What’s The Fix For Yakima’s Housing Shortage? Could It Be …A…Tax??
Tuesday night 9/21/21 the Yakima City Council will talk about a proposed City Ordinance to raise 2-million a year for affordable housing. On the agenda it's listed as Chapter 3.124: Additional Sales and Use Tax for Housing and Related Services, to the Yakima Municipal Code
At the Council’s September 7, 2021, City Council meeting, the Council voted to place on the agenda an ordinance for review that would institute the 1/10th of 1% sales and use tax for housing and related services. RCW 82.14.530 controls this tax and provides that the tax can be instituted by a city and used as follows:
1. A minimum of 60% must be used for: constructing or acquiring affordable housing which may include emergency, transitional, and supportive housing and new units of affordable housing within an existing structure, and facilities providing housing-related services, or acquiring land for these purposes; or constructing or acquiring behavioral health-related facilities or acquiring land for these purposes; or funding the operations and maintenance costs of new units of affordable housing and facilities where housing-related programs are provided, or newly constructed evaluation and treatment centers.2. The remainder of the moneys not used for the above-listed purposes must be used for the operation, delivery, or evaluation of behavioral health treatment programs and services or housing-related services.
The rest of the details can be found HERE
Are There Answers?
There are a few questions worth asking as the Council considers this. Are the details, such as the 60% for construction, part of State Law or is that a staff or Council recommendation. Who is the champion for this on the Council? Is there more of a plan as to operational details than has been presented so far?
And what does the building industry think of this? That one is easily answered by Jake Mayson who is with the Central Washington Home Builders Association. He was a guest today on the KIT Morning News.