State Rep. Lauren Davis (D-32nd District) will join the Lynnwood City Council at its Nov. 30 work session to discuss ways the city may be able to create more affordable housing by increasing the sales tax.
House Bill 1590 — which was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee in March — gives local governments the authority to impose a sales tax of up to 1/10th of 1% with revenue to be used to fund affordable housing initiatives aimed at helping specified groups, including domestic violence victims, military veterans and low-income, elderly, disabled or mentally ill people.
Typically, the sales and use tax for affordable housing requires voter approval, but under House Bill 1590 the revenue source can be approved by the local legislative body by a majority vote.
During the Monday night work session, Davis will meet with the council to discuss the idea of a city tax increase or whether the council should encourage the Snohomish County Council to implement the tax at the county level. Should the city implement the new tax, staff estimate $2 million in revenues could be generated.
In other business, staff will provide the council with an update on the city’s Housing Action Plan. During the meeting, staff will review the plan’s draft goals and provide an opportunity for the council to offer their input.
Last year, the city received a $100,000 grant from the Department of Commerce to develop a plan with strategies for the city to create more housing in Lynnwood with a variety of price points. The Housing Action Plan aims to address the growing need for more affordable housing options in the city by developing a policy that staff will use to develop clear, actionable strategies that meet Lynnwood’s current and future housing needs.
State law requires that the plan identify strategies to encourage construction of a greater variety of affordable- and market-rate housing at accessible prices across all income levels.
Also during the meeting, the council will receive a briefing on the city’s third quarter financial report.
The financial report will include information as of Sept. 30 regarding the city’s general fund reserves and revenues from sales tax, permits, development fees and business licenses. The report also includes cost-cutting measures and other ways the staff are reducing expenditures.
To view the full meeting agenda, click here.