Futurewise works closely with legislators and partners every year during the legislative session to protect and enhance Washington State’s growth management laws. This year, our legislative agenda covers a wide range of urban livability and natural resource protection issues.
The following is a condensed list of our legislative agenda for 2017:
Futurewise works closely with legislators and partners every year during the legislative session to protect and enhance Washington State’s growth management laws. This year, our legislative agenda covers a wide range of urban livability and natural resource protection issues. The following is a condensed list of our legislative agenda for 2017:
Support for Affordable Housing – In 2017, Futurewise is working with partner organizations to support legislation that incentivizes and preserves affordable housing options:
Real Estate Excise Tax for affordable housing (REET 3) - Provide a new local financing option by allowing local governments to impose up to an additional .25% Real Estate Excise Tax on sellers of property dedicated for investments in affordable housing;
Preservation Tax Exemption (PTE) - Create an option for local municipalities to create a 15-year tax exemption for property owners in the private market who agree to set aside 25% of their buildings for low-income tenants;
Housing Trust Fund - Invest $200 million in the Housing Trust Fund, a critical tool for local communities across the state to ensure access for working families, veterans, farm workers and people with disabilities;
Document recording fee - Renew and expand this real estate transaction fee that provides funds to local communities across the state for domestic violence and emergency shelters, rental and moving assistance, and other critical programs that take families and individuals off the street and into housing.
Water Resource Protection: Defending the Hirst Decision – In 2017, Futurewise is working to protect consumers and the environment by ensuring that rural development is planned where water is available. Our proactive legislation provides short term and long term mitigation for access to legal water that allows rural development and clarifies the state and local role in providing water availability.
Defending the Growth Management Act – Every year, dozens of bills are introduced that aim to erode the environmental protections secured by the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA) – and every year we work to defeat those bills. In addition, this year we will be working to prevent schools from being sited in rural areas that are serving urban students. The GMA requires that planning for new schools be coordinated between cities, counties, and school districts to ensure that an expansion of related infrastructure and services do not encourage growth in rural areas.
Infrastructure Investments – Every year, we support funding for the Public Works Trust Fund or alternative infrastructure funds to help cities meet their growth needs.