Washington Legislative Update

It’s bill cutoff week.

This means bills must clear their respective House of Origin or are considered DEAD this session. Those bills necessary to complete the budget may still be heard. The cutoff for all bills is March 1st. The full session is set to wrap up March 7th.

Bills promoted by Washington REALTORS® Dauring Hill Day

Allow Administrative Lot Splitting to Create New Buildable Lots HB1245

HB1245 passed quickly out of the House, but has yet to be acted on in the Senate

REALTORS® support legislation through which a homeowner can create an additional residential buildable lot through an administrative lot split. This determination would be made by cities through an administrative process similar to lot line adjustments, so that cities can ensure that the new residential lot meets various requirements such as lot size, availability of utilities, legal access and easements, and compliance with critical areas, wetlands, and other environmental constraints.  This bill has already passed this year’s session in the House and is now in the Senate’s Local Government Committee

Allow Detached Accessory Dwelling Units in Rural Areas 2126/6029

HB2126 is set for a floor vote. AS is SB6029 – which WR sees as the better of the two bills.


Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’S) remain a key challenge outside of cities. While attached units can be built in rural areas, detached ADUs cannot be legally built.  The result is an increase in illegally converted garages, barns, or sheds – and a clear inequity in housing supply for rural areas of Washington State.


Increase Housing Supply Through Transit-Oriented Development HB2321 HB 2160

HB2321 has passed the House and is now in the Senate – HB 2160 is also set for a floor vote


Washington State will be investing billions of dollars in rail and bus transit, and these areas must include significant new housing supply and neighborhood commercial services.  Cities with major transit centers should not impose development regulations or other requirements that prevent transit-oriented housing supply.  Housing affordability should be addressed through locally-developed programs that reflect market conditions, with state funding support, and by using successful incentive programs like the Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE).  Cities deserve state financial support for local TOD planning and infrastructure needs, to ensure that TOD areas have a mix of residential and commercial development, while also providing community services and amenities.




Additional areas of REALTOR® concern

Washington REALTORS® are also actively testifying against several bills, such as:


Increasing the REET HB 2276/SB6191

Both bills appear to be dead. But each may have life as they could be considered a bill with financial impacts to the budget.

This bill add a new “transfer tax” concept to real estate transactions. The Washington REALTOR® Legislative committee voted to push back against this bill and has launched an advertising campaign to oppose it.


Rent Control HB 2114/SB 5961

HB 2114 is set for a floor vote. SB 5961 is DEAD.

Improving housing stability for tenants subject to the residential landlord-tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act by limiting rent and fee increases, requiring notice of rent and fee increases, limiting fees and deposits, establishing a landlord resource center and associated services, authorizing tenant lease termination, creating parity between lease types, and providing for attorney general enforcement. Variations of between 5% and 7% caps are being debated.


B and O Tax on Rentals SB 6136

SB6136 Appears to be dead.

Reestablishing a business and occupation tax on the privilege of providing property for rent and supporting access to affordable rental property by exempting from tax landlords participating in a rent stabilization


Dept of Commerce Approval of Comp Plans HB2113

HB2123 is set for a floor vote

Provides accountability for GMA goals


Banning Natural Gas HB1589

HB 1589 has passed a modified version of this bill. This bill is alive , but several expected modifications are expected.


Home Equity Sharing Loans SB5961

SB5961 has passed committee, and is said to be up for a vote before the deadline. But this bill has now been modified to be a study to see how many of these predatory loans are actually in Washington State.


Creating a Washington State Department of Housing HB 2270

HB 2270 has passed the House. This bill would create a new Washington State Department of Housing.



Spokane REALTOR® Bills of Note


Modifying the state’s HB1110 Infill requirements HB2321

HB2321 has passed the house.

This measure helps fix the issues we saw surface with 5-and-6-plexes in the City of Spokane.

Incentives for Affordability and Building Conversions HB 2308, SB 6175

SB6175 has passed the Senate. HB2308 is DEAD

A key favorite by several Spokane area lawmakers, this measure would offer incentives such as the Multi-Family Tax Exemption for the Conversion of Existing Office Space into Residential Housing. Local commercial reports show Spokane has a 31% vacancy rate for commercial office space.


UGA Consistency with Infrastructure Availability HB 2158 DEAD

Expanding urban growth area boundaries for residential development. A bill with bi-partisan support, this allows for expansion of the GMA boundaries in areas where development and growth have already occurred.


UGA Swaps SB 5834

Sen Short’s bill has passed the Senate.

Allows for GMA swaps during a County’s annual review process. Has passed the Senate and heads to the House.


Wildfire Recovery Building Standards HB1899

Substitute Bill would set up a fund for just the cost of a heat pump. Set for a vote on the Floor. But offers no assistance for charging stations and solar panels.

Many in Spokane County who lost their homes during last summer’s wildfires near Spokane are facing a daunting task when trying to rebuild. New code changes have added thousands to the cost of new construction. This bill would allow owners to rebuild homes under the original building standards. This only applies to those homes lost to wildfire.


Co-Living Bill HB 1998 SB5901

HB1998 has passed the House

Requires jurisdictions to allow co-living as permitted in any zone that allows multi-family.


Raising the Property Tax Lid SB5770

SB5770 is still on the calendar for a vote – but insiders say this bill is DEAD.

Lifts the property tax lid to up to 3% (from 1%) of value. Also allows for excess funds to be banked for high inflation years.


Promoting Bee Habitat SB 5934

SB 5934 is set for a floor vote.

Sen Mike Padden’s bill. Has been modified to say at least 25% of code required landscaping be set aside for Bee friendly habitat.. adding “to the extent practicable.”