Belfair Faith in Action HUB Center could receive property tax exemption thanks to Griffey bill signed into law

A bill that will allow some nonprofit senior centers to qualify for property tax exemptions was signed into law yesterday. The impetus for the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Dan Griffey, was efforts from Belfair Faith in Action, a nonprofit organization in Belfair, to receive a property tax exemption for their HUB center, which serves Mason County seniors.

Most senior centers operated by the state and local governments are currently exempt from property taxes. Nonprofit organizations, including senior centers, may also qualify for these property tax exemptions so long as certain criteria are met pertaining to nonexempt activities. House Bill 1526 will eliminate some of those requirements and expand the eligibility of property tax exemptions to multipurpose senior centers.

“This bill really boils down to ensuring seniors have access to health and wellness activities, and that senior centers have the ability to provide services that will keep seniors in their preferred communities and greatly improve their quality of life,” said Griffey, R-Allyn. “Nonprofit organizations that make positive impacts in our communities should be able to enjoy the same benefits government-operated senior centers do.”

Belfair Faith in Action raised money for the past seven years to build a HUB center that hosts various activities for seniors. Prior to construction, they were told they would receive a property tax exemption so long as the center kept to the organization’s mission. The facility they built, which also hosts a local farmers market, was denied an exemption because the facility held too many retail activities.

With House Bill 1526 signed into law, the center will be able to continuing hosting the farmers market and still qualify for a property tax exemption.

“I am thrilled because this bill will allow nonprofits such as ours to use our earnings and donations for what they were intended for – to help our seniors lead healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives,” said Patti Kleist, executive director of Belfair Faith in Action.

The bill will take effect in July.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov