MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seniors, disabled people, veterans will get break on property taxes

Apr 10, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Apr 11, 2023, 4:05 pm

Seattle housing...

Townhomes are becoming more difficult to build in Seattle. (Oran Viriyincy, Flickr Creative Commons)

(Oran Viriyincy, Flickr Creative Commons)

Seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans will soon be getting property tax relief in Washington state as both chambers of the state government passed HB 1355.

The bill expands the qualifying income thresholds for the property tax exemption and deferral programs for low-income senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. It immediately raises the current threshold by 5% and ties future increases to the most recent County Median Household Income level. In King County, this will raise the income eligibility level from roughly $58,000 per year to just over $72,000 per year.

“This bill means a savings on a typical $690,000 home. If you’re at the low end of the economic spectrum, it could save you more than $5,000 a year in property taxes,” King County Assessor John Wilson told MyNorthwest. “That’s money that truly makes a difference in people’s lives.”

Auburn member of Proud Boys awaits verdict in Jan. 6 trial

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Sharon Wylie (D Vancouver) and passed both chambers last week without a dissenting vote. It is now awaiting a signature from Gov. Jay Inslee.

The bill does outline participant limitations:

(ii) A veteran of the armed forces of the United States entitled 25 to and receiving compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at:

(A) A combined service-connected evaluation rating of 80% or higher; or

(B) A total disability rating for a service-connected disability without regard to evaluation percent.

“There will be some modest shift to taxpayers that aren’t in the senior exemption program,” Wilson said. “We estimate that probably less than $10 a year for the typical household in King County. And we think we all know that there are significant benefits to being able to allow seniors to age in place.”

There are UW studies that show seniors have better physical and mental health outcomes if they are able to stay at home.

“And the great challenge we have right now is a crisis in housing for seniors that may want to move, if they find themselves taxed out of their home, there’s literally no place built for them to go. And this allows them to stay in that home,” Wilson explained.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Sharon Wylie (D Vancouver) and passed both chambers without a dissenting vote.

“What it does is a couple of things. In King County, the threshold would go from $58,423 to just over $72,000 — that’ll bring in a lot more people, it will also allow people to stay in the program,” Wilson said. “It also takes the review period from five years down to three years. Because one of the things we’ve seen is with inflation — the way it has been this last year or two years — we’ve got to be revising the program or reviewing the program far more frequently than the five years originally envisioned.”

The bill outlines the public relations plan:

The department and each local assessor are hereby directed to publicize the qualifications and manner of making claims under RCW 84.36.381 through 84.36.389, through communications media, including such paid advertisements or notices as it deems appropriate. Notice of the qualifications, method of making applications, the penalties for not reporting a change in status, and availability of further information must be included on or with property tax statements and revaluation notices for all residential properties, including mobile homes, except rental properties.

MyNorthwest News

Image: At left, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 9...

MyNorthwest Staff

Top Washington state officials react to Trump rally shootings

Washington state officials react to the shooting at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania. The comments come from X social media.

6 hours ago

Auburn shooting...

Bill Kaczaraba

Auburn late-night shooting leaves one teenage boy dead

The Auburn community was shaken by a deadly shooting late Friday night. Police received reports of gunfire in the 500 Block of A Street SE.

7 hours ago

Fitness guru Richard Simmons died Saturday at age 76. (AP)...

MARK KENNEDY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TV’s silly fitness guru Richard Simmons dies at 76

Richard Simmons, TV's court jester of physical fitness who built an empire by urging the overweight to exercise and eat better, has died.

9 hours ago

Photo: KIRO Newsradio is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its "newsradio" format with a special ...

MyNorthwest Staff

KIRO celebrates 50th anniversary of ‘newsradio’ format with special alumni broadcast

KIRO Newsradio is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its "newsradio" format with a special broadcast featuring several prominent alumni.

12 hours ago

Photo: Police swarm Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood after shooting on July 3....

James Lynch

Police identify 2 girls who were with alleged Alderwood Mall shooter

There are new developments in last week's deadly shooting at Alderwood Mall. Jayda Woods-Johnson, 13, was killed.

12 hours ago

Renton bus crash...

Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Eight injured after bus crashes into Renton ravine

A bus driver suffered a medical emergency, crashing the bus into a ravine in Renton, injuring eight people on board.

18 hours ago

Seniors, disabled people, veterans will get break on property taxes