2020 Washington Legislative Update

A New Construction Tax and Housing Infill top this week’s conversations

We are one-third of the way through this year’s legislative session. This week promises to be a hectic one, as the final day for bills to come out of committee is this Friday, February 7th. A record 1,700 bills were introduced this session, with several key bills of importance to REALTORS. For the most part, if a bill is not out of the policy committee by the end of the session Friday, then it is deemed “dead”.

New Construction Tax

A new tax that caught many in the housing industry by surprise has appeared in the Statewide Special Transportation Benefit Assessment.

Beginning July 1st, this would tax all new construction by the following amounts:

Forestland, agriculture land and timberland are exempt.

Click here to read the full slate of tax increases for transportation

B&O Tax

The Senate passed their B&O Tax bill off the floor. REALTORS are not including among those groups who pay the increase. This bill now goes to the House.

Housing Bills

Several housing bills we advocated for on during Hill Day are still moving, with the typical bumps and bruises that come with the Legislative process. WaREALTORS are closely working on these bills with our coalition partners.

Expanding Housing Infill

HB 2343 (Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon)/SB 6334 (Sen. Jesse Salomon)

Last session, the Legislature passed HB 1923 that gave incentives to cities to adopt regulations and plans to increase housing supply and affordability.  This bill was part of REALTORS® Unlock the Door housing supply campaign, and now over 50 cities are implementing the law. Under these new bills, the current law would be expanded by extending the deadlines for local governments, including additional types of housing ordinances, and increase the number of cities that are eligible to participate.

Extend Multi-Family Tax Exemption

HB 2620 (Rep. Amy Walen & Rep. Andrew Barkis)/SB 6411 (Sen. Mona Das & Sen. Hans Zeiger)

Landlord Tenant Bills

There are 12 landlord tenant bills out there, including one on rent control.  Two bills that appear to be gaining traction:

Both remain in the House Civil Rights & Judiciary committee.