E2SHB 1987 – Exemptions to reduce agricultural field burning (Chapter 40, Laws of 2000) This bill contains three different tax incentives intended to encourage the reduction of field burning. First, a retail sales/use tax exemption is provided for equipment used to dispose of straw-based products in an alternative manner to burning. Second, is a credit against state B&O tax for up to one-half of the cost of building structures or acquiring equipment that is eligible for the sales tax exemption. Third, a property tax exemption is allowed for personal property that is eligible for the sales/use tax exemption. The sales/use tax exemption and the B&O tax credit will expire at the end of 2005. The property tax exemption is available for taxes paid in 2001 through 2006 and is to expire at the start of 2007. There will be some shift to other taxpayers estimated at about $20,000 per year.


E2SHB 2109 – Indian tribal housing authorities’ exemption (Chapter 187, Laws of 2000) Indian tribal housing authorities are now exempt from property taxes with this legislation, in the same manner as public housing authorities. Currently, housing on reservation land held in trust by the federal government is not subject to property tax. This bill is intended to enable tribes to take advantage of federal funds available through the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act to purchase non-trust land that lies within reservation boundaries, build housing facilities and ultimately convert the land to trust land. Shifts in tax responsibility of about $12,000 in state and local levies are possible.


HB 2505 – Eligible cities for multi-unit housing exemption (Chapter 242, Laws of 2000) This bill expands the 1995 property tax exemption for multi-unit, residential facilities in targeted urban growth areas of large cities to all cities with a population of at least 50,000. Initially, participating cities were only those with a population greater than 150,000; the threshold was subsequently lowered to 100,000 or the largest city in each county.


EHB 3068 – Property tax exemption for the Hanford vitrification (Chapter 246, Laws of 2000) This bill establishes a property tax exemption for personal property used in conjunction with a privatization contract at the Hanford reservation. It covers property used exclusively to pretreat, treat, vitrify, and immobilize tank waste as part of a program to clean up nuclear waste on the federal reservation. The exemption from all property tax levies is effective for taxes due in 2006. An earlier exemption from the state levy is also provided, starting with taxes due in 2002, as long as the contractor remains in compliance with the agreement and consent order with the federal government, governing the schedule of the project. The estimated cost of the project is in the order of $3.6 billion over the life of the project. All of the value of the construction will be considered as personal property, since it is located on land owned by the federal government. The actual impact of the exemption varies widely depending on whether the project is performed by a private contractor or is done directly by the federal government.


SSB 6115 – Property tax exemption for motor vehicles (Chapter 136, Laws of 2000) Included in the language of Initiative 695 (SEC. 3(19)), approved by the voters in November 1999, was repeal of RCW 82.44.130 which provides that motor vehicles are exempt from ad valorem property taxation. This bill reimposes exemption from property tax for motor vehicles, effective January 1, 2000. It also clarifies that park trailers that have lost their identity as a mobile unit will remain subject to property taxation.