The $40 document recording surcharge is extended to June 30, 2019. Documents subject to the recording surcharge are simplified and the exemption from the surcharge is expanded.
Of the recording surcharge funds used by Commerce, at least 45 percent must be used for private rental housing payments. Private rental housing is defined to mean housing owned by a private landlord and does not include housing owned by a nonprofit housing entity or government entity. Requires Commerce to make reasonable efforts to ensure local providers conduct outreach to private rental housing landlords each calendar quarter regarding availability of funds.
Requires the Office of Financial Management (OFM) to obtain an independent audit of Commerce's expenditures of document recording surcharge funds annually. The audit must review a random sample of local governments, contractors, and providers that is geographically and demographically diverse. A preliminary audit report must be presented to Commerce and one landlord representative to make comments regarding the findings to include in the audit. The first audit is due July 1, 2015, for the calendar year 2014 report, and each July 1 thereafter following the Commerce's submission of the report to the Legislature. If the independent audit finds that Commerce fails to use 45 percent of its funds for private rental housing payments, Commerce must submit a correction action plan to OFM. If Commerce does not correct its actions, OFM must reduce Commerce's allotments and expenditures in the same amount. The independent audit must recommend an alternative method distributing funds in this event.
OFM must contract for an independent audit to conduct a performance audit of the use of document recording surcharges provided in RCW 36.22.178, 36.22.179, and 36.22.1791. The performance audit is due December 1, 2016.
Commerce must convene a stakeholder group to discuss long-term funding options for homeless housing programs that do not include document recording surcharges. The group must be convened by March 1, 2017, and report to the Legislature by December 1, 2017.