333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 - 253-841-4321

City of Puyallup

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AI- 3491   9.    
City Council Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/05/2013  
Subject:    Putnam/Johnston - Open Space Tax Valuation
Presenter: Lindsey Sehmel
Department: Development Services  

Recommended Action
Hold a public hearing and then conduct first reading of an ordinance approving a current use/open space taxation request pertaining to 6-acres of property near E. Pioneer Avenue and Shaw Road, and authorize the City Manager to sign and transmit implementing documentation to Pierce County.
State law allows “current use” special tax valuation processes, whereby property owners can petition local jurisdictions to receive a reduced property tax assessment for a ten-year period in exchange for retaining their land in a particular undeveloped state (e.g. open space, agriculture, timber). Three years ago, owners of two unrelated properties in Puyallup successfully petitioned to have their properties placed in this special valuation status. Participating property owners who choose to withdraw from the program prior to completion of the ten-year period can accrue property tax penalties.

This site, the Putnam-Johnston property, is one of two properties requesting similar special valuation status this year. This request involves an approximately six-acre property principally zoned General Commercial and located in the vicinity of East Pioneer and the Shaw Road extension. The review process involves both Pierce County (where the application is actually filed) and the City. Candidate properties must meet certain findings before the special tax status is granted; these findings are analyzed by County staff and then forwarded to the City for approval or denial (see attached County staff report). Per this procedure, the Pierce County Council has already reviewed this request and, on September 4, 2012, approved an ordinance to establish the special valuation.

Puyallup's Planning Commission held a public hearing on this request on December 5, 2012 and made a formal recommendation (via a 6-0 vote) to approve and forward it to the City Council for final action.
Previous Actions (Discussions/Presentations)
This item, along with the companion Chen special valuation request, was noted in a City Manager's bi-weekly report in 2012.  It was also included in the City Council-approved Planning Commission 2012 work program. As noted above, the Pierce County Council has already conducted its requisite review of the request and approved it for final consideration. On December 5, 2012, Puyallup's Planning Commission held a public hearing on this item and forwarded, by a 6-0 vote, a recommendation of approval to City Council. 
Summary of Proposal
This request includes approximately six acres of mostly General Commercial-zoned property located on the north side of East Pioneer immediately west of the Shaw Road extension.
The City Council may approve or deny the applicant's request and forward its recommendation to Pierce County.

Fiscal Impact
Amount Budgeted:
Bid Amount:
City Funding Needed for Project:
Funds from Other Sources:
Ongoing Staff Costs:
Fiscal Impacts:
This program offers a ten-year tax reduction in property taxes for the subject property in exchange for the site being maintained in its current open space use. If approved, this change in valuation would essentially be revenue neutral to the City as the very minor cumulative reduction in taxes would be shifted to other property owners within the taxing district.

Staff Memo
County Staff Report
Overview Map
Exhibit A

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