Lovelett bill adds funding options for affordable housing

Sen. Liz Lovelett (D- Anacortes) has pre-filed a bill which would provide local governments the option to fund affordable housing and social service programs through a special excise tax on internet-based, short-term vacation rentals.

The bill allows government bodies of towns, cities, or counties to opt in with a simple majority vote of their council. Local jurisdictions are granted authority to set the percentage of the tax should they choose to adopt it, with a cap of up to 10% applied to bookings made on vacation rental websites.

Washington state has seen a significant increase in people experiencing homelessness and a housing affordability crisis in recent years, even prior to the outbreak ...

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