Incentives - Housing Development

Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE)

The City of Spokane's Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) program offers a partial property tax exemption for new improvements that create multi-family housing. The exemption period is 8 years for market rate projects, and 12 years for projects that target at least 20% of the units to low to moderate income households. The program is based on state law (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=84.14) and described in the Spokane Municipal Code (http://www.spokanecity.org/services/documents/smc/?Chapter=08.15)

Here are a couple key things to remember about this program:

  • "Multi-family" is considered to be a minimum of 4 dwelling units in one building.
  • The MFTE program is available for properties in designated target areas all over the city, not just in the downtown. The target areas are selected based on criteria designed to support the revitalization of urban centers.
  • For mixed use projects, at least 50% of the space must be dedicated to residential use.
  • The developer, builder or property owner must apply for this tax exemption BEFORE they apply for their building permit.
  • Before purchasing a specific piece of property, investors should either contact Teri Stripes, Incentives Specialist (625-6597, tstripes@spokanecity.org) or come in to use the public access computers at the 3rd floor Current Planning counter in City Hall to double-check that the parcel is actually in a MFTE target area.

The MFTE target areas are generally focused on Spokane's urban centers, found in the Central Business District (CBD) and neighborhood business districts, known as Centers and Corridors (FactSheet_CC_and_Incentives.doc). Other development-oriented incentives are available in Centers and Corridors as well, such as a Floor-Area-Ratio Bonus for creating public amenities, structured parking and affordable housing (allows more building on a parcel than the zoning would otherwise allow), and reduced parking requirements. (FactSheet_CC_and_Incentives.doc)

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