Becker property tax relief bill to be heard in Senate Ways and Means Committee

As a thank you to taxpayers, bill would provide exemption to seniors, veterans and disabled persons.


OLYMPIA…A bill sponsored by Sen. Randi Becker that would provide a property tax exemption for seniors, veterans and disabled persons will be heard in the Senate Ways and  Means Committee meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, in Senate Hearing Room 4.


Senate Bill 5390 would provide the tax exemption to someone who is at least 65 years old, retired due to disability or a veteran of the United States armed forces retired from the military due to disability. They must have been a Washington resident for at least 15 years and either have a combined income of $100,000 per year or a home with a value below the county median value.


In addition, the bill would require the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to evaluate data from the Washington State Department of Revenue in 10 years to determine whether it has proved effective.


“With our $2 billion in extra revenue, not only should we not raise taxes right now, we should actually give back to those who have paid into the system for a long time,” said Becker, R-Olympia.


“As Washington’s real estate market grows, so too do property values and property taxes. This often prices people right out of their houses and sometimes, into homelessness. We need to use our surplus to keep people in their homes.”


Washingtonians saw an increase in property taxes this past year as the funding plan for basic education under the McCleary decision took effect and created an overlap with existing local levies. This year, 73 percent of homeowners will actually enjoy lower property taxes as schools can no longer rely on local levies for basic education. However, Democrats are proposing to remove restrictions on local levies. Not only would this result in higher property taxes statewide, but it would also put the state back at square one with education funding where inequities exist due to a child’s zip code.