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AGO 1952 No. 361 - August 01, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

SCHOOL DISTRICTS ‑- LEGALITY AND PROPRIETY OF HAVING MORE THAN ONE SPECIAL LEVY VOTED DURING THE SAME CALENDAR YEAR

A school district may submit to the electors of the district at a special election to be held not oftener than twice in the fiscal year in which the levy is to be made, the proposition of whether a special levy should be made in excess of the authorized millage.

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                                                                  August 1, 1952

Honorable Roger L. Olson
Prosecuting Attorney
Franklin County
Pasco, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 361

Attention:  Mr. Orville B. Olson

Dear Sir:

            We hereby acknowledge receipt of your letter of July 21, 1952, in which you request our opinion as to whether it is proper for a school district to hold "more than one special election in a year for the purpose of making a special levy for school purposes."

            Our conclusion may be summarized as follows:

            A school district may submit to the electors of the district at a special election, to be held not oftener than twice in the "fiscal year" in which the levy is to be made, the proposition of whether a special levy should be made in excess of the authorized millage for school districts.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The law applicable to this question is contained in section 1, chapter 255, Laws of 1951, and insofar as it pertains to this question, it reads:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "* * * Any * * * school district, * * * may levy taxes at a rate in excess of the rate specified in this section, when authorized so to do by the electors of such * * * school district, * * * by a three‑fifths majority of those voting on the proposition at a special election, to be held in the year in which the levy is made,and not oftener than twice in such year, * * * ."  (Emphasis supplied)

            It is significant that a clause was omitted from section 1, chapter 11, Laws of 1950, when it was amended by section 1, chapter 255, Laws of 1951.  The clause which was omitted in the 1951 amendment immediately followed the above underlined clause and was a limitation thereof.  It read:

            "* * * nor oftener than once in such year to authorize such levy for any particular purpose * * *."

            By reason of the legislature having omitted the above quoted clause in chapter 255, Laws of 1951, the intent is manifested to allow school districts to hold two such special elections on the question of an excess tax levy without restriction.

            Further, it is to be noted that in the case of Simms v. Bremerton, 190 Wash. 62, 66 P. (2d) 863, it was held that the words contained in the original enactment of this statute (chapter 2, Laws of 1935), providing that the election must be "held in the year in which the levy is made" refers to the "fiscal year" rather than the calendar year.

            We therefore conclude that section 1, chapter 255, Laws of 1951, is authority for the proposition that a school district may submit to the electors of the district at a special election, to be held not oftener than twice in the "fiscal year" in which the levy is to be made, the question of whether a special levy should be made in excess of the authorized millage for school districts.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

STEPHEN C. WAY
Assistant Attorney General

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