Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2000 NO. 1 >

A boundary review board has authority, when reviewing a proposal to annex territory to a city by petition, to add additional territory to the proposal beyond that described in the original petition.

AGO 1961 NO. 4 >

(1) Under the provisions of RCW 35.13.130 the board of directors of a school district is not entitled to sign a petition for annexation. (2) The property of the school district may comprise a part of the area to be annexed provided the value thereof does not enter into the computations prescribed by RCW 35.13.130.

AGO 1989 NO. 6 >

1.A fire protection district may withdraw an area from the boundaries of the district pursuant to RCW 52.04.056 without first referring such action to a vote of the property owners residing within the withdrawn area.2.A fire protection district may not provide fire and emergency medical services, on a regular basis, to an area that has been withdrawn from the district pursuant to RCW fire protection district that has withdrawn an area from its boundaries pursuant to RCW 52.04.056 may not "reannex" the area in the same year and thus provide the area with services without subjecting the property in the area to a tax levy for the year.4.Where a fire protection district withdraws territory pursuant to RCW 52.04.056 which constitutes only a portion of another taxing district, and the boundaries of the fire protection district are reestablished after March 1 of a given year, the year's tax levy will be based on the former and not on the reestablished boundaries.5.The procedures in RCW 52.04.056, which govern the withdrawal and reannexation of territories of fire protection districts in certain circumstances, are not subject to the boundary review procedures set forth in chapter 36.93 RCW.

AGO 1963 NO. 8 >

A city which owns real property located without but contiguous to the city limits may not petition, as a property owner, for annexation of such property to the city under RCW 35.13.130.

AGO 1967 NO. 8 >

The annexation of unincorporated territory by a city or town would not abrogate a franchise previously granted by a board of county commissioners to a private water company operating solely within the unincorporated territory.

AGO 2006 NO. 9 >

If a fire protection district issues non-voted, limited tax general obligation bonds, and a portion of the district is subsequently annexed by a code city, the fire protection district retains the authority to levy a tax on property in the annexed area for the purpose of repaying its existing bond obligations.

AGO 1984 NO. 12 >

RCW 53.04.080, relating to annexation by a public port district, does not authorize such a district to annex noncontiguous (or nonadjacent) territory located elsewhere within the county.

AGO 1994 NO. 12 >

1.  If, through annexation or incorporation, a city acquires more than 60 percent, but less than 100 percent, of the assessed valuation of the real property of a fire protection district, all of the district's assets and a proportionate share of the district's liabilities, pension fund assets and liabilities excepted, are transferred to the city.  2.  If, through annexation or incorporation, a city acquires more than 60 percent, but less than 100 percent, of the assessed valuation of the real property of a fire protection district which has existing liabilities for pension obligations established pursuant to chapter 41.16 or 41.18 RCW, and has funds dedicated for the payment of such obligations, both the liabilities and the assets are retained by the fire protection district.

AGO 1957 NO. 19 >

A board of county commissioners has no discretion in calling or not calling an annexation election under RCW 35.13.040

AGO 1994 NO. 20 >

1.  A board of freeholders elected pursuant to article 11, section 16 of the Washington Constitution to draft and present a proposed city-county charter may not instead draft a charter relating to the county only.  2.  The state constitution requires that a city-county charter specifically provide for the legal status of cities within the new government's territory, and grants broad discretion to the voters in defining which, if any, of the powers and duties of existing cities would continue or change after adoption of a city-county charter.  3.  Cities remaining in existence in a city-county operating under a city-county charter retain authority to annex territory, only if and only to the extent that the charter grants such authority.  4.  All of the voters of a county may vote on the adoption of a proposed city-county charter, including those residing within any incorporated cities in the county.  5.  A board of freeholders lacks authority to use public funds or property to advocate or promote adoption of a city-county charter after it has been drafted and submitted pursuant to the constitution; however, the acts of soliciting and recording public opinion, drafting, debating, deliberating, selecting options, and submitting a charter to the county are all specifically implied by the freeholders' constitutional role and do not constitute an unlawful use of public property.