HB 1154 - Local taxing districts’ levies extended (Chapter 224, Laws of 1999) Cities, counties, emergency medical service districts, hospital districts, and fire districts may vote to impose regular levies for up to ten consecutive years or longer, rather than the current six year limit. New accounting and referendum provisions apply.

SHB 1345 - Low-income rental housing exemption (Chapter 203, Laws of 1999) This bill establishes a new exemption from property taxes for rental housing facilities for low-income residents that are owned or used by nonprofit organizations. The exemption may be partial if less than 75 percent of the occupied units are rented to individuals or families with very low incomes. The facility’s personal property is completely exempted.

SHB 1969 - Homes for the aging exemption (Chapter 356, Laws of 1999) The existing property tax exemption for nonprofit homes for the aging is amended, with the property exempted in the assessment year that the home becomes operational, rather than the following year. In the first year of operation the bill allows the assessor to accept occupancy forms until December 31 of the assessment year; in subsequent years residents who meet the income eligibility for the exemption must occupy their dwelling units by January 1 of the assessment year.

SHB 2273 - Destroyed property exemption (Chapter 8, Laws of 1999, 1st Special Session) This bill concerns property taxes levied on property that has suffered damage and a loss in value. Currently, damage incurred in one year will not affect property tax payments until the following year. This bill allows prorated abatements or reductions in tax payments for the year in which the damage occurs. It also provides refunds of property taxes already paid during calendar year 1998 and 1999.

EHB 2297 - School M&O levy limitation (Chapter 10, Laws of 1999, 1st Special Session) A limit on special property tax levies by school districts for maintenance and operation purposes is contained in RCW 84.52.0531. Certain increases in school funding are acknowledged in the formula that limits the maximum M&O levies. This bill defines the increases in basic education funding contained in the state biennial budget for the 1999-01 Biennium as they relate to the levy limit. Specifically, it provides that the allowable increase per full-time equivalent student is to be 4.0 percent for the 1999-00 school year and 3.4 percent for the 2000-01 school year.

SB 5021 - Agricultural research facility exemption (Chapter 139, Laws of 1999) A new property tax exemption is provided for nonprofit organizations that are engaged in agricultural research. The exemption is directed toward properties used as demonstration farms and public agricultural museums. The facility must be used for research and extension services by a state university and for educational tours. A maximum of 50 acres is covered by the exemption.

SSB 5495 - Restoration of property tax levies (Chapter 96, Laws of 1999) Under this bill a taxing district that has not levied since 1985 would be entitled to levy the amount which was last levied, plus the tax on subsequent new construction and improvements. Prior to this legislation if a district had not levied in the past three years it had to go back to the amount levied in1973.

ESB 5564 - Property taxation of park trailers (Chapter 92, Laws of 1999) This bill reasserts the property tax liability of park trailers (less than 400 square feet) with temporary utility connections. A 1996 court decision had ruled that such trailers were not subject to property taxes because of a technicality in the statutes. Now, the trailer will be considered real property if the owner also owns the land beneath the trailer, or personal property otherwise.

SSB 5746 - Multi-family urban housing exemption (Chapter 132, Laws of 1999) This bill advances a ten-year property tax exemption for certain multi-family residential facilities in urban centers. The exemption now applies for taxes due in the year after the eligibility certificate is issued, rather than in the second year following issuance. In addition, the April 1 deadline for application filing is eliminated.

SB 6065 - Publicly owned property in lieu tax exemption (Chapter 266, Laws of 1999) RCW 35.21.755 currently provides for an in lieu of property tax payment by certain public corporations to compensate taxing districts for land that is removed from the tax rolls. This bill amends the statute to exempt from such in lieu of tax payments (1) property which serves as a public meeting place, esplanade, street, public way, public open space, park, public utility corridor or view corridor for the general public or (2) any blighted property (i.e., contaminated with hazardous substances) owned by a public corporation, acquired for the purpose of remediation and redevelopment.