Washington State to Revise Real Estate Excise Tax

The Washington State legislature has passed and sent to its governor for signature S.B. 5998, http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Passed%20Legislature/5998-S.PL.pdf, which changes the current 1.28% real estate excise tax to a progressive structure, with different tax rates depending on the value of the property.

Under the new law, the tax on the portion of the sale price up to $500,000 would be reduced to 1.1%.  It would remain at 1.28% for the portion of the sale price between $500,000 and $1.5 million and increase to 2.75% for the portion of the sale price from $1.5 million to $3 million, and to 3% for any portion of sale price exceeding $3 million. The current tax would remain in effect through December 31, 2019, with the new regime beginning on January 1, 2020.  As before, the seller is responsible for the tax.

Beginning in 2022, the price thresholds above would be adjusted for inflation.

It is expected that the governor will sign the bill. 

How This Impacts Mobility

For all homes bought and sold in Washington State, the transfer cost will change beginning in 2020.  For homes below a sale price of $1.5 million, the tax will be lower, saving companies money in their home purchase programs.

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