HOUSE BILL 1044
State of Washington
2019 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Santos, Slatter, Caldier, Jinkins, Wylie, Pollet, Stanford, Valdez, and Stonier
Prefiled 12/12/18.Read first time 01/14/19.Referred to Committee on Finance.
AN ACT Relating to senior citizen property taxes; amending RCW 84.36.381
; and creating new sections.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 2018 c 46 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
A person is exempt from any legal obligation to pay all or a portion of the amount of excess and regular real property taxes due and payable in the year following the year in which a claim is filed, and thereafter, in accordance with the following:
(1) The property taxes must have been imposed upon a residence which was occupied by the person claiming the exemption as a principal place of residence as of the time of filing. However, any person who sells, transfers, or is displaced from his or her residence may transfer his or her exemption status to a replacement residence, but no claimant may receive an exemption on more than one residence in any year. Moreover, confinement of the person to a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult family home does not disqualify the claim of exemption if:
(a) The residence is temporarily unoccupied;
(b) The residence is occupied by a spouse or a domestic partner and/or a person financially dependent on the claimant for support; or
(c) The residence is rented for the purpose of paying nursing home, hospital, assisted living facility, or adult family home costs;
(2) The person claiming the exemption must have owned, at the time of filing, in fee, as a life estate, or by contract purchase, the residence on which the property taxes have been imposed or if the person claiming the exemption lives in a cooperative housing association, corporation, or partnership, such person must own a share therein representing the unit or portion of the structure in which he or she resides. For purposes of this subsection, a residence owned by a marital community or state registered domestic partnership or owned by cotenants is deemed to be owned by each spouse or each domestic partner or each cotenant, and any lease for life is deemed a life estate;
(3)(a) The person claiming the exemption must be:
(i) Sixty-one years of age or older on December 31st of the year in which the exemption claim is filed, or must have been, at the time of filing, retired from regular gainful employment by reason of disability; or
(ii) A veteran of the armed forces of the United States entitled to and receiving compensation from the United States department of veterans affairs at a total disability rating for a service-connected disability.
(b) However, any surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner of a person who was receiving an exemption at the time of the person's death will qualify if the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner is fifty-seven years of age or older and otherwise meets the requirements of this section;
(4) The amount that the person is exempt from an obligation to pay is calculated on the basis of combined disposable income, as defined in RCW 84.36.383
. If the person claiming the exemption was retired for two months or more of the assessment year, the combined disposable income of such person must be calculated by multiplying the average monthly combined disposable income of such person during the months such person was retired by twelve. If the income of the person claiming exemption is reduced for two or more months of the assessment year by reason of the death of the person's spouse or the person's domestic partner, or when other substantial changes occur in disposable income that are likely to continue for an indefinite period of time, the combined disposable income of such person must be calculated by multiplying the average monthly combined disposable income of such person after such occurrences by twelve. If it is necessary to estimate income to comply with this subsection, the assessor may require confirming documentation of such income prior to May 31 of the year following application;
(5)(a) A person who otherwise qualifies under this section and has a combined disposable income of forty thousand dollars or less or income threshold 1 or less, whichever is greater,
is exempt from all excess property taxes, the additional state property tax imposed under RCW 84.52.065
(2), and the portion of the regular property taxes authorized pursuant to RCW 84.55.050
and approved by the voters, if the legislative authority of the county or city imposing the additional regular property taxes identified this exemption in the ordinance placing the RCW 84.55.050
measure on the ballot; and
(b)(i) A person who otherwise qualifies under this section and has a combined disposable income of between thirty-five thousand dollars ((or less but greater than))and thirty thousand dollars or income threshold 2 or less, whichever is greater, is exempt from all regular property taxes on the greater of fifty thousand dollars or thirty-five percent of the valuation of his or her residence, but not to exceed seventy thousand dollars of the valuation of his or her residence; or
(ii) A person who otherwise qualifies under this section and has a combined disposable income of thirty thousand dollars or less or income threshold 3 or less, whichever is greater, is exempt from all regular property taxes on the greater of sixty thousand dollars or sixty percent of the valuation of his or her residence;
(6)(a) For a person who otherwise qualifies under this section and has a combined disposable income of forty thousand dollars or less, the valuation of the residence is the assessed value of the residence on the later of January 1, 1995, or January 1st of the assessment year the person first qualifies under this section. If the person subsequently fails to qualify under this section only for one year because of high income, this same valuation must be used upon requalification. If the person fails to qualify for more than one year in succession because of high income or fails to qualify for any other reason, the valuation upon requalification is the assessed value on January 1st of the assessment year in which the person requalifies. If the person transfers the exemption under this section to a different residence, the valuation of the different residence is the assessed value of the different residence on January 1st of the assessment year in which the person transfers the exemption.
(b) In no event may the valuation under this subsection be greater than the true and fair value of the residence on January 1st of the assessment year.
(c) This subsection does not apply to subsequent improvements to the property in the year in which the improvements are made. Subsequent improvements to the property must be added to the value otherwise determined under this subsection at their true and fair value in the year in which they are made.
and 2012 c 10 s 74 are each amended to read as follows:
As used in RCW 84.36.381
, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) The term "residence" means a single-family dwelling unit whether such unit be separate or part of a multiunit dwelling, including the land on which such dwelling stands not to exceed one acre, except that a residence includes any additional property up to a total of five acres that comprises the residential parcel if this larger parcel size is required under land use regulations. The term also includes a share ownership in a cooperative housing association, corporation, or partnership if the person claiming exemption can establish that his or her share represents the specific unit or portion of such structure in which he or she resides. The term also includes a single-family dwelling situated upon lands the fee of which is vested in the United States or any instrumentality thereof including an Indian tribe or in the state of Washington, and notwithstanding the provisions of RCW 84.04.080
, such a residence is deemed real property.
(2) The term "real property" also includes a mobile home which has substantially lost its identity as a mobile unit by virtue of its being fixed in location upon land owned or leased by the owner of the mobile home and placed on a foundation (posts or blocks) with fixed pipe, connections with sewer, water, or other utilities. A mobile home located on land leased by the owner of the mobile home is subject, for tax billing, payment, and collection purposes, only to the personal property provisions of chapter 84.56
RCW and RCW 84.60.040
(3) "Department" means the state department of revenue.
(4) "Combined disposable income" means the disposable income of the person claiming the exemption, plus the disposable income of his or her spouse or domestic partner, and the disposable income of each cotenant occupying the residence for the assessment year, less amounts paid by the person claiming the exemption or his or her spouse or domestic partner during the assessment year for:
(a) Drugs supplied by prescription of a medical practitioner authorized by the laws of this state or another jurisdiction to issue prescriptions;
(b) The treatment or care of either person received in the home or in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult family home; and
(c) Health care insurance premiums for medicare under Title XVIII of the social security act.
(5) "Disposable income" means adjusted gross income as defined in the federal internal revenue code, as amended prior to January 1, 1989, or such subsequent date as the director may provide by rule consistent with the purpose of this section, plus all of the following items to the extent they are not included in or have been deducted from adjusted gross income:
(a) Capital gains, other than gain excluded from income under section 121 of the federal internal revenue code to the extent it is reinvested in a new principal residence;
(b) Amounts deducted for loss;
(c) Amounts deducted for depreciation;
(d) Pension and annuity receipts;
(e) Military pay and benefits other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments;
(f) Veterans benefits, other than:
(i) Attendant-care payments;
(ii) Medical-aid payments;
(iii) Disability compensation, as defined in Title 38, part 3, section 3.4 of the code of federal regulations, as of January 1, 2008; and
(iv) Dependency and indemnity compensation, as defined in Title 38, part 3, section 3.5 of the code of federal regulations, as of January 1, 2008;
(g) Federal social security act and railroad retirement benefits;
(h) Dividend receipts; and
(i) Interest received on state and municipal bonds.
(6) "Cotenant" means a person who resides with the person claiming the exemption and who has an ownership interest in the residence.
(7) "Disability" has the same meaning as provided in 42 U.S.C. Sec. 423(d)(1)(A) as amended prior to January 1, 2005, or such subsequent date as the department may provide by rule consistent with the purpose of this section.
(8) "Income threshold 1" means fifty-five percent of county median family income.
(9) "Income threshold 2" means forty-four percent of county median family income.
(10) "Income threshold 3" means thirty-three percent of county median family income.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. This act applies to taxes levied for collection in 2020 and thereafter.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. The provisions of RCW 82.32.805 and 82.32.808 do not apply to this act.
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