Multifamily Property Tax Exemption (MFTE) Program

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The City of Shoreline offers Multifamily residential Property Tax Exemptions (MFTE) to encourage multifamily development and to provide affordable housing. 

  • The program is only available for investors who build or rehabilitate four or more units to rent.
  • Initially established in 2002, the MFTE program was simplified into one comprehensive 12-year affordable program on February 9, 2015.
  • The MFTE is only on the ad valorem value of improvements; the land value continues to be taxed.
  • The 12 year period begins the first full calendar year after the project is completed.

The Affordable Housing MFTE Program

Ordinance No. 694 defines Shoreline's current MFTE program and replaces all previous MFTE programs. In order to qualify for the MFTE incentive, the applicant must commit to rent 20% of the project's units to qualified renters at "affordable" rates (see current rent and income limits here). Shoreline uses the HUD determination of the King County Adjusted Median Income (AMI) to determine affordability, and the city adjusts the percentage based on unit size:

  • Studio and 1 bedroom units must be affordable to those earning 70% of the King County AMI; and
  • 2 bedroom or larger units must be affordable to those earning 80% of the King County AMI.

Where MFTE is Offered

Shoreline's MFTE program is currently offered in seven areas. By clicking on the links below, one can view maps that determine whether one's parcel falls within a MFTE area.

*Note: A small portion of the Aurora Ave N Corridor, the Aurora Square Community Renewal Area, has a 500-unit cap on MFTE availability.

Application Process

Applicants must apply for a Conditional Certificate of MFTE prior to receiving building permits. Once a Conditional Certificate is issued, the applicant must complete the project within three years; one two-year administrative extension is available. After completing the project, the applicant must apply for a Final Certificate of MFTE; once received, the actual exemption period begins on the next full calendar year.

To apply for a Conditional or Final Certificate of Property Tax Exemption, please use the following forms:

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