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Published on Friday, January 17, 2014

New version of tribal property tax exemption bill heard

Yesterday morning, the House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee heard a substitute version of HB 1287, the bill that provides a property tax exemption for all tribally-owned property used for economic development. The new version:

  • Defines economic development as “commercial activities, including those that facilitate the creation or retention of businesses or jobs, or that improve the standard of living or economic health of tribal communities.”
  • Limits the exemption to tribes located within Washington State.
  • Establishes a payment in lieu of leasehold excise tax (PILT) if the tribe owns and operates the commercial property.
  • Adds a sunset date of July 1, 2021.
  • Requires the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to review the economic impact of the exemption by December 1, 2019.

The bill is likely to be voted out of committee next week and move to the House Finance Committee for consideration. We will continue to express our concerns about the broad definition of economic development, the tax shift to non-tribal members, and the unknown impact the proposal could have on local governments.

Categories: Budget & finance