REAL ESTATE EXCISE TAX

82.45.010 REAL ESTATE EXCISE TAX EXEMPTIONS

Description: Excluded from the state and local real estate excise tax are the following types of transfers of real property:

- transfers of real property by gift, devise, or inheritance;

- transfers of leasehold interests;

- cancellation or forfeiture of vendee's interest for sales in lieu of foreclosure of a mortgage;

- partition of property by tenants in common;

- transfers between spouses relating to divorce or property settlement agreements;

- assignment of a vendor's interest in contract sales;

- transfers to a governmental entity involving condemnations or appropriations;

- mortgages or other transfers to secure debt;

- transfers pursuant to a deed of trust, court-ordered sale, lien foreclosure, execution of judgment, or deed in lieu of foreclosure;

- conveyance to the Federal Housing Authority or Veterans Administration pursuant to a contract of insurance or guarantee;

- transfers pursuant to a lease upon which the tax was previously paid;

- sales of lots in cemeteries;

- sales made by a governmental entity;

- transfers involving no change in the beneficial ownership; and

- transfers involving restructuring of an organization in which there is no recognition of gain or loss for federal tax purposes; however, only one such transfer is allowed in a 12 month period, if the transfer involves the controlling interest of an entity.

Purpose: To assure that the real estate excise tax applies only to arm's-length purchases of real estate in situations where the purchase price is reflective of the market price.

Category/Year Enacted: Not intended in the tax base - generally 1951.

Primary Beneficiaries: Persons who acquire real estate via the situations described above.

Conflict With Other Programs: None evident.

Tax Savings ($000): FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
State taxes 135,900 139,440 143,000 146,760
Local taxes 54,360 55,780 57,200 58,704

If the exemption were repealed, would the estimated revenue be realized? Possibly; but in most instances an equivalent sales price would have to be established.

82.45.190 2ND NARROWS BRIDGE

Description: Exemption from real estate excise tax is provided for the sale of state route 16 corridor transportation systems and facilities which are constructed under RCW 47.46. This statute addresses the second Narrows bridge. (The exemption is presumed to not include acquisition of property required for construction of the bridge and related highway improvements.)

Purpose: To enable tax-free transfer of the completed bridge to the operator of the facility.

Category/Year Enacted: Not intended in the tax base; 1998.

Primary Beneficiaries: The operator of the bridge.

Conflict With Other Programs: None evident.

Tax Savings ($000): None. It is presumed that this statute covers the transfer of the completed bridge by the state to the firm which contracts to operate the facility on behalf of the state. Such transfer should be covered in any event by the exemption for transfers by the state (RCW 82.45.010(m)). Further, such transfer would not occur during the period covered by this analysis.