Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1961 No. 74 - Oct 31 1961
Attorney General John J. O'Connell


The investment service fee collected by the county treasurer pursuant to chapter 254, Laws of 1961, must be deposited in the county current expense fund.

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                                                                October 31, 1961

Honorable Tom A. Durham
Prosecuting Attorney
Whatcom County
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, Washington

                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 61-62 No. 74

Dear Sir:

            By letter previously acknowledged you have requested an opinion of this office on a question which we paraphrase as follows:

            Should the investment service fee collected by the county treasurer, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 254, Laws of 1961, be credited to the county current expense fund?

            We answer the question in the affirmative.


            Section 1, chapter 254, Laws of 1961, provides in pertinent part as follows:

            ". . . Any municipal corporation may by action of its governing body authorize any of its funds which are not required for immediate expenditure, and which are in the custody of the county treasurer or other municipal corporation treasurer, to be invested by such treasurer in savings and loan associations in accordance with the provisions of RCW 33.52.010, or in any short term United States government securities:  PROVIDED, Five percent of the interest or earnings, with a minimum of ten dollars or maximum of fifty dollars, on any transactions authorized by each resolution of the governing body shall be paid  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] as an investment service fee to the office of county treasurer or other municipal corporation treasurer when such investment is terminated and the interest or earnings become available to the governing body."

            From a reading of the statute it is clear that the legislature did not specify into which account or fund the investment service fee should be deposited when received by the county treasurer.  However it must be presumed that the legislature in passing the statute had knowledge of existing statutes.  Benn v. Grays Harbor Countye_, 102 Wash. 620, 173 Pac. 632 (1918); State v. Thornburye_, 190 Wash. 549, 69 P. (2d) 815 (1937).

            RCW 36.33.010 provides as follows:

            "Every county shall maintain a current expense fund to which shall be credited all taxes levied for that purpose and all fees collected, fines assessed, and forfeitures adjudged in the county the proceeds of which have not been specifically allocated to any other purpose."  (Emphasis supplied.)

            Accordingly, it is the opinion of this office that since § 1, chapter 254, Laws of 1961,suprae_, does not specify the fund into which the investment service fee should be paid, the provisions of RCW 36.33.010, suprae_, are applicable and require that the fee be credited to the county current expense fund when collected.

            In passing, it should be mentioned that we have not overlooked the possible application of RCW 84.56.030 cited in your letter.  This statute does not by its terms apply to the present subject matter and has reference merely to and is located in the section of the Revised Code of Washington having application to the collection of taxes.

            We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General