Thursday, August 6, 2020
Aug. 6, 2020

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Lewis County mulls using tax dollars for affordable housing


Lewis County Commissioners directed staff to draft an ordinance to authorize a sales and use tax — at the rate of 0.0146 percent — for affordable and supportive housing at their Monday morning regular business meeting held at the Historic Courthouse in Chehalis.

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled 10 a.m. Jan. 27 inside the courthouse hearing room, where the Board of County Commissioners will consider whether to adopt legislation to impose the sales and use tax in question as authorized by state Substitute House Bill 1406 (SHB 1406).

“This is in accord with the motion made in October to accept the funds available to us by the state of Washington to develop affordable and supportive housing,” said Public Health and Social Services Director J.P. Anderson, during the meeting. “This is not a specific project, but there’s a time requirement as far as when we’ll let people know (what) we’re interested in doing.”

SHB 1406, as noted in corresponding county documents, authorizes the governing body of a city or county to impose a local sales and use tax for the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of housing or facilities providing supportive housing. The legal notice also states a local sales and sales use tax can be applied toward the operations and maintenance costs of affordable or supportive housing and — if eligible — for providing rental assistance to tenants.