Enumclaw expands Multi-Family Tax Exemption program

by Lindsey Wells

Enumclaw’s city council recently expanded the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) program, a move that many hope will reverse decades-old development patterns and stimulate construction of new multifamily housing, according to a report by Seattle King County REALTORS® (SKCR). 

Under an ordinance passed by the council in November, apartment complexes in Enumclaw will be exempt from paying city property taxes for 12 years if they meet the following requirements:

• 20% of the dwelling units must be affordable to and reserved for individuals or families earning less than $87,320 annually, or $7,276 per month, which is 80% of the median income in King County.

• Landlords must adjust rents in those affordable apartment units based on household income. 

The ordinance, which had been under consideration by the planning commission and city council since February 2021, is part of the Work Plan for the Department of Community Development. “It is especially important legislation for economically challenged households because, absent the MFTE, in order to avoid sustaining losses, landlords would have to charge higher rents or cut their costs by deferring maintenance,” the report noted.

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