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AGO Opinions with Topic: PROPERTY
AGO 2006 No. 18 >  October 9, 2006
TAXATION - PROPERTY - REAL ESTATE EXCISE TAX - CITIES AND TOWNS - COUNTIES
Effect on city and county if city chooses not to impose the optional sales and use tax authorized by RCW 82.14.030(2). 1. If a city has chosen not to impose the optional sales and use tax authorized by RCW 82.14.030(2), and the county in which the city is located has chosen to impose the same tax, the revenue from the tax would go to the county.2. If a city chooses to impose a local real estate excise tax authorized by RCW 82.46.010 in lieu of the optional sales and use tax authorized by RCW 82.14.030(2), the city may not arrange for the county to continue to pay the city a portion of the revenue from the optional sales and use tax, unless the city and county have entered into a local service agreement under RCW 36.115.
AGO 1980 No. 4 >  January 18, 1980
PROPERTY - TAXATION - REAL PROPERTY - MOBILE HOMES - IMPROVEMENTS
OMITTED ASSESSMENT OF MOBILE HOMES AFFIXED TO REAL PROPERTY Where (but only where) a mobile home is permanently affixed to a tract or realty so as to constitute an improvement, and the bona fide purchaser, encumbrancer or contract buyer has acquired an interest in the real estate upon which it is located prior to the time the mobile home is assessed, the proviso to the second sentence of RCW 84.40.080 will apply so as to prevent an omitted property assessment. 
AGO 1980 No. 23 >  November 25, 1980
HOMESTEADS - MOBILE HOMES - PROPERTY
CLAIMING MOBILE HOME AS HOMESTEAD PROPERTY A mobile home used or intended for use as a residence may be claimed as homestead property for the purposes of chapter 6.12 RCW so long as the claimant has a sufficient interest in the land upon which the mobile home is located to allow him to maintain the home on the property.
AGO 2005 No. 2 >  March 7, 2005
PROPERTY - REAL ESTATE - COUNTIES
Authority of county to impose procedural requirements on recording of property boundary disputes resolved by agreement 1.  RCW 58.04.007 permits property owners to resolve uncertain or disputed property boundaries when the boundary line cannot be ascertained through a reference to public records or physical landmarks, or where there is an actual dispute between landowners about the location of the boundary line.  2.  A charter county has authority to implement and facilitate the operation of RCW 58.04.007 by prescribing procedures to be followed in recording written agreements concerning the resolution of unknown or disputed boundary lines, including requirements for county review of documents presented for recording where the county provisions are not in conflict with statutory law.
AGO 1971 No. 32 >  October 27, 1971
TAXATION - PROPERTY - HOSPITALS - TUBERCULOSIS - ASCERTAINMENT OF ACTUAL VALUE OF TAXABLE PROPERTY
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- HOSPITALS ‑- TUBERCULOSIS ‑- ASCERTAINMENT OF ACTUAL VALUE OF TAXABLE PROPERTY The actual value of the taxable property in the county or district, for purposes of the tax to be levied for tuberculosis hospital facilities under §§ 11, 18 and 21 of chapter 277, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., is in each instance to be ascertained by means of multiplying the appropriate county assessor's determination of assessed valuation of each tax parcel by two.
AGO 1971 No. 37 >  November 29, 1971
TAXATION - PROPERTY - COUNTIES - MEETINGS - PUBLIC - ATTENDANCE BY PUBLIC AT SESSIONS OF A COUNTY BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- COUNTIES ‑- MEETINGS ‑- PUBLIC ‑- ATTENDANCE BY PUBLIC AT SESSIONS OF A COUNTY BOARD OF EQUALIZATION RCW 84.48.010, in requiring county boards of equalization convened pursuant thereto to meet in open session, requires that all sessions of a county board of equalization which have been convened pursuant to this statute be open to attendance by the public except where the county assessor proposes to offer in evidence information which he has obtained under RCW 84.48.340; where such evidence is offered, the board's session must be closed to the public unless the taxpayer against whom the evidence is offered accedes to the opening of the session to the public, and thereby waives his right to confidentiality.
AGO 1981 No. 3 >  March 26, 1981
TAXATION - PROPERTY - COUNTIES - CITIES AND TOWNS
APPLICATION OF 106 PERCENT LIMITATION TO COUNTY TAX REFUND LEVY he 106 percent limitation on property taxes imposed by RCW 84.55.010 applies to taxes levied by a county pursuant to RCW 84.68.040 for the county refund fund; and the limitation is to be applied to the levy for the year in which the refund is made and not the year for which it is made.
AGO 1981 No. 7 >  June 23, 1981
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES - COMMUNITY COLLEGES - PROPERTY - APPROPRIATIONS
USE AND DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS FROM SALE OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE REAL PROPERTY In the event of a sale of community college real property by the State Board for Community College Education pursuant to RCW 28B.50.090(12), the proceeds of that sale are not required, under existing law, to be received, kept and disbursed by the state treasurer but, instead, they may be retained by the college as local funds and expended without a specific legislative appropriation.
AGO 1981 No. 15 >  October 15, 1981
TAXATION - PROPERTY - MINERAL RIGHTS - FOREST LAND - OPEN SPACE, AGRICULTURAL AND FARM LAND
OPEN SPACE, AGRICULTURAL AND FARM LAND (1) One who owns mineral rights, separate and apart from ownership of the land itself, is not required to join the landowner in applying for classification or designation of the land as forest land, open space, agricultural and farm land, or timber land for property tax purposes. (2) A notice of continuance of classification or designation is not required to be provided when the owner of such mineral rights transfers that interest to another.
AGO 1991 No. 2 >  January 22, 1991
TREASURER - COUNTIES - TAXATION - PROPERTY - PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD
TREASURER ‑- COUNTIES ‑- TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- PAYMENT BY CREDIT 1.  RCW 84.56.023 authorizes counties to accept payment of property taxes by credit card.  If the county utilizes this procedure, it must collect fully payment of taxes, interest and penalties without discount.  2.  RCW 84.56.023 does not grant the county the authority to collect from the taxpayer a service fee on behalf of the bank issuing the credit card.
AGO 1991 No. 7 >  March 4, 1991
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE - TAXATION - PROPERTY - PUBLIC FUNDS - PUBLIC ASSISTANCE
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE ‑- TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- PUBLIC FUNDS ‑- PUBLIC ASSISTANCE 1.  Article 7, section 1, of the Washington Constitution, provides that all taxes on real property be uniform.  House Bill 1297 which authorizes payments to certain people, calculated with reference to the taxes levied on their primary residence, does not violate the uniformity requirement. 2.  Article 11, section 9, of the Washington Constitution, prohibits releasing or discharging state taxes on a county, its inhabitants or its property.  The payment of assistance from funds appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature in House Bill 1297 does not constitute a release or discharge of the state property tax levied for the support of the common schools. 3.  Article 8, sections 5 and 7, of the Washington Constitution, prohibit gifts of public funds.  The payment of assistance to certain citizens authorized by House Bill 1297 is a gift of public funds because the payments do not carry out a fundamental governmental function and there is no consideration for the payments. 4.  Article 8, sections 5 and 7, of the Washington Constitution, do not prohibit gifts of public funds that are necessary for the support of the poor.  House Bill 1297 authorized assistance to persons with $30,000 or less of combined disposable income.  The question of whether House Bill 1297 constitutes assistance to the poor is, to some degree, a factual question and we cannot say precisely where the court will draw the line between assistance to the poor and an impermissible gift.  Some people with incomes of less than $30,000 are, undoubtedly, poor.  However, there is substantial doubt whether an individual with an annual income of $30,000 and no dependents is poor.  It is unlikely that a court would permit such a person to receive assistance pursuant to House Bill 1297.
AGO 1972 No. 14 >  July 19, 1972
TAXATION - PROPERTY - EXCISE - MOBILE HOMES
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- EXCISE ‑- MOBILE HOMES Prior to January 1, 1973, a county treasurer may not utilize the advance tax collection procedures set forth in RCW 84.56.070 to collect property taxes imposed for the first time in October, 1972, against a mobile home which has become subject to an ad valorem property tax solely by reason of the enactment of §§ 70-74, chapter 299, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess.
AGO 1991 No. 11 >  March 27, 1991
TAXATION - PROPERTY - AGRICULTURAL - OPEN SPACE - TIMBER LAND - FOREST LAND - ASSESSOR
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- AGRICULTURAL ‑- OPEN SPACE ‑- TIMBER LAND ‑- FOREST LAND ‑- ASSESSOR ‑- INHERITANCE OF CLASSIFIED OR DESIGNATED LAND 1.  Chapter 84.34 RCW provides for current use valuation for the purpose of property tax assessments of land classified as agricultural, open space, or timber land.  RCW 84.34.108 sets out the consequences when classified land is transferred.  The term "transfer" in RCW 84.34.108 includes a transfer of ownership by inheritance.   2.  Chapter 84.33 RCW creates a special system of taxation for property which is classified or designated as forest land.  R CW 84.33.120 and RCW 84.33.140 set out the consequences when forest land is transferred.  The term "transfer" in RCW 84.33.120 and 84.33.140 includes a transfer of ownership by inheritance.
AGO 1974 No. 8 >  March 27, 1974
TAXATION - PROPERTY - LEASEHOLD - LANDLORD AND TENANT - INDIANS
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- LEASEHOLD ‑- LANDLORD AND TENANT ‑- INDIANS (1) A leasehold interest which would have qualified for a property tax exemption under the terms of § 11 (1), chapter 187, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., as of January 1, 1973, and which has not been "renegotiated" within the meaning of § 3 (3) at any time in 1973, is exempt from such taxation for that assessment year with respect to property taxes due and payable in 1974; however, this same leasehold interest would not qualify for such an exemption from property taxes due and payable in 1974 if the leasehold had been "renegotiated" between January 1, 1973, and July 16, 1973, the effective date of chapter 187, supra. (2) In the determination of "economic rent" as defined in § 3 (1), chapter 187, supra, a county assessor is not conclusively bound by a determination of "contract rent" made by an impartial arbitration board or, in the case of creation of a new leasehold interest, by open public bidding ‑ although this would be one of the relevant circumstances which the assessor is to consider. (3) Where there is a change in consideration to be paid by the lessee to the lessor but the term of the lease is shortened rather than extended, a "renegotiation" does not occur within the meaning of § 3 (3) of chapter 187, supra. (4) In order for a leasehold interest granted by an Indian to a non-Indian to be exempt from property taxation under § 11 (8), chapter 187, supra, the real property which is subject thereto must be that land of an Indian or Indian tribe that is held in trust by the United States or is subject to a restraint against alienation imposed by the United States.
AGO 1974 No. 25 >  December 24, 1974
CITIES AND TOWNS - OPTIONAL MUNICIPAL CODE - PROPERTY - SALES - COMPETITIVE BIDS
CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- OPTIONAL MUNICIPAL CODE ‑- PROPERTY ‑- SALES ‑- COMPETITIVE BIDS Unless restricted by the provisions of it own charter, a code city may, but is not required to call for bids on real property owned by it before selling such property either to a private party or to any other purchaser.
AGO 1979 No. 17 >  September 7, 1979
TAXATION - PROPERTY - VALUATION OF NEW CONSTRUCTION BY COUNTY ASSESSORS
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- VALUATION OF NEW CONSTRUCTION BY COUNTY ASSESSORS Section 3, chapter 230, Laws of 1963 (cf. RCW 26.04.180), which provides that a marriage license issued pursuant to the provisions of that chapter shall be void if the marriage is not solemnized within thirty days of the date of issuance of the license applies only to those licenses issued after, and not before, the effective date of the act, June 13, 1963.
AGO 1979 No. 19 >  October 5, 1979
TAXATION - PROPERTY - INDIANS - TAXATION OF PROPERTY SITUATED ON FEDERALLY-RECOGNIZED INDIAN RESERVATIONS
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- INDIANS ‑- TAXATION OF PROPERTY SITUATED ON FEDERALLY-RECOGNIZED INDIAN RESERVATIONS (1) Neither real nor personal property, even though located on a federally-recognized Indian reservation, is for that reason alone exempt from state ad valorem property taxation where the subject property is, nevertheless, in non-Indian ownership. (2) Personal property located within the boundaries of a federally-recognized Indian reservation and owned either by the tribe to which the reservation belongs or by a member of that tribe living on the reservation is, for that reason, exempt from state ad valorem property taxation. (3) Real property held in trust status by the United States or otherwise subject to a restriction against alienation, and situated on a federally-recognized Indian reservation, is also, for that reason alone, exempt from state ad valorem property taxation. (4) In a case of fee patent land situated on a federally-recognized Indian reservation, where such land is owned by the tribe or by a reservation Indian (rather than by a non-Indian) the taxability thereof can only be determined on a parcel-by-parcel basis after an examination of the particular federal statutes which apply in a given case.
AGO 1975 No. 12 >  May 28, 1975
TAXATION - PROPERTY - PLATS AND SUBDIVISIONS - DEPOSIT FOR ANTICIPATED PROPERTY TAXES
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- PLATS AND SUBDIVISIONS ‑- DEPOSIT FOR ANTICIPATED PROPERTY TAXES RCW 58.08.040 does not require the payment of a deposit for anticipated property taxes upon the filing, pursuant to regulations adopted under RCW 58.17.060, of a "short plat" subsequent to May 31 in any year and prior to the date of collection of the taxes.
AGO 1984 No. 21 >  August 21, 1984
TAXATION - PROPERTY
ADMINISTRATIVE REFUND OF CERTAIN PROPERTY TAXES Except where the board of county commissioners acts on its own motion in some appropriate manner, a taxpayer may not be allowed an administrative refund of ad valorem property taxes under RCW 84.69.020, based upon a reduction of assessed valuation ordered by the board of tax appeals, where his or her claim for refund is not filed within three years after the payment of the taxes for which refund is sought.
AGO 1991 No. 25 >  July 15, 1991
COUNTIES - IRRIGATION - DISTRICTS - ASSESSMENTS - PROPERTY - TAXATION - LIENS
COUNTIES ‑- IRRIGATION ‑- DISTRICTS ‑- ASSESSMENTS ‑- PROPERTY ‑- TAXATION ‑- LIENS ‑- SALE OF PROPERTY ACQUIRED BY FORECLOSURE BY A COUNTY OR AN IRRIGATION DISTRICT 1.  RCW 87.06.100(4) provides that when an irrigation district sells property acquired in a foreclosure proceeding, it shall not provide a deed to the purchaser until various outstanding taxes and assessments are paid.  These various taxes and assessments must be paid even if they exceed the market value of the property.  2.  If a county sells property acquired at a foreclosure proceeding, the distribution of the proceeds of sale is governed by RCW 84.64.230.  An irrigation district is entitled to a share of the proceeds of sale under RCW 84.64.230 because the irrigation district lien established by RCW 87.03.265 is of equal rank with the lien for general taxes established by RCW 84.60.010.  3.  RCW 84.64.230 provides that no claim shall be allowed against the county on property acquired by the county by tax deed in a foreclosure proceeding.  Thus, an irrigation district cannot foreclose its lien on tax deed property held by the county.                                     
AGO 1976 No. 18 >  September 29, 1976
TAXATION - PROPERTY - REMOVAL OF EXEMPTION - TAXATION OF PREVIOUSLY EXEMPT PROPERTY FOR PRIOR YEARS
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- REMOVAL OF EXEMPTION ‑- TAXATION OF PREVIOUSLY EXEMPT PROPERTY FOR PRIOR YEARS The provisions of § 8, chapter 40, Laws of 1973, Ex.Sess., (RCW 84.36.810) do not authorize a county to collect property taxes upon the cessation of an exempt use covered by RCW 84.36.030, 84.36.040, 84.36.050 or 84.36.060 for years prior to the effective date of said 1973 enactment where the exemption in question was in effect during those prior years.
AGO 1977 No. 7 >  March 3, 1977
TAXATION - PROPERTY - PENSIIONS - RETIREMENT - POLICE - FIREMEN - LEOFF
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- PENSIIONS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- POLICE ‑- FIREMEN ‑- LEOFF ‑- PROPERTY TAXES FOR FIREMEN'S PENSION FUND (1) RCW 41.26.040(3) does not prohibit a city or town from using property tax revenues obtained under RCW 41.16.060 for municipal purposes other than the funding of firemen's pensions in those cases where such other uses are permitted by the terms of the latter statute.  (2) A municipality which first created a full time, paid fire department after March 1, 1970, the date upon which the LEOFF system became operative, is not authorized to levy the additional property tax provided for in RCW 41.16.060.
AGO 1977 No. 8 >  March 3, 1977
TAXATION - PROPERTY - EXCISE - LEASES - TAXATION OF IMPROVEMENTS TO LEASEHOLDS OF PUBLIC PROPERTY
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- EXCISE ‑- LEASES ‑- TAXATION OF IMPROVEMENTS TO LEASEHOLDS OF PUBLIC PROPERTY (1) When improvements are added to publicly owned property which has been leased to a person who would not be exempt from ad valorem property taxes if that person owned the property involved, those improvements are subject to ad valorem property taxation as personal property of the private lessee if title to the improvements resides with the private lessee until expiration of the lease.  (2) Where, on the other hand, title to the improvements vest immediately upon their affixation or completion in the public lessor, such improvements are exempted by statute from ad valorem taxation and the private lessee's expenditures for the improvements are subject to the leasehold excise tax.
AGO 1977 No. 9 >  March 25, 1977
TAXATION - PROPERTY - CITIES AND TOWNS - LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS - APPLICABILITY OF STATUTORY TAX LIMITATION TO CERTAIN MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAXES
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS ‑- APPLICABILITY OF STATUTORY TAX LIMITATION TO CERTAIN MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAXES (1) The 106% limitation on regular property taxes imposed by RCW 84.55.010 does not apply to the taxes levied by a city for the maintenance of its local improvement guaranty fund under RCW 35.54.060.  (2) Property taxes levied by a city for the maintenance of its local improvement guaranty fund, however, may not in any year exceed five percent of the outstanding obligations guaranteed by the fund and further may not, in any event, be in excess of a sum which is sufficient, with other sources of the fund, to pay warrants issued against the fund during the preceding fiscal year and establish a balance therein.
AGO 1977 No. 16 >  July 21, 1977
TAXATION - PROPERTY - FARM AND AGRICULTURAL LAND - VALUATION OF PERENNIAL CROPS
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- FARM AND AGRICULTURAL LAND ‑- VALUATION OF PERENNIAL CROPS RCW 84.34.065 sets forth a special method of valuation for property tax purposes which is applicable to farm and agricultural land only, and not the valuation of perennial plants located thereon; therefore, for purposes of ad valorem taxation, farm and agricultural land and taxable perennial plants located thereon should be listed and valued separately rather than being listed and valued as a unit.
AGO 1991 No. 30 >  October 11, 1991
IRRIGATION - DISTRICTS - PROPERTY - TAXATION - SERVICE OF PROCESS - ATTORNEYS - COSTS
Service required for foreclosure of irrigation district tax lien, sales price and redemption rights 1.   Service must provide notice reasonably calculated to inform interested parties of proceedings which may directly and adversely affect t heir legally protected interests.  Notice by publication and posting is adequate where the name and address of the owner are not known or cannot be discovered by a governmental entity with a minimal effort.  Whether any particular service is adequate is a factual question that cannot be resolved in an Attorney General's Opinion.   2.  An irrigation district cannot include reasonable attorney fees or statutory attorney fees in a certificate of delinquency or as part of the amount that must be paid to redeem the property.   3.   RCW 87.06.100(1) provides that an entity buying property at a foreclosure sale must pay the full amount of all property taxes and certain other taxes before receiving a deed from the irrigation district.  RCW 87.06.070 provides that the court shall specify the minimum sales price below which the property shall not be sold.  While there is no statutory requirement that the minimum sales price set by the court included the full amount of all property taxes and other taxes, the effect of these two statutes is that the district cannot provide a deed unless the taxes specified in the statute are paid.   4.  RCW 87.06.050 provides that any party in interest of property for which a certificate of delinquency has been prepared may redeem the property as provided by the statutes.  RCW 87.06.010(4) defines party in interest as an occupant of the property, the owner of record, and any other person having a financial interest of record in the property.
AGO 1978 No. 10 >  April 17, 1978
DISTRICTS - SCHOOLS - PROPERTY - LEASE OF SURPLUS SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPERTY
DISTRICTS ‑- SCHOOLS ‑- PROPERTY ‑- LEASE OF SURPLUS SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPERTY (1) Subject to the qualifications stated below, a school district may lease its surplus facilities, under RCW 28A.58.040, to private schools, profit or nonprofit organizations or other governmental agencies so long as the leasing thereof will not interfere with the building's use for school purposes and the tenancy to be granted will not place the facility beyond the control of the district in the event it again becomes necessary for school purposes.  (2) In all such cases some rental, either in money or something of equivalent value, must be paid; and with the exception of a rental to another governmental agency, that rent must be such as will (a) fully compensate the school district for its costs and expenses and (b) encompass the fair rental market value of the rented premises.  (3) If the lease is either to a church-related school or to a private group for the conduct of religious worship or instruction, the property being rented must be sufficiently remote from other property being retained for school purposes to avoid the appearance of an endorsement of the religious activities of the lessee and also prevent any sectarian influence of the remaining public school operations.  In addition, a procedure, preferably involving competitive bidding, must be utilized in the formation of the lease which will assure that all prospective tenants, religious or otherwise, have an equal opportunity to rent the property.
AGO 1978 No. 17 >  May 11, 1978
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - COMMISSIONERS - PROPERTY - HOUSING AUTHORITIES - SALE OF PROPERTY BY COUNTY COMMISSIONER TO COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- COMMISSIONERS ‑- PROPERTY ‑- HOUSING AUTHORITIES ‑- SALE OF PROPERTY BY COUNTY COMMISSIONER TO COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY Except under certain special circumstances whereby the normal relationship between a board of county commissioners and a county housing authority is modified, as further indicated herein, the sale of real property by a county commissioner to a county housing authority within the same county does not violate any statutory provision concerning conflicts of interest.
AGO 1978 No. 23 >  August 1, 1978
TAXATION - PROPERTY - CURRENT USE VALUE OF FARM AND AGRICULTURAL LAND AS RELATED TO ITS VALUE BASED UPON HIGHEST AND BEST USE
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- CURRENT USE VALUE OF FARM AND AGRICULTURAL LAND AS RELATED TO ITS VALUE BASED UPON HIGHEST AND BEST USE (1) The fact that a county assessor's "current use value" for certain farm and agricultural land ( i.e. , land which has received current use classification under RCW 84.34.030 and 84.34.035) is higher than the value which the assessor would have assigned to the land had it not been so classified does not necessarily mean that the current use value is incorrect ( i.e. , too high).  (2) A landowner who has requested current use classification for his farm and agricultural land, pursuant to RCW 84.34.030, may then have such classification removed (a) after the assessor has approved such request but (b) prior to the date of the first payment of the property taxes which would be based upon such classification.  (3) Explanation of the property tax consequences of such a removal in a case in which the "current use" determination of value is properly higher than that which would have been assigned had the land not received current use classification.
AGO 1978 No. 29 >  November 21, 1978
TAXATION - PROPERTY - ELECTIONS - EXTENT OF VOTER APPROVAL REQUIRED TO EXCEED 106% LIMITATION
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- ELECTIONS ‑- EXTENT OF VOTER APPROVAL REQUIRED TO EXCEED 106% LIMITATION The extent of voter approval required in order for a taxing district to exceed the statutory limitation on levy rates established by RCW 84.55.010 through 84.55.040 is a simple majority in accordance with RCW 84.55.050.
AGO 1965 No. 47 >  October 14, 1965
TAXATION - PROPERTY - REAL ESTATE EXCISE TAX - TRANSFER BY DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE - RESALE UNDER CONTRACT OF SALE
TAXATION - PROPERTY ‑- REAL ESTATE EXCISE TAX ‑- TRANSFER BY DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE ‑- RESALE UNDER CONTRACT OF SALE 1. The real estate excise tax does not apply to a transfer of real estate by deed from a mortgagee to the mortgagor in lieu of foreclosure. 2. Same:   The tax does apply to the immediate resale of the property by the mortgagee to the mortgagor under a contract of sale. 3. Same:   The fact that the two transfers constitute an over-all agreement between the parties does not affect the tax consequences.
AGO 1987 No. 27 >  December 14, 1987
PROPERTY - SALE BY CITY - TAXATION
ABILITY OF COUNTY TO AGREE TO RECEIVE LESS THAN DUE AND OWING To facilitate a sale by a city under RCW 35.53.030 of property held in trust by the city, a county may not agree to receive less than the full amount of taxes, interest, and penalties owed to it on such property in order to place the property back on the tax rolls
AGO 1965 No. 65 >  December 31, 1965
TAXATION - PROPERTY - VALUATION - "TRUE AND FAIR VALUE"
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- VALUATION ‑- 'TRUE AND FAIR VALUE.' The "true and fair value of property in money" for property tax valuation purposes is its market value or the amount of money a buyer willing, but not obligated to buy would pay for it to a seller willing, but not obligated to sell.  In arriving at a determination of such value the assessing officer can consider only those factors which can within reason be said to affect the price in negotiations between a willing purchaser and a willing seller, and he must consider all of such factors.
AGO 1995 No. 5 >  April 11, 1995
TAXATION - PROPERTY - VALUATION - CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS ON IMPOSITION OF AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAX
TAXATION - PROPERTY - VALUATION - CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS ON IMPOSITION OF AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAX 1.  Article 7 of the Washington State Constitution does not require that property subject to ad valorem property tax be assessed at 100 per cent of true and fair value.    2.  The State Constitution imposes three requirements on the assessment of property subject to ad valorem property tax:  (1) any tax must be uniform, as to any class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax; (2) the valuation system must be administered in a systematic, non-discriminatory manner; and, (3) the aggregate of all taxes levied upon real and personal property by the state and all taxing districts must not, in any year, exceed one per cent of true and fair value of each property.
AGO 1995 No. 6 >  April 27, 1995
TAXATION - PROPERTY - EXEMPTIONS - PROPERTY JOINTLY OWNED BY A CITY AND A PRIVATE CORPORATION
TAXATION - PROPERTY - EXEMPTIONS - PROPERTY JOINTLY OWNED BY A CITY AND A PRIVATE CORPORATION A coliseum owned jointly by a private corporation and a city is neither wholly nor partially exempted from state and local property taxes under article 7, section 1 of the state constitution or RCW 84.36.010.
AGO 1966 No. 97 >  July 22, 1966
TAXATION - PROPERTY - APPLICATION OF CHAPTER 174, LAWS OF 1965, EX. SESS. - TAX LEVY RATE - CALCULATION - FACTORS
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- APPLICATION OF CHAPTER 174, LAWS OF 1965, EX. SESS. ‑- TAX LEVY RATE ‑- CALCULATION ‑- FACTORS 1. The property tax levy rate referred to in § 2 (2) means the same actual millage rate as applied last year by that taxing district, rather than the effective rate upon the property of those taxes levied the preceding year. 2. In calculating the additional dollar amount in § 2 (2) allowed for the increase in assessed value resulting from new construction, revaluation, etc., the assessment level of the preceding year should be used rather than a current increased level. 3. When property passes into exempt ownership; has been destroyed; annexed to an adjoining district or loses value for any reason, such losses must be subtracted from any growth in assessed valuation (attributable to improvements, construction, revaluations, or annexations) before the increase (if any) to be used in computing the additional dollar amount for purposes of subsection (2), (§ 2, chapter 174, Laws of 1965, Ex. Sess.) can be known.  However, in the event that such losses exceed such growth the result will simply be that the district in question will have no subsection (2) additional dollar amount factor for this particular year; the dollar amount factors described in other subsections of § 2, chapter 174, Laws of 1965, Ex. Sess., would be unaffected by such a circumstance.
AGO 1992 No. 14 >  July 15, 1992
TAXATION - PROPERTY - COUNTIES - BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
Authority of County Board of Equalization to Equalize the Assessment of Property 1.  RCW 84.48.010 authorizes the county board of equalization to equalize the assessment of the property in the county.  The board has the authority to equalize property on the assessment role on its own motion, even if the property has not been revalued in the current year. 2.   If the board of equalization equalizes the value of property on the assessment role, that was not revalued during the current year, the board must measure the value of that property against the fair market value in the assessor's revaluation year in which the property was valued.
AGO 1992 No. 18 >  August 25, 1992
AIRPORTS - PORT DISTRICTS - FEES - PROPERTY
Charges for Use of Airport Property 1.  RCW 14.08.120(6) authorizes a port district to charge a fee to persons who use airport property.  However, this authority does not empower a port district to charge persons who do not use airport property, but who simply benefit from their proximity to airport property. 2.  RCW 14.08.120(6) provides that charges for the use of airport property shall be reasonable and uniform for the same class of service and established with due regard to the property and improvements used and the expense of operation to the municipality.  A charge based on a percentage of a user's gross receipts fails to meet these statutory requirements.
AGO 1992 No. 19 >  August 28, 1992
IRRIGATION - DISTRICTS - ELECTIONS - PROPERTY
Eligibility of Property Owners to Vote for Directors of Irrigation District of Less Than 200,000 Acres RCW 87.03.051 governs voter eligibility in irrigation districts of less than 200,000 acres.  Any property holder in the district whose land is subject to assessment for any reason is entitled to vote in district elections, even if the property is not currently being assessed for irrigation district purposes.
AGO 1992 No. 23 >  October 13, 1992
GROWTH MANAGEMENT ACT - GROWTH PLANNING HEARINGS BOARDS - PROPERTY - ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
Appeal to Growth Planning Hearings Boards Based on Claim That Regulation has Negative Impact on Property 1.  RCW 36.70A.280 authorizes the Growth Planning Hearings Boards to hear petitions which allege that governments planning under the Growth Management Act are not in compliance with the requirements of the Act as it relates to plans and regulations adopted pursuant to RCW 36.70A.040.  One requirement of the Act is that governments adopting plans and regulations consider the goal of protecting private property rights.  The Boards have jurisdiction over petitions that allege that private property rights have not been considered or have been considered in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner.
AGO 1993 No. 7 >  April 23, 1993
TAXATION - PROPERTY - DISTRICTS - MEDICAL AID
Applicability of the 106 percent limit to levy for emergency medical care RCW 84.52.069(2) authorizes certain taxing districts to levy a regular property tax for emergency medical care and medical services.  RCW 84.55.010 establishes the 106 percent limit which is applicable to regular property tax levies.  The 106 percent limit applies to the emergency medical care levy after the first year.
AGO 1969 No. 6 >  February 27, 1969
TAXATION - PROPERTY - EXEMPTIONS - ALUMINA - BARLEY MALT LIQUOR - TAXATION - TRUE AND FAIR VALUE OF BEER
TAXATION - PROPERTY - EXEMPTIONS - ALUMINA - BARLEY MALT LIQUOR - TAXATION - TRUE AND FAIR VALUE OF BEER (1) In determining the "true and fair value" of beer which is still in storage in the brewer's warehouse, the federal excise tax on beer is not to be regarded as an element of its value. (2) The exemption from ad valorem property taxation of ore or metal shipped from out the state to any smelter or refining works within the state, while in process of reduction or refinement and for thirty days thereafter, which is provided for by RCW 84.36.181, extends to alumina on the basis that this substance is an ore. (3) Barley malt which is stored in the elevators of a malting business is not exempt from taxation as "grain or flour" within the meaning of RCW 84.36.140.
AGO 1993 No. 14 >  September 9, 1993
IRRIGATION - DISTRICTS - PROPERTY - ATTORNEYS - FEES - COSTS
Ability of an irrigation district to recover attorneys' fees when foreclosing a delinquent assessment RCW 87.03.271 provides that the lien for a delinquent irrigation district assessment includes costs such as attorneys' fees.  When the lien is foreclosed pursuant to the procedure set forth in chapter 87.06 RCW, the irrigation district may recover costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees.
AGO 1960 No. 130 >  July 5, 1960
CITIES AND TOWNS - PROPERTY - LOCAL IMPROVEMENT ASSESSMENT LIENS WHERE LAND IS PURCHASED FROM CITY
CITIES AND TOWNS - PROPERTY - LOCAL IMPROVEMENT ASSESSMENT LIENS WHERE LAND IS PURCHASED FROM CITY (1)  Where a third class city purchases tax title property from a county for the amount of general taxes, the sale of the property by the city to a private individual is subject to all local improvement assessment liens whether perfected prior to or during the time the county held title.  (2)  If the city had acquired title through its own foreclosure and sells to a private individual the lien remains as to all outstanding local improvement assessments not foreclosed but is discharged as to those which were foreclosed. (3)  The city may sell such property for whatever price it wishes.
AGO 1954 No. 301 >  August 17, 1954
COUNTIES - SHERIFFS - PROPERTY - AUTOMOBILES
COUNTIES ‑- SHERIFFS ‑- PROPERTY ‑- AUTOMOBILES Automobiles and other personal property supplied by a county to the sheriff is to be treated and dealt with as other county property (overruling Opinion No. 51-53-259).
AGO 1953 No. 164 >  November 4, 1953
COUNTIES - CONTRACTS - PROPERTY - SALE OF CRUSHED ROCK
COUNTIES ‑- CONTRACTS ‑- PROPERTY ‑- SALE OF CRUSHED ROCK A county has no power to sell crushed rock to private parties other than as provided by RCW 36.82.110 or 36.82.100.
AGO 2007 No. 3 >  January 24, 2007
SCRAP METAL - PAWNBROKERS - PROPERTY
Extent to which certain scrap metal is subject to the requirements of RCW 19.60.

1. A pawnbroker or second-hand dealer in the business of purchasing scrap metal for recycling and remanufacture is not required to follow the reporting requirements of RCW 19.60.020 and .040 to the extent the pawnbroker or second-hand dealer is dealing with “metal junk” as defined in RCW 19.60.010(2), because of the exemption set forth in RCW 19.60.085(4).

 

2. The existing definitions of “metal junk” and “second-hand property” in RCW 19.60.010 are not broad enough to include all metal that might be purchased for further processing and recycling.

 

AGLO 1982 No. 26 >  November 19, 1982
TAXATION - PROPERTY - EXEMPTIONS
TAX EXEMPTION FOR PUBLIC ASSEMBLY HALL The use of a portion of certain public assembly hall property owned by a nonprofit corporation for a purpose other than the conduct of public gatherings, pursuant to a rental agreement, is not a use for which such an organization has been granted a property tax exemption under RCW 84.26.037; if, however, segregation or severance of that particular portion of the property is possible, the organization will not lose the exemption on the entire property.
AGLO 1980 No. 25 >  July 22, 1980
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - ASSESSORS - TAXATION - PROPERTY
NECESSITY FOR PHYSICAL INSPECTION Except as permitted by RCW 84.41.041 based on appropriate statistical data, no revaluation of property for tax purposes can take place without a physical inspection.
AGLO 1977 No. 55 >  December 5, 1977
DISTRICTS - SCHOOLS - TAXATION - PROPERTY
LIMITATION ON SCHOOL DISTRICT EXCESS LEVIES UNDER CHAPTER 325, LAWS OF 1977, 1ST EX. SESS. (1) The maximum amount of a given school district's excess property tax levy under § 4(2), chapter 325, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., for collection during the following calendar year, is to be computed solely on the basis of the district's basic education allocation for the last completed school year prior to the date of the levy. (2) Explanation of the circumstances under which a school district, pursuant to § 4(4), chapter 325, supra, may be permitted to exceed the levy lid established by § 4(2) thereof, and how the modified levy lid for such a district is to be determined.
AGLO 1976 No. 6 >  January 28, 1976
TAXATION - PROPERTY
EXPIRATION OF 106% LIMITATION UPON REGULAR PROPERTY TAXES The expiration date set forth in § 2, chapter 67, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., is only applicable to the amendatory proviso contained in § 1 of that act and not to the entire 106% limitation upon regular property taxes provided for by RCW 84.55.010, et seq.
AGLO 1975 No. 6 >  January 20, 1975
TAXATION - PROPERTY - EXEMPTIONS
PROPERTY OWNED BY FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION Property held or acquired by the Farmers Home Administration pursuant to its loan programs (except for property used for administrative purposes of the agency) is subject to state ad valorem taxation to the same extent as other property.
AGLO 1975 No. 86 >  October 6, 1975
TAXATION - PROPERTY - PORT DISTRICTS
COMPUTATION OF PORT DISTRICT PROPERTY TAX UNDER 106% STATUTORY LIMITATION Criteria to be applied in determining maximum regular property tax levy which may be made by a port district not having levied taxes in the previous year under the 106% statutory limitation contained in RCW 84.55.010.
AGLO 1975 No. 92 >  December 3, 1975
TAXATION - PROPERTY - COUNTIES - HEALTH
RATE OF PROPERTY TAX FOR PUBLIC HEALTH WORK The increased rate of property taxation for public health work in each county which is provided for by RCW 70.12.010, as amended by § 1, chapter 291, Laws of 1975, 1st Ex. Sess., is applicable both to 1975 taxes to be collected in 1976 and 1976 taxes to be collected in 1977.
AGLO 1975 No. 94 >  December 5, 1975
DISTRICTS - SCHOOLS - PROPERTY - SALE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPERTY
DISRIBUTION OF PROCEEDS Under § 2, chapter 243, Laws of 1975, 1st Ex. Sess. (RCW 28A.58.0461) proceeds derived from the sale of school district real property may not be used to pay for the acquisition of other such property.
AGLO 1977 No. 21 >  May 25, 1977
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - ASSESSOR - TAXATION - PROPERTY - PUBLIC RECORDS - ACCESS TO COMPARABLE LEASES
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- ASSESSOR ‑- TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- PUBLIC RECORDS ‑- ACCESS TO COMPARABLE LEASES

(1) In the event that a county assessor has utilized one or more leases of comparable lands to establish the "net cash rental" for certain farm and agricultural land under RCW 84.34.065, those leases (or copies), if retained in his custody, constitute "public records" under the public disclosure law (chapter 42.17 RCW); accordingly, the owner of such land will be governed by the provisions of that law in seeking to require the assessor to permit inspection of the contents of those documents.

(2) If, however a petition for review under chapter 84.48 RCW has been filed, such a landowner may utilize the provisions of RCW 84.48.150 to obtain the same material or information from the assessor.

AGLO 1973 No. 43 >  March 28, 1973
TAXATION - PROPERTY - PORTS AND PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICTS - INITIATIVE NO. 44
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- PORTS AND PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICTS ‑- INITIATIVE NO. 44 (1) The twenty mill limitation upon property taxes which is provided for in Initiative No. 44 does not apply to taxes levied by port or public utility districts. (2) The legislature, notwithstanding Initiative No. 44, may reduce or eliminate the authority of port or public utility districts to levy property taxes.
AGLO 1974 No. 33 >  March 15, 1974
DISTRICTS - PORTS - LEASES - PROPERTY - AIRPORTS
AGRICULTURAL FARMING A port district, in leasing certain land which it owns adjacent to an airport operated by it, may restrict the lessee's use of that land to the maintenance and operation of an agricultural farm where such use is determined to be necessary in connection with the airport operation; such a district, however, may not itself engage in farming activities.
AGLO 1974 No. 101 >  December 2, 1974
DISTRICTS - LIBRARY - PROPERTY
DISPOSITION OF SURPLUS LIBRARY DISTRICT PROPERTY The board of trustees of a library district established pursuant to chapter 27.12 RCW has the power to dispose by sale of surplus property belonging to the library district.
AGO 2007 No. 7 >  November 19, 2007
SCHOOL DISTRICTS - TAXATION - PROPERTY
Extent to which taxable property located in dissolved school district is subject to excess tax levies previously approved in district to which territory is transferred When a school district is dissolved and all of its territory is transferred to another district effective August 31, 2007, and when the transferred territory is made subject to excess levies approved by the receiving district before the transfer, the transferred territory is included within the receiving district’s tax base for the levy made in 2008 to be collected in 2009, but not earlier.
AGO 2008 No. 3 >  January 30, 2008
TAXATION - PROPERTY - LEVY LID LIFTS
Effect of multi-year levy lid lift on the calculation of a taxing district’s levy lid in years subsequent to those covered by the lid lift. If a taxing district gains voter approval for a multi-year property tax levy lid lift as permitted by RCW 84.55.050 and does not specify that the levy is for a limited period of time or for a limited purpose, subsequent levy lids will be calculated using the actual amount levied by the district in the final year of the period covered by the levy lid lift, adjusted thereafter by the statutory limit factor and by any additional factors applicable under the law.
AGO 2008 No. 9 >  October 23, 2008
REAL ESTATE - PROPERTY - MORTGAGES - LICENSES
Interpretation of 2008 statute concerning “distressed home consultants.” 1.  For the purposes of Laws of 2008, ch. 278, § 1(3), a person who offers to purchase a distressed home, and no more, does not thereby become a “distressed home consultant.”  2.  For the purposes of Laws of 2008, ch. 278, §§ 2, 3, a real estate licensee would likely become a “distressed home consultant” if the real estate licensee contacts the distressed homeowner’s lender to arrange a “short sale” in which the homeowner’s debt to the lender will be discharged for the amount of the sale price of the home when the sale price is less than the homeowner owes on the loan.  3.  For the purposes of Laws of 2008, ch. 278, §§ 2, 3, a real estate licensee becomes a “distressed home consultant” by performing licensed activities in connection with a real estate transaction when the property involved is a “distressed home,” if the licensee (1) solicits the owner; (2) offers to perform a service on the owner’s behalf; and (3) represents that the service will satisfy one or more of the conditions listed in Laws of 2008, ch. 278, § 1(3)(a).
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