Apartment on Capitol Boulevard, Tumwater gets conditional approval for tax exemption


Tumwater City Council authorized Mayor Debbie Sullivan to sign a contract with the Rookery Apartments owners on Tuesday, July 2, granting them an eight-year exemption from property taxes.

The Rookery is a proposed six-unit apartment north of Capitol Boulevard and Dennis Street.

With the exemption's conditional approval, the property owners will have three years to construct the building and acquire a certificate of occupancy before the city grants the tax exemption.

The city’s multifamily tax exemption program allows owners of multifamily developments to be exempt from property taxes for eight or twelve years.

The twelve-year exemption is only applicable to property owners who can commit to renting or selling at least 20% of the units to low or moderate-income households.

Unanimous vote

All council members voted to approve the contract, including Joan Cathey, who has critiqued the multifamily tax exemption program, believing it mostly benefits wealthy developers.

Cathay favored the project, believing it to be an appropriate development to receive a tax exemption.

During the General Government Committee’s meeting on June 12, one of the property owners, Tessa Bradley, explained that the Rookery is a small-scale project by residents and business owners. Bradley also said that the only way the bank would approve a loan for the project is if they secure the tax exemption.

“For the first time, I'm going to vote for this because what this is not only three women doing this, but what they're doing is they're doing it for moderate to low-income people,” Cathay said adding, “This is a combination of what you want to see happen if you're going to give people an exemption.”


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  • BobJacobs

    The Multi-Family Tax Exemption is a rip-off. It forces all taxpayers to pay the property taxes for the owner. Their bill just gets divvied up and added to ours.

    Shame on the city council. They're supposed to be serving the public, not developers.

    Bob Jacobs

    Tuesday, July 9 Report this

  • Yeti1981

    Great move for more housing and to ensure the inclusion of more affordable units for everyone.

    Tuesday, July 9 Report this