OLYMPIA – Legislation to reinstate a property tax exemption for farmers markets operating in churches and nonprofits was signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee. The Legislature created an exception in 2010, allowing churches and certain nonprofits to host farmers markets without taking a property tax hit, but it expired at the end of 2020. Senate Bill 5505, sponsored by Sen. Christine Roles (D-Bainbridge Island) reinstates the exemption. “Farmers markets provide opportunities for commerce, creativity and community, and I’m pleased we could find a fast, bipartisan solution to give these markets certainty as we enter spring and summer,” Rolfes said. Several markets from Poulsbo to Friday Harbor expressed concern over the tax changes and told Crosscut they were worried about communities ...Read More
State Senator Christine Rolfes represents the 23rd Legislative District on the Kitsap Peninsula, which includes the communities of Hansville, Kingston, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Silverdale, and Bremerton. As the chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee since 2018, Christine has been responsible for leading the development of the state’s biennial operating budget. Under her leadership, the Legislature has consistently delivered a four-year balanced budget on-time, setting billions aside in strategic reserves, and making historic investments in environmental restoration, behavioral health improvements, and public education. Since August of 2019, Washington has maintained its highest bond ratings in state history (AAA) from Moody’s Investor Services.
Before becoming a state legislator, Christine served two terms on the Bainbridge Island City Council and worked for the Kitsap County Department of Community Development and the U. S. Agency for International Development. Christine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in public administration from the University of Washington. She and her husband Leonard raised their young adult daughters in a historic farmhouse on Bainbridge Island, where the family still lives with their small flock of chickens and indoor pet rabbit.
Read Sen. Rolfes’ full biography here.