Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program

The City of Vancouver provides a unique opportunity for developers to assist in meeting the needs for housing in two specific areas: Vancouver City Center and the Fourth Plain Corridor. The Multi-Family Housing Tax Exemption (MFTE) Program, which is authorized under state law (RCW 84.14) and codified in Chapter 3.22 of the Vancouver Municipal Code, allows for an 8, 10 or 12-year tax exemption for the approved value of newly constructed or rehabbed residential units.

Exemption Options

VMC Chapter 3.22  was updated in November 2016. The current ordinance, effective January 1, 2017, allows for the following options:

  • An 8-year exemption is available for market-rate projects with an approved Development Agreement.
  • Three tax exemption options are available for projects with an affordability component:
    • 8-year exemption for projects with 20% of units affordable to households earning up to 100% of area median income (AMI).
    • 10-year exemption for projects with 20% of units affordable to households earning up to 80% AMI.
    • 12-year exemption for projects with 20% of units affordable to households earning up to 60% AMI.
    • In addition to the above requirements, households in income-restricted units must pay no more than 30% of their income for rent and utilities.

Application Process

The Multi-family Tax Exemption program application is available online through Zoomgrants.

The required application fee includes the following:

Base Fee - $300
County Assessor Fee - $100
Per Unit Fee - $50 per unit to a maximum of $700
Note: A $500 annual monitoring fee applies to approved projects during the exemption period.

Upon submittal of the completed application through Zoomgrants and payment of fees by check to the City of Vancouver, the application will be reviewed. The review process takes a minimum of 90 days.

Additional Information

See the MFTE Program Manual for additional information about project eligibility, the application process, and program requirements.