Local REALTORS in Olympia for Legislative Hill Day 2020

25 members of the Spokane Association of REALTORS made the trek to Olympia for this year’s Legislative Hill Day.

REALTORS had the opportunity to meet with every one of our legislative delegation from the Spokane area. We even met with leadership from neighboring districts, with our members living in just about every district in Eastern Washington.

Here are the legislative priorities for this year’s shortened session:

Expand Local Housing Supply Efforts

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.

In 2020, HB 2343/SB 6334 will expand this program by extending the deadlines for local governments, including additional types of housing ordinances, and increase the number of cities that are eligible to participate.   A range of aggressive and sustained action on housing supply is needed from addressing homelessness and low-income affordability, to stopping the alarming trend of decreased of home ownership.

Extend Multi-Family Tax Exemption

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

The state’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) has been successful in helping create thousands of new units of privately-owned affordable housing throughout the state.

This program has been central to urban redevelopment and housing supply efforts in both small and large cities.

These bills extend the authorization for the MFTE and provide additional flexibility so the use of the MFTE can be tailored to meet the variety of needs at the local level.

Protect REALTORS® Independent Contractor & Agency Law Provisions

Recently, the Legislature passed bills clarifying independent contractor status for real estate brokers and reaffirmed the state’s real estate agency laws; to include the statutory duties of brokers and dual agency requirements.

Despite this, conflicting employment legislation has been proposed that would negatively impact the real estate industry by altering the status of real estate brokers as independent contractors and real estate agency laws.

The unique structure of the real estate industry should be acknowledged and protected in future employment legislation.