News Flash

All News

Posted on: December 13, 2022

Council Votes to Continue Discussions on .01% Countywide Sales Tax for Affordable Housing

A photo illustration showing affordable housing in the context of an umbrella.

Today the Pierce County Council voted to continue discussions on a countywide one-tenth of one percent sales tax increase for affordable housing and related services, as allowed by Washington State law, until Tuesday, March 7, 2023.  The motion to continue was made by District One Councilmember Dave Morell.

“There is no question affordable housing is part of the solution in addressing the homelessness crisis in Pierce County,” said Morell. I am committed to working with my colleagues to find a solution to address these challenges in a way that works for Pierce County.”

If adopted, the sales tax is expected to generate approximately $103 million in revenue over the next four years. The county’s Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness estimates Pierce County spends approximately $40 million a year to operate the homeless crisis response system and needs to spend an additional $117 million a year to fully fund the system in the next five years.

The county’s Housing Action Strategy, which was adopted in November 2022, also found Pierce County must build at least 50,600 housing units at 50% of Area Medium Income (AMI) or less by 2044, and over half of these units must be affordable to households earning 30% AMI or less. According to the strategy, the private market is not able to build housing for this population without significant public subsidy.

The intent of the tax is to create more affordable housing funds that support people whose income is at or below 60% of the median income of Pierce County and have behavioral health conditions, are veterans or senior citizens, persons who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless, unaccompanied homeless youth or young adults, persons with disabilities, or are domestic violence survivors.

A minimum of 60% of the revenue must be used for

  • Constructing or acquiring affordable housing, behavioral health facilities, or facilities providing housing-related services.
  • Funding the operation and maintenance costs of new units of affordable housing and facilities where housing-related programs are provided. 
  • Supporting newly constructed evaluation and treatment centers. 

“The collective impact this will have on the county’s response to the homeless crisis cannot be understated,” said Council Chair Derek Young. “This is a major investment in the health of our county, and it meets the funding needs outlined in our plan to end homelessness. It will provide flexibility for an ever-evolving crisis.”

If the affordable housing tax is eventually adopted, the Pierce County Council must approve all expenditures from the fund and periodically establish funding priorities by resolution or through the Council’s normal budget process. Any unexpended funds remaining at the end of any budget year shall be carried forward from year to year and not be transferred to the general fund.

“A key piece of this legislation is the revenue can be used to help support people who are at a chronic risk of becoming homeless,” said District Four Councilmember Ryan Mello. “We need this approach. To end homelessness, we have to prevent it from happening in the first place.”

The impact to the taxpayer in Pierce County would be ten cents for every $100 spent, with groceries, medicine and certain medical supplies and hygiene products exempt from the tax.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in All News

Feb. 14 Special Election at a glance

Posted on: January 27, 2023

Chambers Bay resort development ends

Posted on: January 17, 2023
PCHS news

Calling all community service groups!

Posted on: November 9, 2022

November 2022 election at a glance

Posted on: October 20, 2022

General Election Logic and Accuracy Test

Posted on: October 14, 2022
Fall Prevention

Fall Prevention Awareness Day Event

Posted on: September 19, 2022

Primary Election at a glance

Posted on: July 12, 2022

Annual Donut Dash 5K returns

Posted on: May 24, 2022
Key Peninsula Giveaway

Key Peninsula Giveaway

Posted on: May 5, 2022

April 26 Special Election Results

Posted on: April 27, 2022

2021 Tax Title Property Auction

Posted on: November 16, 2021

Fantasy Lights tickets go on sale Nov. 1

Posted on: October 27, 2021

General Election at a glance

Posted on: October 14, 2021

Apply for a historic preservation grant

Posted on: September 3, 2021

Primary Election at a glance

Posted on: July 15, 2021

Huge Creek receives new culvert

Posted on: June 21, 2021
medicaid pierceADRC

Learn the basics of Medicaid

Posted on: May 3, 2021

Tools and techniques to avoid scams

Posted on: February 17, 2021

Apply for a historic preservation grant

Posted on: November 24, 2020

Fantasy Lights opens Nov. 21

Posted on: November 17, 2020

District Court early closure, Sept. 16

Posted on: September 7, 2016
Labor Day

County observes Labor Day, Sept. 5

Posted on: September 2, 2016

Heat advisory notice and options

Posted on: August 18, 2016

Video News: Tourism Special

Posted on: August 18, 2016

Tips for staying safe on 4th of July

Posted on: June 30, 2016

Video News: Tourism Special

Posted on: June 2, 2016

Grandparenting has a new look

Posted on: June 1, 2016

Passing of Robin McKinney

Posted on: May 4, 2016

Jury duty scams on the rise

Posted on: April 8, 2016

Pierce County is looking to lease

Posted on: February 3, 2016

Board of Equalization seeks members

Posted on: January 13, 2016

Video News: Best of 2015

Posted on: December 29, 2015

Emergency Operations Center open

Posted on: December 9, 2015

Sheriff's Community Academy openings

Posted on: December 7, 2015

County observes Veterans Day

Posted on: November 9, 2015

Video News: The Trails of Pierce County

Posted on: October 9, 2015

Free CPR Sunday event at Foss High School

Posted on: September 23, 2015

Video News: Best of the U.S. Open

Posted on: September 11, 2015

Parks and Recreation Touch A Truck event

Posted on: September 8, 2015

County observes Labor Day

Posted on: September 4, 2015

Police help seniors to be safe at home

Posted on: September 2, 2015

Sheriff's Community Academy openings

Posted on: July 28, 2015

Video News: Best of the U.S. Open

Posted on: July 16, 2015

Referendum qualifies for ballot

Posted on: July 10, 2015

Video News: Tourism Special

Posted on: July 6, 2015

County observes Independence Day

Posted on: July 2, 2015

Excessive heat advisory issued

Posted on: June 25, 2015

County observes Presidents' Day on Feb. 16

Posted on: February 13, 2015

Boundary Review Board seeks applicants

Posted on: February 12, 2015

Sheriff's Community Academy openings

Posted on: February 9, 2015

Road work postponed on 66th Avenue East

Posted on: February 6, 2015