City of Snohomish tax break for developer hurts taxpayers

Property owners of the city of Snohomish are in for a huge property tax hike if the Snohomish City Council goes ahead and authorizes amending Snohomish Municipal Code 350 to include the Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) for developers in the currently Snohomish County-owned nine acre Midtown District at Avenue D and 13th Street. With the unlimited zoning density being considered for the site there could be a maximum of 165 dwelling units per acre in 5-story, wood-framed buildings when fully developed.

Conceivably then, the county’s nine acres could have a total of 1,485 dwelling units.

Without the tax exemption, the owners of the developed nine acres would have to pay $4.455 million (1,485 units times $3,000/unit) per year to the various local taxing districts including Snohomish School District.

With the expemtion, the owner/developers could save $4.455 million per year in property taxes.

Non-exempt property taxpayers, in total, could have to pay an extra $4.45 million per year for eight to 12 years. With 3,000 property tax accounts in the city. The average extra annual tax burden per property owner amounts to a whopping $1,485.

This proposed tax exemption in Midtown is a “stealth tax” on the average city homeowner.

Please speak out, Snohomish at the July 5 Snohomish City Council Zoom meeting.

Urge your Snohomish City Council members and the mayor to reverse their decision and vote to reject the proposed ordinance amending the city code.

David Clay

Snohomish

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