Nearly 33,000 households in the city of Tacoma spend at least 30 percent of their monthly income on housing costs alone, rental homes have increased by nearly 40 percent, home values have nearly doubled since 1990, and the rate of cost inflation has accelerated in recent years. In order to alleviate this issue, the Tacoma City Council has adopted a resolution to allocate a portion of local retail sales and use tax to invest in affordable and supportive housing.
“I am so proud to be among the first in Washington state to take action on this,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “This decisive move by the city council sends a strong signal that we have prioritized, and will continue to prioritize, affordable housing and ensure that all Tacoma residents have access to resources to meet their needs.”
The city council adopted Resolution 40388 with the intent to authorize the maximum capacity available under Substitute House Bill 1406, 0.0146 percent credit against Washington state’s sales tax, for affordable and supportive housing. There will be no increase in sales tax for the consumer.
The tax can be in place for a maximum of 20 years, and can be used for acquiring, rehabilitating, constructing, maintaining, and operating affordable housing facilities. Funding is required to be spent on projects that serve individuals whose incomes are at or below 60 percent of area median income.
The implementation of the resolution aligns with the city’s Affordable Housing Action Strategy, developed by the city in collaboration with community partners. The plan calls for large investment of pubic, philanthropic, and private resources, up to $70 million over the next 10 years.