June 10, 2020
Commercial and multifamily landlords in King County could see a reduction in property tax bills under a proposal by the assessor’s office. Assessor John Wilson is asking the Washington State Legislature to reduce the tax burden in an effort to help property owners weather the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposal, which is expected to be voted on at a special legislative session later this year, would reduce King County property tax collections by 2.5%, or nearly $155 million. If passed, it would apply to property tax bills for the second half of 2020, which are due in October.
The idea is to let counties reduce the taxable value of commercial properties for owners that couldn’t collect rent as a result of a business being closed because of statewide stay-at-home orders. Reductions would be based on the amount of rent each property lost due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
Rent collections for retail tenants in May were just 59%, according to research by Datex. Meanwhile, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) reported 80.8% of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by June 6.
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