Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1968 NO. 3 >

Except in the case of ownership of more than ten acres of land in an irrigation district, as provided for by RCW 87.03.045, the fact that the same person holds a number of qualifying legal or equitable interests in one or more parcels of qualified land located in an irrigation district does not entitle that person to cast a multiple number of votes, equal to the number of his interests, at a single irrigation district election.

AGO 1979 NO. 7 >

RCW 56.08.020 and RCW 56.16.030 apply to sewer districts and not to irrigation districts; therefore, once a sewer district has been merged into an irrigation district, those statutes no longer apply with regard to the extension of sewer service by the surviving irrigation district.

AGO 1968 NO. 12 >

(1) In order to be eligible to sign a petition to dissolve an irrigation district which has an outstanding bonded indebtedness, as provided for in RCW 87.53.030, a person must be a qualified elector under the general election laws and a freeholder of the district, as provided for in RCW 87.53.050. (2) A person must be registered under the state general election laws in order to be a qualified elector within the meaning of RCW 87.53.050. (3) A contract purchaser of land in an irrigation district under a forfeitable executory contract for the sale of real property is a "freeholder of the district" as that term is used in RCW 87.53.050.

AGLO 1981 NO. 12 >

An airport board established pursuant to RCW 14.08.200 by joint action between two port districts may not develop airport land belonging to the board with irrigation for agricultural purposes; however, such an airport board may lease property to a third party by private negotiation as authorized by RCW 14.08.200(7) even though it is known that the third party intends to develop the land with irrigation for agricultural purposes‑-so long as such development is not made a condition or requirement of the lease.

AGO 1993 NO. 14 >

RCW 87.03.271 provides that the lien for a delinquent irrigation district assessment includes costs such as attorneys' fees.  When the lien is foreclosed pursuant to the procedure set forth in chapter 87.06 RCW, the irrigation district may recover costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees.

AGO 1992 NO. 19 >

RCW 87.03.051 governs voter eligibility in irrigation districts of less than 200,000 acres.  Any property holder in the district whose land is subject to assessment for any reason is entitled to vote in district elections, even if the property is not currently being assessed for irrigation district purposes.

AGO 1969 NO. 24 >

(1) A public utility district is authorized to construct, operate and maintain an irrigation water distribution system for the purpose of reclaiming lands for agricultural uses. (2) A port district is not authorized to construct, operate and maintain an irrigation water distribution system for the purpose of reclaiming lands for agricultural uses. (3) Moneys in the state reclamation revolving fund may be expended to purchase bonds of a public utility district which are issued by the district for the purpose of financing an irrigation project designed to reclaim arid waste lands for agricultural uses, upon approval of the particular reclamation project by the director of the department of water resources. (4) The director of the department of water resources may loan moneys from the reclamation revolving fund to an irrigation district to be used to finance the development of final engineering plans for an irrigation project of said district.

AGO 1991 NO. 25 >

1.  RCW 87.06.100(4) provides that when an irrigation district sells property acquired in a foreclosure proceeding, it shall not provide a deed to the purchaser until various outstanding taxes and assessments are paid.  These various taxes and assessments must be paid even if they exceed the market value of the property.  2.  If a county sells property acquired at a foreclosure proceeding, the distribution of the proceeds of sale is governed by RCW 84.64.230.  An irrigation district is entitled to a share of the proceeds of sale under RCW 84.64.230 because the irrigation district lien established by RCW 87.03.265 is of equal rank with the lien for general taxes established by RCW 84.60.010.  3.  RCW 84.64.230 provides that no claim shall be allowed against the county on property acquired by the county by tax deed in a foreclosure proceeding.  Thus, an irrigation district cannot foreclose its lien on tax deed property held by the county.                                     

AGO 1991 NO. 30 >

1.   Service must provide notice reasonably calculated to inform interested parties of proceedings which may directly and adversely affect t heir legally protected interests.  Notice by publication and posting is adequate where the name and address of the owner are not known or cannot be discovered by a governmental entity with a minimal effort.  Whether any particular service is adequate is a factual question that cannot be resolved in an Attorney General's Opinion.   2.  An irrigation district cannot include reasonable attorney fees or statutory attorney fees in a certificate of delinquency or as part of the amount that must be paid to redeem the property.   3.   RCW 87.06.100(1) provides that an entity buying property at a foreclosure sale must pay the full amount of all property taxes and certain other taxes before receiving a deed from the irrigation district.  RCW 87.06.070 provides that the court shall specify the minimum sales price below which the property shall not be sold.  While there is no statutory requirement that the minimum sales price set by the court included the full amount of all property taxes and other taxes, the effect of these two statutes is that the district cannot provide a deed unless the taxes specified in the statute are paid.   4.  RCW 87.06.050 provides that any party in interest of property for which a certificate of delinquency has been prepared may redeem the property as provided by the statutes.  RCW 87.06.010(4) defines party in interest as an occupant of the property, the owner of record, and any other person having a financial interest of record in the property.

AGLO 1978 NO. 31 >

Under the provisions of RCW 56.02.100 and related statutes, only persons who own land within a sewer district which proposes to merge with an irrigation district in which it is contained will be qualified to vote on the question; however, this requirement could be subject to a possible constitutional challenge.