Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2009 NO. 5 > Aug 27 2009

Municipal sewer districts have statutory authority to use public funds to repair or replace side sewers located on private property if doing so will increase sewer capacity by reducing infiltration and inflow.  Use of public funds to do so does not constitute an unconstitutional gift or loan of public funds if the district acts without donative intent and can demonstrate that the action will result in significant benefit to the public.

AGO 2006 NO. 12 > May 30 2006

1. RCW 82.46.075 authorizes a county to impose certain sales and use taxes for the purpose of providing affordable housing for persons of low and moderate income; it does not violate the constitutional provisions against gifts and lending of credit to provide housing assistance to persons or households whose incomes could reasonably be described as “low” or “moderate.” 2. RCW 82.46.075 authorizes a county to develop criteria for eligibility for housing programs funded through the sales tax authorized by the statute; the statute is broad enough to permit a county to provide a preference to public employees if the county can show that such a preference will further the statutory purpose of the program.

AGO 1993 NO. 18 > Dec 9 1993

1.  Institutions of higher education have the authority to enter into contracts deemed essential to the institution and to accept and solicit gifts.  If there is consideration flowing to the institution, it has the authority to provide goods and services to a private nonprofit organization, including the use of institution employees to solicit gifts, in exchange for fund-raising and other assistance from the organization. 2.  The statute of frauds, RCW 19.36.010, provides that any agreement not to be performed in one year from the making thereof shall be void.  Thus, any agreement between an institution of higher education and a nonprofit organization should be in writing if it is not to be performed in one year.

AGO 1959 NO. 81 > Oct 29 1959

A trust instrument which makes a present gift of property to a minor person by means of a termination provision exercisable by the donee, vests a present interest in the minor donee.