Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1967 NO. 5 > Feb 14 1967

In computing the combined income of the head of a household and his spouse, for purposes of determining eligibility for the real property tax exemption provided for by chapter 168, Laws of 1965, Ex. Sess., the following, except to the extent that they represent a return of capital or investment, are to be included: Social security benefits; railroad retirement benefits; teachers' retirement allowances; state, municipal and county employee retirement benefits; and private company pensions.

AGO 1953 NO. 9 > Apr 9 1953

The present procedure by which certain county assessors are collecting both fire patrol assessments and fire protection district levies from a given piece of forest land is unlawful, being in violation of RCW 52.04.030 and 52.16.130, and possibly RCW 52.16.120. RCW 52.04.030 and 52.16.130 prohibit fire protection districts from levying against forest lands therein which are already being taxed under RCW 76.04.360, but do not prohibit such a levy against forest lands which may be but are not presently taxed under RCW 76.04.360. There is no constitutional objection to legislation that would permit assessments of certain parcels of forested lands under both the forest patrol statutes and the fire protection district statutes.

AGO 1972 NO. 10 > May 2 1972

In computing the income of an applicant for the retired person's property tax exemption provided for by RCW 84.36.370, all of the applicant's income from a federal civil service or railroad retirement pension is to be counted in determining his eligibility for this exemption except such pension payments as represent a return of capital or investment.

AGO 1967 NO. 11 > Mar 22 1967

Under the existing legislative implementation of Amendment 47 to the state constitution, a life tenant (i.e., one who holds only a life estate) in residential real property does not have a legally sufficient interest in the property to qualify for an exemption from the first fifty dollars of real property taxes due and payable as to such property.

AGO 1967 NO. 13 > Mar 28 1967

Where a property owner, who is otherwise qualified for the tax exemption under chapter 168, Laws of 1965, Ex. Sess., has conveyed his residence to a trustee under a revocable trust agreement which entitles the trustor (1) to have the full right to use of the property during his lifetime, and (2) to revoke the trust and retake complete ownership of the property at any time during his lifetime, such property owner can still qualify for the tax exemption.

AGO 1967 NO. 16 > May 4 1967

The real property tax exemption provided for by § 2, chapter 168, Laws of 1965, Ex. Sess., with regard to certain retired persons, is applicable against taxes levied by the city of Waitsburg under authority of its territorial charter.

AGO 1969 NO. 21 > Oct 28 1969

A person exempted from paying the first $50 of a given year's real property tax under RCW 84.36.128, who nevertheless pays this amount by reason of mistake, inadvertence or lack of knowledge, need not have claimed his exemption between February 15 and April 30 in order to set the stage for a valid refund claim under § 1 (7) of chapter 224, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.; instead, we would deem it to be sufficient compliance with the statute for a taxpayer to prove his eligibility for the exemption (as of the time his payment was made) when he files his application for a refund.

AGO 1951 NO. 21 > Apr 20 1951

An excise tax levied by a city on persons distributing and selling electrical energy measured by the gross revenues from such business, but exempting from the tax revenues derived from the sale of electricity to manufacturers, is not invalidated by reason of such exemption.

AGO 1972 NO. 23 > Oct 16 1972

Where a person eligible for the real property tax exemption granted for residences owned and occupied by certain senior citizens pursuant to RCW 84.36.370-84.36.380 has timely claimed this exemption and paid his "first half" taxes by April 30 of the year when due as required by RCW 84.56.020 ‑ and then, prior to the due date for the second half payment he sells the property to a noneligible grantee who assumes the obligation to pay the remaining taxes, the grantee will be required to pay one‑half of the original amount levied.

AGO 1971 NO. 27 > Aug 31 1971

(1) If a property owner claiming a tax exemption under § 4, chapter 288, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., received income during the preceding calendar year "of the type and amount which would cause any reduction from social security benefits for a recipient of such benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 403 as in effect on the effective date of this 1971 amendatory act," then such taxpayer is disqualified for the subject tax exemption even though his or her total amount of income was less than the $4,000 annual maximum provided for in subsection (5) for a one hundred percent excess levy exemption.(2) Action by the United States Congress at some time in the future to amend the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 403 so as to increase the amount of earnings which a social security recipient may have without reduction of his or her social security benefits will not, automatically, have the effect of increasing the amount of earnings which a Washington taxpayer may have and still qualify for the property tax exemption provided for by § 4, chapter 288, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess.