Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program

The City of Vancouver provides a unique opportunity for developers to assist in meeting the community needs for additional housing in designated residential target areas across the city. 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 or 12-year tax exemption for the approved value of newly constructed or rehabbed residential units.

The Washington State Department of Commerce has completed the 2019 statewide impact report for the Multifamily Tax Exemptions (MFTE) program. To review the report follow this link to the 2019 Department of Commerce MFTE Report.

Program Update

On July 3, 2023, following a public hearing and unanimous vote, the Vancouver City Council adopted changes to the MFTE ordinance.

The primary changes to the ordinance include:

  • Expanding the program to new target areas of the City.
  • Eliminated negotiated public benefit elements.
  • Added a fee-in-lieu of income-based units option that prioritizes higher density development
  • Replaced the current income-based options with a 12-year option under which 20% of the total project units are restricted to households earning 80% or less of the median family income.
  • Added an 8-year ownership option 
  • Added an option to renew income based projects for an additional 12 years.
  • Add a 5% (+ CPI factor) annual rent cap increase following the expiration of income-based exemptions.
  • Updated application fees.

Exemption Options

The current ordinance, effective July 3, 2023, allows for the following options:

  • An 8-year exemption is available for market-rate  and ownership projects.
  • A 12-year exemption is available for income-based projects under which 20% of the total development units are restricted to households earning 80% of median family income or less.

Application Process

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

The required application fee includes the following:

  • Base Fee – $5,000
  • Per Unit Fee – $75 per unit

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 maximum of 90 days.

Application fee payments options:

  1. By mail-addressed to:
    Multifamily Tax Exemption Application
    Customer Service
    PO Box 8995
    Vancouver WA 98668-8995
  2. Over the phone by credit/debit card: 360-487-8454.
  3. Payment drop box located in the south parking lot at City Hall,
    • 415 W. 6th Street,
    • Vancouver, WA 98660.
  4. Include this account number with payment to expedite processing:
    • 001 CC0139 369920 RC0278

Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program Dashboard

Additional Information

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

Affordable Unit Leasing Contacts

List of lease contacts for affordable MFTE units.