Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1990 NO. 3 > Apr 26 1990

1.  A municipality that imposes a tax on its electric utility department pursuant to RCW 35.21.860 and [35.21].865 may measure the tax by the utility department's gross revenues, derived from the utility's customers located both inside and outside the city, so long as the tax is within constitutional limits. 2.  A municipality may not levy a tax on another municipality without express authority.  RCW 35.21.860 and [35.21].865 do not authorize one municipality to levy a tax on the electric utility department of another municipality.

AGO 2018 NO. 7 > Sep 11 2018

A city or town may impose a public utility tax on the revenue generated by an investor-owned utility under RCW 35.22.280(32), and on the revenue generated by a public utility district under RCW 54.28.070. The definition of “gross revenue” in RCW 54.28.011 applies to tax imposed on the revenue of a public utility district but not on the revenue of an investor-owned utility.

AGO 1983 NO. 9 > May 17 1983

(1) The records of a public utility district concerning the names and addresses of individual customers are public records which such a district is required to furnish for public inspection and copying pursuant to the state public disclosure law (chapter 42.17 RCW). (2) An individual customer may not, on the basis of an asserted right of privacy, prevent disclosure of such records by instructing the public utility district not to permit it in his or her case. (3) Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, RCW 42.17.260(5) prohibits disclosure when the request is made for a list of customers by a commercial entity such as a bill collector or process server but not by governmental entities such as county sheriffs, the State Patrol, or a television reception improvement district not engaged in any "profit expecting" business activity.

AGO 1973 NO. 23 > Nov 1 1973

A public utility district may annex adjacent territory located in a county other than that in which the district was created where such adjacent territory is not situated within the boundaries of another public utility district.

AGO 1969 NO. 24 > Dec 22 1969

(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 1972 NO. 27 > Dec 5 1972

(1) Where a public utility district commissioner ceases to be a resident and qualified voter of the commissioner district in which he resided and voted at the time of his election as a consequence of his voluntary removal of his place of residence from one such commissioner district to another, his office is not deemed to have been vacated. (2) Where, as a consequence of the realignment of public utility district commissioner district boundaries under RCW 54.12.010, a duly elected commissioner of a public utility district ceases to be a resident and qualified voter of the commissioner district in which he resided and voted at the time of his election, his office is not deemed to have become vacant.

AGO 1966 NO. 87 > Jun 8 1966

In a public utility district which is coextensive with the county in which it is located, public utility commissioner districts are automatically affected by a change made in county commissioner district boundaries by the board of county commissioners.

AGO 1962 NO. 96 > Feb 19 1962

(1) Where there are two vacancies on the board of commissioners of a second class public utility district both vacancies are to be filled by special election held not more than forty days after such vacancies occur. (2) The commissioners elected at a special election to fill vacancies created on the board of commissioners of a second class public utility district are elected to hold office for the unexpired term of the commissioners whom they replace. (3) The election to fill vacancies on the board of commissioners of a second class public utility district must be held forty days after the occurrence of the vacancies pursuant to RCW 54.12.010.  The county auditor, who is charged by law with the power and duty of conducting public utility district elections (in other than class AA or class A counties), is authorized to prescribe a reasonable time within the forty-day period in which petitions for nominations may be filed.

AGO 1964 NO. 117 > Sep 2 1964

(1) Before withdrawing and making use of unappropriated surface waters of the state of Washington for a public domestic water supply, a public utility district must obtain a permit from the state supervisor of water resources. (2) A public utility district is subject to the commencement and completion of construction schedule set forth in RCW 90.03.320.

AGO 1955 NO. 125 > Aug 11 1955

A public utility district cannot maintain and service power lines owned by private cooperative which carry the power of the cooperative.

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