Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1980 NO. 10 > Apr 25 1980

Under RCW 67.28.180, which authorizes the legislative body of any county or city to levy and collect a special excise tax on hotel and motel occupancies, the term "city" includes a municipal corporation of the fourth class, commonly known as a "town," organized and operating under the provisions of chapter 35.27 RCW.

AGO 1990 NO. 11 > Oct 17 1990

RCW 17.10.240(1) authorizes the county legislative authority to levy a special assessment against land for the purpose of operating the county's weed program. This assessment may be levied on land located in incorporated areas within the county.

AGO 1985 NO. 11 > Jul 29 1985

The amendment to RCW 19.27.060 in § 10(1), chapter 360, Laws of 1985 applies prospectively to county or city amendments to the State Building Code involving single or multi-family residential housing and does not, therefore invalidate prior county or city amendments to the state code until and unless approved by the building code council.

AGO 2006 NO. 11 > May 3 2006

1.  When negotiating an agreement under RCW 39.34.180(2) for the allocation of the costs of conducting criminal investigations and prosecutions, a city and a county may include, as a “cost of services”, costs related to anticipated tort liability resulting from the agreement.   2.  When negotiating an agreement under RCW 39.34.180(2), a city and a county may lawfully include a provision (if they so choose) in which the city agrees to hold the county harmless for tort liability arising out of the agreement. 

AGO 2005 NO. 11 > Sep 7 2005

1.  The Growth Management Hearings Boards have no authority to remand a case back to a county or city for the purpose of amending their comprehensive plans or development regulations, except where the board has found the plan or regulations to be out of compliance with the Growth Management Act.  2.  WAC 242-02-720 is consistent with the statutory authority granted to the Growth Management Hearings Boards.

AGO 2003 NO. 11 > Dec 15 2003

Those counties and cities that have “home rule” powers (that is, charter counties, first class cities, and cities operating under the Optional Municipal Code) have authority to provide telecommunications services to their residents; other cities, towns, and counties lack this authority.

AGLO 1976 NO. 11 > Feb 9 1976

Even though no portion of the local motor vehicle excise taxes provided for by RCW 35.58.273 is, itself, to be distributed to cities and towns under RCW 82.44.150(2) through (4), the state treasurer, in computing the amount of motor vehicle excise tax to be distributed thereunder, is to include that local tax in his calculations.

AGO 1991 NO. 12 > Mar 28 1991

RCW 3.50.030 and 3.30.090 provide for the establishment of violations bureaus to assist in the processing of traffic infraction cases.  A traffic violations bureau does not have the authority to enter default judgments or assess penalties, when a person who is issued a notice of traffic infraction fails to respond.  In addition, a court cannot delegate these judicial functions to a nonjudicial agency such as a traffic violations bureau.

AGO 1967 NO. 12 > Mar 27 1967

Since state law prohibits the erection or maintenance, without approval of the state highway commission, of any traffic control device on a city street which has been designated as a part of the state highway system, a city of the third class, operating under the commission form of government, may not construct "speed control bumps" (consisting of raised portions of asphaltic paving) on any of its streets which have been so designated without prior approval from the highway commission; in the case of city streets which are not a part of the state highway system, a third class city operating under the commission form of government may install such "speed control bumps" if, under all circumstances, they constitute a reasonable means of controlling the speed of traffic and do not pose an unreasonable danger or hazard to such traffic.

AGO 2005 NO. 12 > Sep 7 2005

A group of cities which have formed individual public facilities districts levying sales and use taxes under RCW 82.14 may not also form a joint public facilities district with authority to levy additional taxes.