City council to vote on amendments to multi-family housing property tax exemption program

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane City Council will be discussing the execution a of multi-family housing property tax exemption program in the city in Monday’s meeting.

The council passed a resolution on July 25 stating its intention to hear public comment on the program. The ordinance would make changes to multiple sections Title 8 of Spokane Municipal Code, which discusses taxation and revenue and multiple-family housing property tax exemption.

The requested changes are for SMC sections 8.02.0695, 8.15.020, 8.15.030, 8.15.040, 8.15.050, 8.15.060, 8.15.070, 8.15.080, 8.15.090, 8.15.100, 8.15.110, 8.15.120 and 8.15.140.

In 2021, Washington legislature changed multiple sections of legislation regarding new and rehabilitated multi-unit homes in urban centers to create more affordable housing options for people. The ordinance would change other provisions from 8.15 of Spokane Municipal Code to match the changes made from state law, referencing Chapter 84.14 RCW.

The council would designate one or more residential target areas that would have the following:

  • The residential targeted area is within an urban center.
  • The residential targeted area lacks sufficient available, desirable, and
    convenient residential housing, including affordable housing, to meet the
    needs of the public who would be likely to live in the urban center if
    affordable, desirable, attractive, and livable residences were available.
  • Providing additional housing opportunity, including affordable housing, in
    the residential targeted area will assist in achieving one or more of the
    following purposes:
    • Encourage increased residential opportunities within the City,
      including mixed-income and affordable housing opportunities; or
    • Stimulate the construction of new multifamily housing; or
    • Encourage the rehabilitation of existing vacant and underutilized
      buildings for multifamily housing.

The two areas that have been dedicated as the Spokane Targeted Investment Area and the Affordable Housing Emphasis Area, which gives zoning for multi-family housing in and out of STIA locations.

STIA is based on qualified census tracts defined by the e Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) of the U.S. Treasury for the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC). Census tracts qualify if they have high poverty rates (20 percent or above), low median family income (less than 80 percent AMI) and/or high unemployment (less than 1.5 times the national rate).

City Council

Credit: Spokane City Council Agenda

Some other amendments also include changing the definitions of certain households, project eligibility, application procedures and review of conditional agreement, the extension of a conditional agreement, cancellation of tax exemption and more.

CLICK HERE to learn more from the city council’s agenda. You can watch Monday night’s meeting HERE.

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