A bill in the Washington Senate is seeking to mandate an increase to all annual property taxes in the state.

Senate Bill 5770 (SB 5770) would give Washington's 39 counties and other taxing authorities the power to increase property taxes by up to three percent every year.

Seventh District Sen. Shelly Short (R-Addy) says she has concerns about the legislation.

"Most of the time, those decisions about taxing are made locally. However, this bill would actually mandate it. I know that there are local governments that have challenges with revenue - I get that, but there's simply no protection for property tax payers if this bill were to pass."

Short adds she plans to fight against the bill's passage and believes it to be short-sighted and insensitive given the state's current housing crisis.

"Given all of the challenges we're facing with homelessness and housing and the lack of available housing and affordable housing, I think this bill is a little tone deaf quite frankly. Especially given all the issues we have going on with the cost of living and inflation. I think we do need to assist local governments - I get that, but this bill isn't the way to do it."

SB 5770 is currently in the Senate Ways & Means Committee and is scheduled for a hearing today (Thursday, Jan. 18).

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