Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program

The City of Puyallup's Multifamily Property Tax Exemption Program (MFTE) provides a tax incentive to encourage the development of multifamily housing units in targeted areas of Puyallup. It also:

  • Encourages increased residential opportunities, including affordable housing units, within areas of the city designated by the City Council as residential targeted areas.
  • Stimulates new construction or rehabilitation of existing vacant and underutilized buildings for multifamily housing.
  • Assists in directing future population growth to designated residential targeted areas, thereby reducing development pressure on single-family residential neighborhoods.
  • Achieves development densities that are more conducive to transit use in designated residential targeted areas.

The MFTE is available in both of the City's Regional Growth Centers (RGCs), Downtown and South Hill, and also the River Road Corridor. Puyallup Municipal Code and the Department of Commerce define these areas as Regional Target Areas (RTAs), which are specific areas in which the MFTE can be administered. See the map below.

The MFTE program was created by the State Department of Commerce in 1995 to stimulate housing growth in Washington cities. Under the program, the City can give tax exemptions for new construction, conversion, and rehabilitation of multifamily residential improvements. Under the exemptions, a property owner does not have to pay property taxes on the residential improvements for a given number of years. The property owner still pays taxes on the land and non-residential improvements, such as the commercial portion of a mixed-use building. See the infographic below.

MFTE info graphic
Getting Started:

  • The Multifamily Property Tax Exemption (MFTE) program provides opportunities for cities and counties to encourage the development of multifamily housing in certain areas.  
  • Program is voluntary. The City can voluntarily choose to have an MFTE program, and multi-family project applicants can voluntarily choose to participate in the program. 
  • Only properties located in a “Residential Target Area (RTA)” are eligible to apply for the MFTE. The City decides where this RTA is located.
  • Only multi-family projects that include a minimum of 4 dwelling units are eligible to participate in this program. 
  • The City offers an 8 or 12-year tax exemption with different requirements for public benefits, such as affordable housing.
  • The City of Puyallup MFTE Program is codified in PMC 3.70


Length of Tax Exemption 8-Year Market Rate Housing 12-Year Temporary Affordable Housing
Minimum Affordability Requirements None Min 20% of units affordable to Low (≤ 80% AMI* or Moderate (80-115% AMI) households
AMI* Area Median Income

                      Puyallup Residential Target Area

Multi-Family Tax Exemption Areas

Map above shows applicable areas for the Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) program.