able to age in place and to not lose the homes that we have put our life’s savings into,” she said. “This is a problem that is only going to get worse.”

King County Assessor John Wilson testified in support of the bill, noting that in his home county, the qualifying income would go up to about $72,000 per year.

“I very much support efforts to take into account the devastating impact inflation is having on seniors across our state … I hear far too often from seniors who literally are in tears from fear of losing their homes simply because their property taxes went up,” Wilson said.

Follow Nicole Jennings on Twitter or email her here

MyNorthwest News

Photo: The Kent refugee camp on June 3, 2024....

Sam Campbell

‘Food is finished:’ Refugees in Kent call for help as health, food struggles remain

About 170 asylum-seeking refugees living at a camp in Kent have been moved into temporary housing over the course of a week.

12 hours ago

Image: A sign for a Big Lots store can be seen from outside the location June 7, 2024 in Hercules, ...

Steve Coogan

Big Lots to close 12 stores in Washington, about 140 nationwide

Discount retailer Big plans to close over 140 stores nationwide, including 12 out of 26 locations in the state of Washington.

13 hours ago

Image: Matt Driscoll, a columnist for The News Tribune, died suddenly at the age of 43 in July 2024...

Bill Kaczaraba

Columnist Matt Driscoll, the face of ‘Tacoma and Pierce County,’ dies at 43

Matt Driscoll, a fixture in the Tacoma newspaper community, has died. A columnist and opinion editor for the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT), Driscoll was 43 years old. “The humor, the witty banter, and wry observations are what brought us together,” Matt Driscoll’s wife Jennifer Driscoll told The Tacoma News Tribune. “We really clicked in that […]

15 hours ago

Tacoma woman refused TB treatment...

Julia Dallas

Tacoma woman who refused tuberculosis treatment now healthy: ‘She’s cured!’

A Tacoma woman who refused TB treatment for months last year is now healthy. Health officials announced she is officially "cured."

16 hours ago

Commercial truck narrowly misses oncoming traffic in Bellevue....

Bill Kaczaraba

Watch: Wild ride from commercial truck driver leaves Bellevue drivers holding their breath

It was a close call at Main Street and 112 Street Northeast in Bellevue Tuesday morning, leaving Bellevue drivers feeling lucky they were not hit.

17 hours ago

lea hill shooting...

Luke Duecy

1 injured as shooting erupts in Auburn’s Lea Hill neighborhood; arrest made

The Auburn Police Department is investigating a shooting early Tuesday in the city's Lea Hill neighborhood that left one woman injured.

20 hours ago

Legislature mulls expanding partial exemptions for property taxes