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Washington Republicans Decry Property Tax Hike Bill as Democrats Push for Increased Revenue

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Republicans in the Washington Senate are vehemently opposing the Property Tax Hike Bill, backed by Democrats, calling it the most damaging bill of the 2024 session. This Property Tax Hike Bill would permit local governments in the state to raise property taxes by up to 3% annually without needing voter approval, compared to the current limit of 1%. The Republicans argue that this increase could worsen the already challenging housing situation in Washington, making it harder for many to afford homes.

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Washington Community Voices Concerns Over Property Tax Hike Bill: Threats to Housing Affordability Highlighted

At a press conference, Sen. Keith Wagoner emphasized the detrimental effects of the Property Tax Hike Bill, with over 50 concerned community members present. Christina Janis, a realtor, expressed concern about the high property tax prices, making it difficult for her daughters to afford homes in Washington.

She criticized lawmakers for not aligning their rhetoric with government policies aimed at achieving affordable housing. Sen. Lynda Wilson criticized the timing of the Property Tax Hike Bill, especially as many are still struggling due to the pandemic and increased reliance on credit cards.

Wilson emphasized the potential financial hardship that a threefold increase in property taxes could cause to those who are already struggling. She emphasized that Washington has the fifth-worst housing affordability in the nation and that the Property Tax Hike Bill might make the situation worse.

READ ALSO: Tax Filing Tips: Why Filing Early Can Lead To Faster Refunds And Less Stress!

Supporters counter that the plan would provide local government the authority to finance essential services and recruit more police personnel. The Property Tax Hike Bill was defended by Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, who pointed out that both local governments and individuals need budgetary consistency.

Billig also addressed the shortage of police officers in Washington, attributing it to the current law’s limitation on government resources due to the 1% cap on property taxes. The Property Tax Hike Bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Jamie Pedersen and co-sponsored by 18 Democrats, is currently under debate in the full Senate. Its fate hangs in the balance as both sides present compelling arguments regarding its potential impact on housing affordability and funding for essential services.

READ ALSO: US Homeowners In 2024: Uncover Potential Tax Benefits To Maximize Refunds

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