Thursday, May 23, 2024

Legislature passes bill for ADU tax exemption for seniors, disabled

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — A bill granting a property tax exemption for 'detached' accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on properties owned by senior citizens and disabled persons cleared its final legislative hurdle, passing the Senate unanimously on Friday.

House Bill 2375, championed by Rep. Keith Goehner, seeks to broaden the scope of the senior citizen and disabled persons property tax exemption to include detached ADUs. This move aims to make the exemption policy more comprehensive by treating detached and attached ADUs equally.

The legislation, sponsored by Goehner, R-Dryden, sailed through the Senate with a 49-0 vote just before the 5 p.m. deadline for the Senate to advance House bills. It secured approval from the House on Feb. 13 with a 95-1 vote. Given the Senate's decision not to propose amendments, the bill is now poised for the governor's approval.

Rep. Goehner underscored the significance of the legislation, stating, "This legislation would help those who need it most, our senior citizens and disabled, who qualify for a property tax exemption. It simply makes the exemption policy more uniform by including detached ADUs with attached ADUs. Many are struggling to find affordable housing. This would increase housing options by allowing more ADUs, and it does not impact property taxes."

The proposal was inspired by a constituent facing financial constraints, aiming to provide housing to a relative also on a fixed income. Goehner added, "The legislation would provide an affordable housing opportunity with the tax exemption. For those who want to utilize the housing tax exemption, a detached ADU would also give them a little more privacy or independent living situation."

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