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AGO 1951 No. 107 - August 21, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

TAXES ‑- COUNTY'S LIEN FOR ATTACHMENT TO PROCEEDS OF INSURANCE WHEN BUILDINGS DESTROYED

In the case of real property the lien for delinquent taxes does not attach to the proceeds of insurance covering any buildings on the realty destroyed by fire.

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                                                                 August 21, 1951

Honorable Robert S. Campbell, Jr.
Prosecuting Attorney
Grant County
Ephrata, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 10

Dear Sir:

            This is to acknowledge your letter of August 6, 1951, in which you ask whether the county's lien for taxes on realty attaches to the proceeds of insurance if the buildings on the realty are destroyed by fire.

            Our conclusion is that in the case of real property the lien for delinquent taxes does not attach to the proceeds of insurance covering the buildings on the real property destroyed by fire.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The above conclusion is based on the absence of any statutory authority for enforcing the lien against the proceeds of insurance on real property.  As indicated by the enclosed opinion from this office to the Prosecuting Attorney of Lewis County, March 7, 1951, where personal property is involved, the lien does attach to the insurance proceeds if the taxes were delinquent.  This remedy, however, is statutory.  Rem. Rev. Stat. 11248.

            The reason for this distinction is simply that where personal property is destroyed nothing remains to enforce a lien against except the proceeds of insurance.  However, with real property the land still remains even though the buildings upon it are destroyed.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Accordingly, your remedy in this respect is to enforce the lien against the land.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

ROBERT L. SIMPSON
Assistant Attorney General

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