Sound Transit whole-parcel boundary issue headed to Senate

OLYMPIA — Sound Transit will be allowed to impose its new property tax only on whole parcels in its taxing district under a bill approved Wednesday by the state House.

The legislation specifically bars Sound Transit from levying the voter-approved tax on anything less than an entire parcel. The tax was passed in November to help pay for the $54 billion expansion known as Sound Transit 3 and this is the first year of collections.

House Bill 1958 would be retroactive to Nov. 1, 2016. This would ensure owners of an estimated 50 parcels in Snohomish County that are partly inside and partly outside the regional transit authority boundaries won’t have to pay the tax. It also applies to dozens of parcels in Pierce and King counties.

Under an amendment approved Wednesday, owners of affected properties will not face penalties on any delinquent tax payments through June 30.

The bill, which passed 97-0, now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

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