Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1989 NO. 18 >

1.Chapter 85.38 RCW authorizes "special assessments" which may be imposed only on property specially benefitted in accordance with article 7, section 9, of the Washington Constitution as interpreted in case law; this chapter does not authorize the imposition of "rates and charges" based on some standard other than special benefit.2.Assessments made under chapter 85.38 [RCW] must be based on the special benefit conferred by a public work or activity on particular property, and may not lawfully be based on the extent of use of public services or other criteria.