Property Tax Tug of War — SB 5770

Feb 15, 2024
Written by WR Communications


In a legislative session marked by competing priorities and the backdrop of an election year, the progression of a significant property tax bill, SB 5770, emerged as an unexpected dark horse, advancing out of Ways and Means just before the cutoff and was expected to be voted on the Senate floor.

SB 5770 aimed to lift the 1% property tax cap and allow city and county governments the option to increase the rate to 3%, impacting both businesses and homeowners statewide.

Senate Minority Leader John Braun (R – 20) expressed concerns, stating, “Senate Bill 5770 could have resulted in the largest property tax increase in our state’s history — without a vote of the people. This bill is overwhelmingly unpopular.”

However, swift action from Washington Retail Association and AWB, as well as other business associations, shed light on the devastating impact a tax increase would have on Washington residents and businesses. The Senate Republicans press conference amplified the opposition, prompting the bill’s removal from consideration during this session.

Prime Sponsor Senator Jamie Pedersen acknowledged the public’s apprehensions, saying in a statement, “We have heard the public’s concerns about property taxes.” While the bill won’t progress in this session, the issue remains pertinent, with cities and counties advocating for its reconsideration in future legislative sessions.

Though the bill’s fate is deferred for now, it underscores the ongoing debate and pressure surrounding property tax policies in Washington State, ensuring continued dialogue and deliberation on this crucial matter.


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