One of the bills that we have been strongly supportive of this session, SHB 1406, currently sits in the Ways & Means Committee. This bill would authorize local governments to enter into a revenue-sharing partnership with the state for affordable housing over a period of 20 years so as to allow the funds to be bonded. The revenue sharing mechanism is a credit against the state sales tax, which means there is no real increase to taxpayers.
Housing and services provided with these funds may only be used for those individuals whose income is at or below 60% of the county median income. This is a tool that advocates believe will dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing as there is currently insufficient revenues to adequately address the housing issues across the state.
The House, in its budget, fully funded SHB 1406. However, the Senate did not provide funding for this bill in its budget and is looking to find a way to decrease the amount of state funds that would be diverted to implement this bill.
Our goal, as is the goal of other advocates, is to ensure that SHB 1406 gets out of the Ways & Means Committee with enough funding so as to make bonding feasible. Otherwise, the bill no longer makes sense.
Please encourage legislators to support full funding of SHB 1406 in its current form.