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Rep. Stokesbary introduces bipartisan bill to provide property tax relief

As the Auburn Reporter writes, this week I introduced HB 1427, a common-sense bill to improve the senior citizen property tax exemption.

Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, introduced bipartisan legislation to provide property tax relief to qualifying property owners in Washington state.

Under current law, senior citizens, retired disabled persons, veterans, and widows of veterans are exempt from some or all of their property taxes if their income is below certain thresholds. House Bill 1427 would index those income limit exemption thresholds to inflation so that they would gradually increase each year.

“This bill provides much-needed property tax relief to many of our neighbors and most vulnerable Washingtonians,” said Stokesbary, R-Auburn. “House Bill 1427 helps many Washingtonians who live on fixed incomes and often have to choose between groceries, medical bills and their taxes. This is a bipartisan solution that will go a long way towards easing the property tax burden for senior citizens and others meeting the qualifications.”

In addition to the exemption to inflation, House Bill 1427 would gradually phase out the exemption, so that a small increase in income would not result in an even larger increase in property taxes. In order to provide accountability and oversight, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee will evaluate the measure after 10 years.

Efforts to provide property tax relief for senior citizens have received broad bipartisan support in the House and from county Assessors.

“I look forward to moving this bill through the legislative process,” Stokesbary said. “Support for this type of reform is rising, and I am grateful to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle for joining me in this effort. Together I believe we can get this bill to the governor, and address a growing issue for senior citizens and many others in Washington.”

House Bill 1427 was referred to the House Finance Committee, which considers issues relating to state and local revenues. A public hearing has been scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday.

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