UWPNW Washington Legislative Update - April 20, 2021

With less than a week left in the 2021 Legislative Session, some issues are still in flux while others have been passed and already signed into law by the Governor. 


Application of Local Option Housing Tax Broadened to Include Acquisition
The Governor has signed HB 1070, now Chapter 27 of the Laws of 2021, which expands the application of revenue resulting from a local sales tax option for housing created last legislative session. The signed bill allows proceeds from the new city and county .1 percent local option sales tax, to be used to acquire affordable housing as well as land for those purposes. The bill also clarifies that affordable housing includes emergency, transitional, and supportive housing.

Proposed Capital Gains Tax Still Alive in the House
Last Friday, the House Finance committee voted out an amended capital gains tax bill, SB 5096. Among other changes, the striker directs the proceeds from the tax to be deposited into the Education Legacy Trust Account to fund early learning and childcare programs, rather than funding the working families tax credit. The tax credit is slated to be funded from the state general fund. Earlier this week, the bill was on the House Second Reading Floor Calendar. If passed, the Senate would need to concur with the House amendments before it could go to the Governor.

Bills in Flux
While word is the Legislature appears to have an agreement on the next biennial operating budget, some other issues remain unresolved. In addition to the Capital Gains Tax, other bills that are in flux include SB 5237 Fair Start for Kids Act, SB 5160 establishing a repayment schedule of unpaid rent accrued during the pandemic, and the state’s transportation budget for the next biennium.