Cheney proposal would provide both rent relief for tenants and property tax relief for landlords

‘The long-term solution to the housing crisis is supply, which is going to take years to catch up. But there are things we can do now if we’re willing to get creative and try something different,’ says Cheney

Rep. Greg Cheney, R-Battle Ground, is proposing legislation during the upcoming 2024 legislative session to maintain or reduce rents for tenants while providing much-needed property tax relief for landlords.

“We have a housing crisis in our state and especially in Southwest Washington,” said Cheney, who serves as the ranking member on the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee. “The long-term solution to the housing crisis is supply, which is going to take years to catch up. But there are things we can do now if we’re willing to get creative and try something different. My bill is a unique approach that will help both renters and those who own rental properties. This proposal will provide relief for many renters who have seen their rents skyrocket. It will also help property owners who consistently feel the burden of increasing property taxes as home and property values rise.”

House Bill 2033 creates a rent relief incentive program where landlords who maintain current rental prices, or reduce them, would be eligible for property tax relief. The property tax incentive program would work as follows:

  • A landlord who maintains current rental agreements would receive 2% of the annual rent owed for each unit.
  • A landlord who offers a 3% decrease in rental agreements would receive 4% of the annual rent owed for each unit.
  • A landlord who offers a 7% decrease in rental agreements would receive 7% of the annual rent owed for each unit.

“Our state has seen record revenue increases over the past several years. It’s time to give some of that back in the form of property tax and rental relief,” said Cheney. “These two issues are consistently brought to me by constituents seeking help from my legislative office.

“While my bill will help all rental property owners, it is especially aimed at the smaller, mom-and-pop rental properties,” continued Cheney. “These are the ‘small business’ type of landlords that form the backbone in many of our rental communities. They want to be good landlords and not price their tenants out, but in many cases have no choice due to rising property taxes and new rules and regulations that increase legal costs and liability.”

Cheney said his bill would particularly impact low- and middle-income households. The intent section of his bill says, in part:

‘The legislature finds that both landlords and tenants have been impacted by the increasing costs of maintaining and operating rental housing. The legislature further finds that increasing state property taxes contribute to these rising costs and adversely affect the ability of all Washingtonians, particularly low income and middle-income households, in obtaining safe, decent, and affordable housing. The legislature also finds that the state lacks adequate support for low-income and middle-income families seeking affordable housing and that it is in the public interest to provide resources for these households.’

Cheney’s bill would also require the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) to complete a review of the rent relief incentive program’s impact on statewide rents and the relief provided to landlords and tenants. The rent relief incentive program would expire in June, 2036.

The 60-day 2024 legislative session begins on January 8 and ends March 7.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov