Title 08 Taxation and Revenue
Chapter 08.15 Multiple-family Housing Property Tax Exemption
If at any time the director determines that the property no longer complies with the terms of the contract or with the requirements of this chapter, or for any reason no longer qualifies for the tax exemption, the tax exemption shall be canceled and additional taxes, interest and penalty imposed pursuant to state law.
In the case of multi-family housing units rented as affordable housing, twenty percent of the units must be available to be rented to qualified low and moderate-income tenants at all times during the entire twelve-year exemption period. While an individual tenant’s income may rise above the low and moderate-income level during the exemption period, the property owner must demonstrate that subsequent or different tenants of those affordable units do meet the income level requirements for the remainder of the exemption period.
If after the issuance of a final tax certificate multi-family housing units rented as affordable housing fail to satisfy the requirements for the affordable housing tax exemption and the number of units fall below the twenty percent requirement, the extended twelve-year tax exemption period shall expire and the tax exemption period shall be limited to eight years from the date of the issuance of the final certificate of tax exemption.
If the property owner sells the affordable multi-family housing units, the new property owner shall file with the City a report indicating that the unit was purchased at a value affordable to low and moderate-income in order to continue to comply with the twenty percent requirement of SMC 8.15.090(A)(1)(b) and RCW 84.14.020(1)(ii)(B).
If the owner intends to convert the multi-family housing to another use, or if applicable, if the owner intends to discontinue compliance with the affordable housing requirements as described in SMC 8.15.090 or any other condition to exemption, the owner must notify the director and the Spokane county assessor within sixty days of the change in use or intended discontinuance.
Upon such change in use or discontinuance, the tax exemption shall be canceled and additional taxes, interest and penalty imposed pursuant to state law.
Upon determining that a tax exemption shall be canceled, the director, on behalf of the city council, shall notify the property owner by certified mail, return receipt requested.
The property owner may appeal the determination by filing a notice of appeal with the city clerk within thirty days, specifying the factual and legal basis for the appeal.
The hearing examiner will conduct a hearing pursuant to chapter 17G.050 SMC at which all affected parties may be heard and all competent evidence received.
The hearing examiner will affirm, modify or repeal the decision to cancel the exemption based on the evidence received. The hearing examiner shall give substantial weight to the director's decision and the burden of overcoming that weight shall be upon the appellant.
An aggrieved party may appeal the hearing examiner's decision to the Spokane county superior court as provided in RCW 34.05.510 through RCW 34.05.598.
If after the issuance of a final tax certificate an owner-occupied multi-family housing unit that initially qualified as a low or moderate-income unit is sold at market rate and no longer qualifies as an affordable housing unit, that unit may lose its tax exempt status and all prior exempt taxes and penalties and interest shall become a lien on the property per RCW 84.14.110 and the subsequent owner shall no longer qualify for the tax exemption. The remaining units’ tax exemption status shall not be affected.
The City may adopt administrative policies and procedures to implement the reporting requirement for this section which are not inconsistent the provisions of chapter 8.15 SMC and chapter 84.14 RCW.
A determination by the director to discontinue an exemption period may be appealed pursuant to SMC 8.15.110.
Date Passed: Monday, August 21, 2017
Effective Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017
ORD C35524 Section 9