There is imposed an excise tax upon each sale of real property.
Through December 31, 2019, the rate of the tax imposed under this section is 1.28 percent of the selling price.
Beginning January 1, 2020, except as provided in (c) of this subsection, the rate of the tax imposed under this section is as follows:
1.1 percent of the portion of the selling price that is less than or equal to five hundred thousand dollars;
1.28 percent of the portion of the selling price that is greater than five hundred thousand dollars and equal to or less than one million five hundred thousand dollars;
2.75 percent of the portion of the selling price that is greater than one million five hundred thousand dollars and equal to or less than three million dollars;
Three percent of the portion of the selling price that is greater than three million dollars.
The sale of real property that is classified as timberland , agricultural land**, or multiple-unit housing** is subject to the tax imposed under this section at a rate of 1.28 percent of the selling price.
Beginning July 1, 2022, and every fourth year thereafter:
The department must adjust the selling price threshold in subsection (1)(b)(i) of this section to reflect the lesser of the growth of the consumer price index for shelter or five percent. If the growth is equal to or less than zero percent, the current selling price threshold continues to apply.
The department must adjust the selling price thresholds in subsection (1)(b)(ii) through (iv) of this section by the dollar amount of any increase in the selling price threshold in subsection (1)(b)(i) of this section.
The department must publish updated selling price thresholds by September 1, 2022, and September 1st of every fourth year thereafter. Updated selling price thresholds will apply beginning January 1, 2023, and January 1st every fourth year thereafter. Adjusted selling price thresholds must be rounded to the nearest one thousand dollars. No changes may be made to adjusted selling price thresholds once such adjustments take effect.
The most recent selling price threshold becomes the base for subsequent adjustments.
The department must report adjustments to the selling price thresholds to the fiscal committees of the legislature, beginning December 1, 2022, and December 1st every fourth year thereafter.
The department must publish guidance to assist sellers in properly classifying real property on the real estate excise tax affidavit for purposes of determining the proper amount of tax due under this section. Real property with multiple uses must be classified according to the property's predominant use. The department's guidance must include factors for use in determining the predominant use of real property.
County treasurers are not responsible for verifying that the seller has properly classified real property reported on a real estate excise tax affidavit. The department is solely responsible for such verification as part of its audit responsibilities under RCW 82.45.150.
Beginning July 1, 2013, and ending December 31, 2019, an amount equal to two percent of the proceeds of this tax must be deposited in the public works assistance account created in RCW 43.155.050, an amount equal to four and one‑tenth percent must be deposited in the education legacy trust account created in RCW 83.100.230, an amount equal to one and six-tenths percent must be deposited in the city-county assistance account created in RCW 43.08.290, and the remainder must be deposited in the general fund.
Beginning January 1, 2020, amounts collected from the tax imposed under this section must be deposited as provided in RCW 82.45.230.
The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
"Agricultural land" means farm and agricultural land and farm and agricultural conservation land, as those terms are defined in RCW 84.34.020, including any structures on such land.
"Consumer price index for shelter" means the most current seasonally adjusted index for the shelter expenditure category of the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) as published by July 31st by the bureau of labor statistics of the United States department of labor.
"Growth of the consumer price index for shelter" means the percentage increase in the consumer price index for shelter as measured from data published by the bureau of labor statistics of the United States department of labor by July 31st for the most recent three-year period for the selling price threshold adjustment in 2022, and the most recent four-year period for subsequent selling price threshold adjustments.
"Multiple-unit housing" means a building or a group of buildings having four or more dwelling units, not designed or used as transient accommodations and not including hotels and motels, in which at least 50 percent of the total square footage of the building or group of buildings are residential units. Square footage must be computed by measuring the inside finish of permanent outer walls and include only areas usable for residential or commercial purposes, which does not include stairs, elevator shafts, flues, pipes shafts, vertical ducts, air conditioning rooms, fan rooms, janitor closets, electrical closets, and other rooms not actually available to the business or residential owner or tenant for commercial or residential uses.
"Timberland" means land classified under chapter 84.34 RCW or designated under chapter 84.33 RCW, including any structures and standing timber on such land, and standing timber sold apart from the land upon which it sits.
The provisions of RCW 82.32.805 and 82.32.808 do not apply to this act.
This act applies to taxes levied for collection in 2023 and thereafter.