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AGO 1951 No. 82 - July 02, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO LEASE

A county may lease its property (excluding that held in trust as acquired for non-payment of taxes), to a city for municipal purposes, but must comply with the provisions of sections 4019 to 4022 (as last amended by chapter 41, Laws of 1951) Rem. Rev. Stat., and may not negotiate such a lease without notice and hearing.

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                                                                     July 2, 1951

Honorable Roger L. Olson
Prosecuting Attorney
Franklin County
Pasco, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 82

Dear Sir:

            In your letter of June 21st you asked the following question:

            Must a county go through the procedure of notice and holding a hearing in order to lease property to a town for municipal purposes?

            You are advised:

            A county may lease its property (excluding that held in trust as acquired for non-payment [[nonpayment]]of taxes), to a city for municipal purposes, but must comply with the provisions of sections 4019 to 4022 (as last amended by chapter 41, Laws of 1951) Rem. Rev. Stat., and may not negotiate such a lease without notice and hearing.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The act of 1901, codified as sections 4019 et seq., Rem. Rev. Stat., gives the Board of County Commissioners authority to lease property belonging to a county.  We have uniformly held that this does not authorize the leasing of property acquired for the non-payment [[nonpayment]]of taxes which is held in trust.  Ops.  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] Atty. Gen. 1929-30, at page 692.  The Legislature attempted to vest the Board with authority to lease such property by section 1, chapter 110, Laws of 1941, but the section was vetoed.  The Legislature did vest the County Commissioners with authority to lease tax foreclosure property for purposes of flood control, etc., by chapter 94, Laws of 1945, sec. 4015-6 Rem. Supp. 1945, and in such cases, and by virtue of chapter 85, Laws of 1949, sec. 4019-1, Rem. Supp. 1949, waived the requirement of notice by authorizing leases under a written agreement entered into by the Commissioners and any person on behalf of the United States of America, or any agency thereof.

            Chapter 41, Laws of 1951, section 36.34.180, RCW, authorized a lease for a period not to exceed thirty-five years, where the lease is for municipal purposes, and sets up other requirements which must be complied with, but does not waive any of the provisions of sections 4020 or 4021, Rem. Rev. Stat., which must, therefore, be followed.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

E. P. DONNELLY
Assistant Attorney General

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