Property-tax increase bill dies, Boehnke praises Republican leaders

On Feb. 8, 2024, members of the Republican caucus, homeowners, and small business owners held a press conference to inform the public about Senate Bill 5770, a bill that would have significantly raised property taxes.

One day later, on Feb. 9, it was announced that Democrats have ditched the bill repealing a voter-backed cap on property tax hikes.

“This is a huge victory for Washington, homeowners, business owners, and even renters,” State Senator Matt Boehnke, R-Kennewick, said. “This was one of the most dangerous bills this session. And now it is dead.”

Washington is currently ranked fifth worst in the country for housing affordability and seventh worst for rent. The potential passage of SB 5770 would only exasperate the housing crisis, making all forms of housing more unaffordable.

“Today, we celebrate the preservation of the voter-backed cap on property tax hikes. It’s a victory for democracy and every resident who values fair taxation and affordable housing. This bill’s failure is a testament to what we can achieve when we prioritize the financial well-being of our citizens over tax increases that disproportionately impact them,” Boehnke said. “The shelving of SB 5770 is a clear message that we stand against rising taxes that threaten to drown our homeowners and local businesses.”

“SB 5770’s potential impact on housing affordability would have been devastating. Its defeat ensures that Washington remains a place where people can afford to live, work, and thrive. Tax increases are a burden on our citizens and a deterrent to economic growth. We must protect our community from policies taking more from their pockets,” Boehnke said. “We must remain vigilant against any legislation that seeks to undermine the financial stability of our residents by imposing unnecessary tax hikes.”

SB 5770 is sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, and cosponsored by 18 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus. The measure cleared the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Feb. 5 on a Democrats-only vote, was then placed on second reading in the Rules Committee on Feb. 7, and will not advance this legislative session.