Wagoner bill aimed at housing crunch, especially along I-5 corridor

Lawmaker says property-tax reform would help families, developers across state

Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, has introduced a bill that would let developers in cities and towns across Washington take advantage of a tax credit now available only in cities with at least 15,000 people.

“It’s a tax incentive to allow multi-family housing to be built,” Wagoner adds, “and save some money on their taxes while they invest in the community” Senate Bill 6347 would end the population-based restriction on a property-tax exemption for new and rehabilitated multiple-unit dwellings. It has attracted bipartisan sponsorship and been referred to the Senate Economic Development and International Trade Committee, of which Wagoner is a member.

As the economy booms in areas like the 39th District, which Wagoner serves, employers are looking for attractive places where employees can live.

“There is a housing crunch all up the Interstate 5 corridor,” said Wagoner. “I think it makes sense that we allow this tax relief for developers in all of our municipalities.”

The first-year senator also sees his bill as a way to add housing to buildings in smaller downtown areas throughout the state.

“These buildings are historic, they’re beautiful, but they’re also very expensive to bring up to current codes – safety and fire and things like that. This would allow developers a little bit of financial relief so they can make those investments and keep our downtowns alive.”