Rep. Jim Walsh files two bills that would lower property taxes for all Washingtonians

As the financial impact of the pandemic recedes, individuals and families are still feeling the budget pinch.

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, has proposed two bills that would offer relief by lowering property taxes for Washington homeowners.

Walsh said that property taxes in Washington state have become a major problem, often falling unfairly on the state's poorest homeowners. From Blaine to Pasco, Kettle Falls to Ilwaco, the taxes Washingtonians are paying on their homes, land, commercial buildings and other real property are continuing to rise. This is a major reason that some people are leaving the state.

“Filing these bills late in the session, I realize they're not likely to get much traction. Especially not under the current legislative leadership. But that's not the point. I filed these bills at this time — while we're considering supplemental state budgets and have record surpluses in Olympia — to set the framework for future debates about how to give meaningful tax relief to Washington's working families.”

Walsh's bills would lower property taxes in two ways:

  • House Bill 2125 states that, for the purposes of calculating state property tax, “all property must be valued at 75% of its true and fair value in money and assessed on the same basis unless specifically provided otherwise by law.”
  • House Bill 2126 seeks to cut the state's property tax levy to zero for one year, then restores the current formula. This would create a one-year “property tax holiday” for Washington state homeowners.

The 19th District lawmaker went on to say that his bills could provide an antidote to regressive property tax schemes that often saddle Washingtonian homeowners with a heavy tax burden:

“The people of this state want lower property taxes. I hear this all the time from my constituents. And I know that people in other parts of the state feel the same way. So, I'm continuing to promote policies that would give meaningful tax relief.

“One of the most effective things that I can do for Washington's working families is move the frame of debate. Bold ideas like House Bill 2125 and House Bill 2126 push through timid talk. These bills may never be signed into law. But they can change the direction of our conversations in Olympia. They can move the so-called 'Overton Window,' setting the stage for better results.

“This approach works. My bill banning vaccine passports kept the pressure on the governor and state bureaucrats so that now they're moving away from those schemes. My bill limiting the executive branch's emergency powers encouraged even members of the current governor's own party to suggest a watered-down version of those limits. And my bills restoring law enforcement's ability to enforce the law helped focus legislation we're seeing now — though that job is only partly finished.

“I expect the same with real tax relief for working families in Washington. These bills will clear the path for meaningful action in the near future.”

The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to conclude on March 10.


Washington State House Republican Communications