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April 10, 1970
Honorable James P. Kuehnle
State Representative, Fourth District
E. 12415 Trent
Spokane, Washington 99216
Cite as: AGLO 1970 No. 58
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our advice as to the meaning of the term "quasi-municipal corporation" as contained in chapter 30, Laws of 1970 (Senate Bill No. 61) ‑ and to whether it includes such groups as a chamber of commerce, "Forward Thrust", the Washington Education Association, and the like.
Our reading of this enactment leads us to conclude that the legislature used the term "quasi-municipal corporation" therein in its usual sense. As explained in 1 McQuillin, Municipal Corporations, § 2.13, a "quasi-municipal corporation"
". . . is a corporation created or authorized by the legislature which is merely a public agency endowed with such of the attributes of a municipality as may be necessary in the performance of its limited objective. In other words, a quasi-municipal corporation is a public agency created or authorized by the legislature to aid the state in, or to take charge of, some public or state work, other than community government, for the general welfare. 'Quasi-municipal' corporations are public in nature, but not, strictly speaking, municipal corporations. They are bodies which possess a limited number of corporate powers and which are low down in the scale or grade of corporate existence, and consisting of various local government areas established to aid the administration of public functions. . . ."
The critical points to be noted in this definition of the term "quasi-municipal corporation" are (1) that such a corporation must have been created by, pursuant to act of the legislature; (2) that it must derive its powers from the [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] legislature; and (3) that it exercises those powers on a local rather than a state‑wide basis. Within this framework, it will be seen that the term does not include the types of civic organizations which have referred to in your letter.
It is hoped that the foregoing will be of some assistance to you in regard to the matter with which you are concerned.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Assistant Attorney General