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2015 Legislative Summary


Property Tax Bills Passed in 2015 Regular Session

The following is a summary of the significant property tax legislation approved during the regular session of the 2015 Washington State Legislature. We have included links to the Legislature site for each bill that adopted. These sites give a very complete picture of how the measures moved through the legislative process and provide copies of the measures that have been enacted into law. We have also provided contact information for our staff members that may be involved in the implementation of the bill or the ongoing administration of related programs.

HB 1317

Revising the lien for collection of sewer charges by counties.

SHB 1337

Increasing the flexibility for industrial development district levies for public port districts.

SHB1940

Exempting levies imposed by qualifying flood control zone districts from certain limitations upon regular property tax levies.

SSB 5275

Concerning tax code improvements that do not affect state revenue collections.

SSB 5276

Concerning refunds of property taxes paid as a result of manifest errors in descriptions of property.

SSB 5322

Relating to conservation districts' rates and charges

SB 5768

Relating to county electronic public auctions.


HB 1317 -Revising the lien for collection of sewer charges by counties.

Provides for recovery of lien recording and release fees incurred in collection of sewer utility charges by counties; provides authority for county to adopt, by resolution, alternative collection procedures applicable to cities and towns.
Effective date July 24, 2015.


SHB 1337- - Increasing the flexibility for industrial development district levies for public port districts.

This bill expands the duration a port district may impose an industrial development district (IDD) levy for the first and second levy periods to 20-years per period:

  • The total aggregate amount levied over the 20-year period cannot exceed what could have been collected in a six-year period at the annual rate of $0.45 per $1,000 dollars of assessed value.
  • The third period has a six-year maximum length, available only to counties that border the Pacific Ocean.

The purpose is to provide ports greater flexibility when financing industrial development projects. By allowing the levy to be spread over 20 years (instead of six years), ports can levy smaller increments.
Effective for taxes levied for collection beginning in 2016


SHB 1940- - Exempting levies imposed by qualifying flood control zone districts from certain limitations upon regular property tax levies.

For a county-wide flood control zone district located in a county with a population of 775,000, this bill extends the expiration date for the authority to protect up to $0.25 of its property tax levy rate from reduction or elimination under the $5.90 aggregate rate limit. The expiration date is extended from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2023.
Additionally, beginning with taxes levied for collection in 2018 through 2022, county-wide flood control zone districts in counties located in Chehalis River Basin can also protect up to $$0.25 of its property tax levy rate from reduction or elimination under the $5.90 aggregate rate limit.
Effective January 1, 2018, and expires January 1, 2023.


SSB 5275 -Concerning tax code improvements that do not affect state revenue collections.

The bill concerns tax statute clarifications, simplifications, and technical corrections – i.e. technical corrections to existing laws to clarify statutes and/or improve the tax administration.
Effective date July 24, 2015.


SSB 5276– Concerning refunds of property taxes paid as a result of manifest errors in descriptions of property.

.This bill allows county legislative authorities to authorize a refund on a claim filed more than 3 years after the payment due date if the claim is for taxes paid as a result of a manifest error in the description of the property.
The purpose is to provide an avenue for taxpayers to request a refund when manifest errors, which are corrections without the need of appraisal judgment, are discovered more than three years after the due date of the tax.
Effective date July 24, 2015.


SSB 5322- Relating to conservation districts' rates and charges.

This bill revises the maximum per-parcel rate for a special benefit assessment charge by a conservation district:

  • For counties with a population over 480,000
    • Increased from $10 to $15
  • For counties with a population over 1.5 million
    • Increased from $5 to $10
  • For all counties with a population of 480,000
    • Unchanged at $5
Effective date July 24, 2015

SB 5768- Relating to county electronic public auctions.

This bill allows county treasurers to use electronic media, including the internet, and electronic funds transfers to conduct public auctions of county-owned property, and privately-owned real or personal property seized or foreclosed upon for delinquent taxes.
Effective date July 24, 2015.


Join our Newsletter Distribution List

To be notified when new editions of our quarterly newsletter "Property Tax Review" are available please e-mail Harold Smith at Harolds@dor.wa.gov and join our distribution list. Get articles on a variety of property tax related topics, a current listing of training opportunities available to assessment personnel, legislative updates, a staff contact list for the Department of Revenue's Property Tax Division, and more. Feel free to suggest topics or suggestions for the newsletter.

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2015 Legislative Summary


Property Tax Bills Passed in 2015 Regular Session

The following is a summary of the significant property tax legislation approved during the regular session of the 2015 Washington State Legislature. We have included links to the Legislature’s site for each bill that adopted. These sites give a very complete picture of how the measures moved through the legislative process and provide copies of the measures that have been enacted into law. We’ve also provided contact information for our staff members that may be involved in the implementation of the bill or the ongoing administration of related programs.

HB 1317

Revising the lien for collection of sewer charges by counties.

SHB 1337

Increasing the flexibility for industrial development district levies for public port districts.

SHB1940

Exempting levies imposed by qualifying flood control zone districts from certain limitations upon regular property tax levies.

SSB 5275

Concerning tax code improvements that do not affect state revenue collections.

SSB 5276

Concerning refunds of property taxes paid as a result of manifest errors in descriptions of property.

SSB 5322

Relating to conservation districts' rates and charges

SB 5768

Relating to county electronic public auctions.


HB 1317 -Revising the lien for collection of sewer charges by counties.

Provides for recovery of lien recording and release fees incurred in collection of sewer utility charges by counties; provides authority for county to adopt, by resolution, alternative collection procedures applicable to cities and towns.
Effective date July 24, 2015.


SHB 1337- - Increasing the flexibility for industrial development district levies for public port districts.

This bill expands the duration a port district may impose an industrial development district (IDD) levy for the first and second levy periods to 20-years per period:

  • The total aggregate amount levied over the 20-year period cannot exceed what could have been collected in a six-year period at the annual rate of $0.45 per $1,000 dollars of assessed value.
  • The third period has a six-year maximum length, available only to counties that border the Pacific Ocean.

The purpose is to provide ports greater flexibility when financing industrial development projects. By allowing the levy to be spread over 20 years (instead of six years), ports can levy smaller increments.
Effective for taxes levied for collection beginning in 2016


SHB 1940- - Exempting levies imposed by qualifying flood control zone districts from certain limitations upon regular property tax levies.

For a county-wide flood control zone district located in a county with a population of 775,000, this bill extends the expiration date for the authority to protect up to $0.25 of its property tax levy rate from reduction or elimination under the $5.90 aggregate rate limit. The expiration date is extended from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2023.
Additionally, beginning with taxes levied for collection in 2018 through 2022, county-wide flood control zone districts in counties located in Chehalis River Basin can also protect up to $$0.25 of its property tax levy rate from reduction or elimination under the $5.90 aggregate rate limit.
Effective January 1, 2018, and expires January 1, 2023.


SSB 5275 -Concerning tax code improvements that do not affect state revenue collections.

The bill concerns tax statute clarifications, simplifications, and technical corrections – i.e. technical corrections to existing laws to clarify statutes and/or improve the tax administration.
Effective date July 24, 2015.


SSB 5276– Concerning refunds of property taxes paid as a result of manifest errors in descriptions of property.

.This bill allows county legislative authorities to authorize a refund on a claim filed more than 3 years after the payment due date if the claim is for taxes paid as a result of a manifest error in the description of the property.
The purpose is to provide an avenue for taxpayers to request a refund when manifest errors, which are corrections without the need of appraisal judgment, are discovered more than three years after the due date of the tax.
Effective date July 24, 2015.


SSB 5322- Relating to conservation districts' rates and charges.

This bill revises the maximum per-parcel rate for a special benefit assessment charge by a conservation district:

  • For counties with a population over 480,000
    • Increased from $10 to $15
  • For counties with a population over 1.5 million
    • Increased from $5 to $10
  • For all counties with a population of 480,000
    • Unchanged at $5
Effective date July 24, 2015

SB 5768- Relating to county electronic public auctions.

This bill allows county treasurers to use electronic media, including the internet, and electronic funds transfers to conduct public auctions of county-owned property, and privately-owned real or personal property seized or foreclosed upon for delinquent taxes.
Effective date July 24, 2015.


Join our Newsletter Distribution List

To be notified when new editions of our quarterly newsletter "Property Tax Review" are available please e-mail Harold Smith at Harolds@dor.wa.gov and join our distribution list. Get articles on a variety of property tax related topics, a current listing of training opportunities available to assessment personnel, legislative updates, a staff contact list for the Department of Revenue's Property Tax Division, and more. Feel free to suggest topics or suggestions for the newsletter.

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