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AGLO 1980 No. 4 - January 21, 1980
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Slade Gorton | 1969-1980 | Attorney General of Washington

DISTRICTS ‑- PUBLIC TRANSPORATION BENEFIT AREA ‑- ELECTIONS ‑- PROCEDURE FOR DISSOLUTION

The provisions of RCW 36.57A.160 constitute the exclusive means by which a public transportation benefit area established pursuant to chapter 36.57A RCW may be dissolved.

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                                                                 January 21, 1980

Honorable Jerry Vrooman
State Rep., 40th District
326 House Office Building
Olympia, Washington 98504                                                                                                                 Cite as:  AGLO 1980 No. 4

Dear Sir:

            By recent letter you requested our opinion on a question which we paraphrase as follows:

            Do the provisions of RCW 36.57A.160 constitute the exclusive means by which a public transportation benefit area established pursuant to chapter 36.57A RCW may be dissolved?

            We answer your question in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Chapter 36.57A RCW, codifying chapter 270, Laws of 1975, 1st Ex. Sess., as amended, provides for the establishment of public transportation benefit areas in our state.  RCW 36.57A.010 defines a public transportation benefit area as ". . . a municipal corporation of the state of Washington . . ."  There may be only one public transportation benefit area in each county.  RCW 36.57A.040.  Such a benefit area, however, may either be countywide or less than countywide, through the exclusion of one of more incorporated cities and towns, in composition.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Your question, as we understand it, assumes that a public transportation benefit area has thus been duly established in a given county.  The issue raised is how such a benefit area, once thus established, may then later be dissolved and liquidated.

            From the materials attached to your letter, it appears that you are fully aware of the following provisions of RCW 36.57A.160:

            "A public transportation benefit area established pursuant to this chapter may be dissolved and its affairs liquidated when so directed by a majority of persons in the benefit area voting on such question.  An election placing such question before the voters may be called in the following manner:

            "(1) By resolution of the public transportation benefit area authority;

            "(2) By resolution of the county legislative body or bodies with the concurrence therein by resolution of the city council of a component city; or

            "(3) By petition calling for such election signed by at least ten percent of the qualified voters residing within the area filed with the auditor of the county wherein the largest portion of the public transportation benefit area is located.  The auditor shall examine the same and certify to the sufficiency of the signatures thereon:  PROVIDED, That to be validated, signatures must have been collected within a ninety day period as designated by the petition sponsors.

            "Any dissolution of a public transportation benefit area authority shall be carried out in accordance with the procedures in chapter 53.48 RCW.  Any remaining deficit of the authority determined pursuant to RCW 53.48.080 shall be paid from the moneys collected from the tax source under which the authority operated."

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            It is well-established that where, as here, the legislature has expressly established a particular means or procedure for the accomplishment of a given objective, that means or procedure is exclusive and there is no room for additional implied powers.  See,e.g.,State ex rel. Eastvold v. Maybury, 49 Wn.2d 533, 539, 304 P.2d 663 (1956) and cases cited therein.  Therefore, it necessarily follows that a duly established public transportation benefit area may only then later be deemed to have been dissolved if its dissolution has been directed by a majority of the persons in the benefit area voting on such question at an election called in accordance with one of the three initiating procedures spelled out in subsections (1) through (3) of RCW 36.57A.160,supra.

            We trust that the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

SLADE GORTON
Attorney General

PHILIP H. AUSTIN
Deputy Attorney General

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