A bill from Republican state Representative Keith Goehner of Dryden will extend property tax breaks to senior and disabled people. 

The measure, which has passed the legislature, will give a tax exemption for senior and disabled people who have a 'detached' accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on their property. 

Goehner says it'll fill in a gap in tax policy because the exemption is already there if the ADU is attached to the existing home.   

"When I looked into it, I realized there really is no difference," said Goehner. "It's an accessory unit. And whether it's an attached or detached, and it's a senior citizen or a disabled person that is already getting a tax exemption, they should be entitled to that exemption on that detached ADU."  

The bill is headed to Governor Inslee after clearing the legislature just before a deadline in this year's session. 

The measure, HB 2374, had previously passed the House on February 13th by a 95-1 margin. It was then unanimously approved by the Senate 49-0 shortly before the 5 p.m. Friday cutoff for the Senate to pass House bills. 

Goehner says the bill allows for equal treatment of senior and disabled homeowners who have ADUs on their property. 

"It really is just giving a credit in the same way if it was attached or detached," Goehner said. "So, it's just to help the senior citizen who is already on a very limited income. It allows them some tax relief."  

Goehner says he was alerted to the inconsistency in the tax exemption policy by a constituent who is on a fixed income and is providing housing to a relative who is also on a limited income.   

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on Thursday, March 7. 

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