Washington REALTORS® 2020 Legislative Session Update

The 2020 Washington State Legislative Session ends

Key victories for REALTORS® in 2020

Several key victories are shaping up in the Washington Legislature.

  • A key win for REALTORS® – a bill to raise the B&O Tax on Services does NOT include REALTORS®.
  • While no bill is officially DEAD until the session ends, there are several (listed below) that have either been dramatically altered or have died for inaction.

Here are the bills we continue to track in this year’s legislature.

Tax & Fiscal Issues

HB 2907 – King County High Income Payroll Tax – DEAD

  •  This bill would have added a payroll tax on individuals making over $150,000 per year to help fund homelessness programs. All of these bills have died

HB 2634 – REET Exemption for Sales to Non-Profits – PASSED – AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 6492 – B&O Tax Modifications for Higher Education Funding – PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW

  •  REALTORS are exempt from these modification

SB 6314 –  Protecting taxpayers from home foreclosure. – DEAD

  •  Senate version of Rep. Mike Volz bill would eliminate the 11% surcharge on late property taxes

Consumer & Business

SB 6378 – Residential Landlord/Tenant Act – PASSED – AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

  •  Adds clarification – when tenants can access emergency rental assistance and that a landlord cannot threaten a tenant with eviction for  failure  to  pay  fees  not  related  to  rent. Three strikes provision has been retained.

HB 2535 – Providing for a grace period before late fees may be imposed – PASSED – AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

  • Late fees cannot be assessed until after the 5th day late

HB 1694 – Allowing tenants to pay certain sums in installments – PASSED – AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

  • Gives tenants the right to pay certain upfront fees over a 3 month period

HB 2453 – Adding Protections for Residential Tenants – DEAD

  •  Several sections related to when landlords can evict

HB 2355 – State Licensing Laws Streamlining – DEAD

  • Makes it easier to obtain licenses here in WA

HB 2534 – State Licensing Laws process for military members/spouses – DEAD

  •  This would help ease licensing for those who are relocating to Washington because of a spouse in military

SB 6651 – Tenant Eviction – DEAD

  •  Declares there can be no evictions in the winter, but does require local jurisdictions cover losses to landlords

HB 2520 Rental deposits and Strict procedures for landlords claims for damages – DEAD

  •  Addressing documentation and processes governing landlords’ claims for damage to residential premises

Housing & Land Use


  •  Expands on last year’s housing infill bill HB1923

HB 2620/SB 6411 – Extend/Expand Multi-Family Tax Credit – DEAD

  •  A new substitute bill HB 2950 May still survive to continue program for the next two years

HB 2342 – Modifications to GMA Timelines – PASSED – AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

  •  Puts the GMA timelines in sync with the U. S. Census

HB 2780/SB 6536 – Mandatory Multi-Family Zoning  – DEAD

  •  Requires any single-family housing zone can build other housing options

HB 2550 – Requiring Net Ecological Gain In Land Use & Enviro Laws – DEAD

  •  Assesses  how  to  incorporate  a  net ecological  gain  standard  into  state  land  use,  development,  and environmental  laws to help endangered species recovery and ecological health.

HB 2570 – Accessory Dwelling Units – DEAD

SB 6617 – Offers a few new changes to allow for more ADU’s. Cities may allow up to two accessory dwelling units on all lots with a single-family house, duplex, triplex, fourplex, rowhouse, townhome, or apartment buildings. PASSED – AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE


  •  Adds multi-family and affordable housing types to GMA as an element

HB 2849 – Dept. of Commerce Housing Programs PASSED THE HOUSE BUT DIED IN THE SENATE

  • The Housing Trust Fund may have some changes – but will lessen the role of ownership and pushes more into rentals

HB 2427 – Tackling climate change as a goal of the GMA – PASSED THE HOUSE BUT HAS DIED IN THE SENATE

  •  Applies to buildable lands counties of 300k or more


Status of Transportation Package Funding

  •  Several bills moving forward, with indications a major transportation package is expected in 2021