SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2466





                        57th Legislature

                      2002 Regular Session


Passed by the House February 19, 2002

  Yeas 97   Nays 0




Speaker of the House of Representatives







Passed by the Senate March 8, 2002

  Yeas 43   Nays 5



I, Cynthia Zehnder, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2466  as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.




                          Chief Clerk






President of the Senate




Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below.               




Governor of the State of Washington

                   Secretary of State

                  State of Washington



                    SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2466



             Passed Legislature - 2002 Regular Session


State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By House Committee on Finance (originally sponsored by Representatives Morell, Kirby, Edwards, Darneille, Van Luven, Anderson, Simpson, Talcott, Hunt, Esser, Ahern, Carrell, Jarrett, Bush, Boldt, Casada and Woods)


Read first time 02/11/2002.  Referred to Committee on .

Revising the multiple-unit dwellings property tax exemption.

    AN ACT Relating to the multiple-unit dwellings property tax exemption; and amending RCW 84.14.010, 84.14.020, and 84.14.110.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 84.14.010 and 2000 c 242 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

    (1) "City" means either (a) a city or town with a population of at least ((fifty)) thirty thousand or (b) the largest city or town, if there is no city or town with a population of at least ((fifty)) thirty thousand, located in a county planning under the growth management act.

    (2) "Governing authority" means the local legislative authority of a city having jurisdiction over the property for which an exemption may be applied for under this chapter.

    (3) "Growth management act" means chapter 36.70A RCW.

    (4) "Multiple-unit housing" means a building having four or more dwelling units not designed or used as transient accommodations and not including hotels and motels.  Multifamily units may result from new construction or rehabilitated or conversion of vacant, underutilized, or substandard buildings to multifamily housing.

    (5) "Owner" means the property owner of record.

    (6) "Permanent residential occupancy" means multiunit housing that provides either rental or owner occupancy on a nontransient basis.  This includes owner-occupied or rental accommodation that is leased for a period of at least one month.  This excludes hotels and motels that predominately offer rental accommodation on a daily or weekly basis.

    (7) "Rehabilitation improvements" means modifications to existing structures, that are vacant for twelve months or longer, that are made to achieve a condition of substantial compliance with existing building codes or modification to existing occupied structures which increase the number of multifamily housing units.

    (8) "Residential targeted area" means an area within an urban center that has been designated by the governing authority as a residential targeted area in accordance with this chapter.

    (9) "Substantial compliance" means compliance with local building or housing code requirements that are typically required for rehabilitation as opposed to new construction.

    (10) "Urban center" means a compact identifiable district where urban residents may obtain a variety of products and services.  An urban center must contain:

    (a) Several existing or previous, or both, business establishments that may include but are not limited to shops, offices, banks, restaurants, governmental agencies;

    (b) Adequate public facilities including streets, sidewalks, lighting, transit, domestic water, and sanitary sewer systems; and

    (c) A mixture of uses and activities that may include housing, recreation, and cultural activities in association with either commercial or office, or both, use.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 84.14.020 and 1999 c 132 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) The value of new housing construction, conversion, and rehabilitation improvements qualifying under this chapter is exempt from ad valorem property taxation, for ten successive years beginning January 1 of the year immediately following the calendar year of issuance of the certificate of tax exemption eligibility.  However, the exemption does not include the value of land or nonhousing-related improvements not qualifying under this chapter.  When a local government adopts guidelines pursuant to RCW 84.14.030(2) and the qualifying dwelling units are each on separate parcels for the purpose of property taxation, the exemption may, at the local government's discretion, be limited to those dwelling units that meet the local guidelines.

    (2) In the case of rehabilitation of existing buildings, the exemption does not include the value of improvements constructed prior to the submission of the application required under this chapter.  The incentive provided by this chapter is in addition to any other incentives, tax credits, grants, or other incentives provided by law.

    (3) This chapter does not apply to increases in assessed valuation made by the assessor on nonqualifying portions of building and value of land nor to increases made by lawful order of a county board of equalization, the department of revenue, or a county, to a class of property throughout the county or specific area of the county to achieve the uniformity of assessment or appraisal required by law.

    (4) At the conclusion of the ten-year exemption period, the new or rehabilitated housing cost shall be considered as new construction for the purposes of chapter 84.55 RCW.


    Sec. 3.  RCW 84.14.110 and 2001 c 185 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) If improvements have been exempted under this chapter, the improvements continue to be exempted and not be converted to another use for at least ten years from date of issuance of the certificate of tax exemption.  If the owner intends to convert the multifamily development to another use, the owner shall notify the assessor within sixty days of the change in use.  If, after a certificate of tax exemption has been filed with the county assessor the city or assessor or agent discovers that a portion of the property is changed or will be changed to a use that is other than residential or that housing or amenities no longer meet the requirements as previously approved or agreed upon by contract between the governing authority and the owner and that the multifamily housing, or a portion of the housing, no longer qualifies for the exemption, the tax exemption must be canceled and the following must occur:

    (a) Additional real property tax must be imposed upon the value of the nonqualifying improvements in the amount that would normally be imposed, plus a penalty must be imposed amounting to twenty percent.  This additional tax is calculated based upon the difference between the property tax paid and the property tax that would have been paid if it had included the value of the nonqualifying improvements dated back to the date that the improvements were converted to a nonmultifamily use;

    (b) The tax must include interest upon the amounts of the additional tax at the same statutory rate charged on delinquent property taxes from the dates on which the additional tax could have been paid without penalty if the improvements had been assessed at a value without regard to this chapter; and

    (c) The additional tax owed together with interest and penalty must become a lien on the land and attach at the time the property or portion of the property is removed from multifamily use or the amenities no longer meet applicable requirements, and has priority to and must be fully paid and satisfied before a recognizance, mortgage, judgment, debt, obligation, or responsibility to or with which the land may become charged or liable.  The lien may be foreclosed upon expiration of the same period after delinquency and in the same manner provided by law for foreclosure of liens for delinquent real property taxes.  An additional tax unpaid on its due date is delinquent.  From the date of delinquency until paid, interest must be charged at the same rate applied by law to delinquent ad valorem property taxes.

    (2) Upon a determination that a tax exemption is to be canceled for a reason stated in this section, the governing authority shall notify the record owner of the property as shown by the tax rolls by mail, return receipt requested, of the determination to cancel the exemption.  The owner may appeal the determination to the governing authority within thirty days by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the governing authority, which notice must specify the factual and legal basis on which the determination of cancellation is alleged to be erroneous.  The governing authority or a hearing examiner or other official authorized by the governing authority may hear the appeal.  At the hearing, all affected parties may be heard and all competent evidence received.  After the hearing, the deciding body or officer shall either affirm, modify, or repeal the decision of cancellation of exemption based on the evidence received.  An aggrieved party may appeal the decision of the deciding body or officer to the superior court under RCW 34.05.510 through 34.05.598.

    (3) Upon determination by the governing authority or authorized representative to terminate an exemption, the county officials having possession of the assessment and tax rolls shall correct the rolls in the manner provided for omitted property under RCW 84.40.080.  The county assessor shall make such a valuation of the property and improvements as is necessary to permit the correction of the rolls.  The value of the new housing construction, conversion, and rehabilitation improvements added to the rolls shall be considered as new construction for the purposes of chapter 84.55 RCW.  The owner may appeal the valuation to the county board of equalization under chapter 84.48 RCW and according to the provisions of RCW 84.40.038.  If there has been a failure to comply with this chapter, the property must be listed as an omitted assessment for assessment years beginning January 1 of the calendar year in which the noncompliance first occurred, but the listing as an omitted assessment may not be for a period more than three calendar years preceding the year in which the failure to comply was discovered.


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