WSR 99-07-090

EXPEDITED ADOPTION

DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE


[ Filed March 19, 1999, 1:52 p.m. ]

Title of Rule: Amendatory section WAC 458-16-320 Emergency or transitional housing.

Purpose: The rule explains the requirements under which emergency or transitional housing for low-income persons or homeless victims of domestic violence may receive a property tax exemption under RCW 84.36.043.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 84.36.865.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 84.36.043.

Summary: The 1991 version of the statute provided that rented or leased property would be exempt for taxes levied for collection in years 1991 through 1999 only. The legislature removed this limitation as to rented or leased property in chapter 174, Laws of 1998. The proposed amendments to the rule reflect this statutory change.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: WAC 458-16-320 needs to be amended so that it accurately reflects the criteria contained in the statute that authorizes the property tax exemption.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Kim M. Qually, 711 Capitol Way South, #303, Olympia, WA, (360) 664-0086; Implementation and Enforcement: Sandy Guilfoil, 6004 Capitol Boulevard, Tumwater, WA, (360) 753-5503.

Name of Proponent: Department of Revenue, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: RCW 84.36.043 authorizes a property tax exemption for emergency or transitional housing for low-income homeless persons or victims of domestic violence who are homeless for personal safety reasons. To receive this exemption, the housing must also be owned by a nonprofit organization or rented or leased by the nonprofit organization with the benefit of the exemption inuring to the nonprofit organization. The 1991 version of the statute provided that rented or leased property would be exempt for taxes levied for collection in 1991 through 1999 only. The legislature removed this limitation as to rented or leased property in chapter 174, Laws of 1998. WAC 458-16-320 explains the statutory requirements in depth and contains definitions of terms used in the statute, which must be understood to administer the exemption. The proposed change in this rule reflects the 1998 statutory changes to RCW 84.36.043. The amended rule eliminates the time limit for rented or leased property. Property rented or leased by a nonprofit organization that provides emergency or transitional housing may now qualify for exemption for an unlimited period of time as long as the benefit of the exemption inures to the nonprofit organization and the other statutory requirements are satisfied.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: This proposed rule amends the current version of WAC 458-16-320. The amendments to this rule change it so that it conforms to the current text of the underlying statute.

NOTICE

THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED TO BE ADOPTED USING AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS RULE BEING ADOPTED USING THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Kim M. Qually, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 47467, Olympia, WA 98504-7467, fax (360) 664-0693 , AND RECEIVED BY May 22, 1999.

To obtain a copy of this form and rule in an alternative format: Contact Ginny Dale at (360) 586-0721, TDD 1-800-451-7985. Please allow ten days for the form and rule to be prepared and sent to you.


March 10, 1999

Claire Hesselholt, Rules Manager

Legislation and Policy Division

OTS-2950.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 94-07-008, filed 3/3/94, effective 4/3/94)

WAC 458-16-320
Emergency or transitional housing.

(1) Introduction. This section explains the property tax exemption available under the provisions of RCW 84.36.043 to real and personal property used by a nonprofit organization, association, or corporation to provide emergency or transitional housing to low income persons or victims of domestic violence who are homeless for personal safety reasons.

(2) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(a) "Emergency housing" means a facility whose primary purpose is to provide temporary or transitional shelter and supportive services to the homeless in general or to a specific population of the homeless for no more than sixty days.

(b) "Homeless" means a person, persons, family, or families who do not have fixed, regular, adequate, or safe shelter nor sufficient funds to pay for such shelter.

(c) "Low-income" means income that does not exceed eighty percent of the median income for the standard metropolitan statistical area in which the city or town is located.

(d) "Supportive services" means resume writing, training, vocational and psychological counselling, or other similar programs designed to assist the homeless into independent living.

(e) "Transitional housing" means a facility that provides housing and supportive services to homeless individuals or families for up to two years and whose primary purpose is to enable homeless individuals or families to move into independent living and permanent housing.

(f) "Victim(s) of domestic violence" means either an adult(s) or a child(ren) who have been physically or mentally abused and who fled his or her home out of fear for his or her safety.

(g) "Property" means real or personal property used by a nonprofit organization, association, or corporation in providing emergency or transitional housing and supportive services for low-income homeless persons or victims of domestic violence.

(h) "Commercial" refers to an activity or enterprise that has profit making as its primary purpose.

(3) Exemption. The real and personal property exclusively used, or to the extent that it is exclusively used, by a nonprofit organization, association or corporation to provide emergency or transitional housing to low-income homeless persons or victims of domestic violence shall be exempt from taxation if the following conditions are met:

(a) The amount of the charge or fee for the housing does not exceed maintenance and operation expenses;

(b) The property is either:

(i) Owned by a nonprofit organization, association, or corporation; or

(ii) ((For taxes payable in 1992 through 2000,)) Rented or leased by a nonprofit organization, association, or corporation and the benefit of the exemption inures to a nonprofit organization, association, or corporation; and

(c) If any portion of the organization's, association's or corporation's property is used for a commercial purpose rather than for an exempt purpose, that portion of the property must be segregated and taxed.

(4) Additional requirements. Any organization, association, or corporation that applies for a property tax exemption under this section must also comply with the provisions of WAC 458-16-165 that explains the additional conditions and requirements necessary to obtain a property tax exemption pursuant to RCW 84.36.043.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070 and chapter 84.36 RCW.  94-07-008, 458-16-320, filed 3/3/94, effective 4/3/94.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office