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AGO 1952 No. 435 - December 10, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS OF SALES OF COUNTY PROPERTY.

Proceeds of sales of county property except in cases of trade‑in allowances upon purchases of like property must be paid to the county treasurer, but proceeds from the sale of used equipment must be credited to the fund from which the original purchase price was paid.

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                                                               December 10, 1952 

Honorable John N. Leavitt
Prosecuting Attorney
Okanogan County
Okanogan, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 435

 Dear Sir:

             This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of December 3, 1952, reading substantially as follows:

             The Board of County Commissioners of Okanogan County sold a county garage building, the original purchase price of which was paid with current county expense funds.

             The road department occupied the garage for ten years, during which period road department funds were expended for repair of the roof of the building and for alterations to render the building suitable for use by the road department.  No charge was ever made against the road fund to the credit of the current expense fund for the road department's use of the building.

             Based on the foregoing statement of facts you inquire whether a portion of the proceeds derived from the sale of the garage building may, by order of the Board of County Commissioners, be credited to the Road Department Fund.

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            It is the opinion of this office that no part of the proceeds of the sale of the county garage building may be credited to the county road fund.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             Whenever, in the judgment of the board of county commissioners, it is for the best interests of the county and the taxing districts and the people thereof, that any property, whether real, personal or mixed, belonging to the county should be sold, the board may sell same subject to certain restrictions not pertinent to the question posed above.  See RCW 36.34.010.

             No rental was paid from county road funds for use of the garage.  County road funds were expended in payment for repairs and remodeling of the garage.  These facts have no bearing on the determinative factor of ownership of the property.  It is not material from what funds the original purchase price of the building was paid or from what funds payment was made for repair and remodeling of the building.  The building belonged to the county, hence the board of county commissioners had authority, under RCW 36.34.010, to sell that property.  The statute, RCW 36.33.010 et seq., relative to establishing cumulative reserve fund for construction or improvement of a particular building is not applicable to the facts presented in this case.

             The mandate of the statute, which reads as follows, is clear as to the disposition to be made of the proceeds of sales of county property:

             "The proceeds of sales of county property except in cases of trade‑in allowances upon purchases of like property must be paid to the county treasurer * * *"  RCW 36.34.110.

             Except as to the proceeds from the sale of unused equipment, there is no statute requiring the proceeds of sales of county property to be credited to the fund from which the original purchase price was paid or to the credit of the fund from which payment for building repairs was made.

              [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            "Proceeds from the sale of used equipment must be credited to the fund from which the original purchase price was paid."  RCW 36.34.120.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General

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