Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1951 No. 427 -
Attorney General Smith Troy


Special school levies are limited to one year.

                                                                   - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                 January 15, 1951

Mr. John N. Leavitt
County Attorney
Okanogan, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 427

Dear Sir:

            In answer to your question:  May a school district by one special election impose an excess levy collectible over a period of two successive years?

            Our conclusion is:

            A school district may not impose a special levy collectible over a period of two years.


            Chapter 11, Laws of 1950, Ex. Sess., (Amending Rem. Rev. Stat. § 11238-1e, P.P.C. § 979-485 in part provides:

            "Provided further, That any county, school district, city or town shall have the power to levy taxes at a rate in excess of the rate specified in this act, when authorized so to do by the electors of such county, school district, city or town by a three‑fifths majority of those voting on the propositionat a special election, to be held in the year in which the levy is made, and not oftener than twice in such year nor oftener than once in such year to authorize such levy for any particular purpose in the manner provided by law for holding general elections, at such time as may be fixed by the body authorized to call the same, * * *" (Emphasis supplied)

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            In sum, a school district is permitted to exceed its millage limit when so authorized by a three‑fifths majority vote at a properly held special election.  The total vote must not be less than 40% of the registered voters who voted at the last general election.

            The special election must be "held in the year in which the levy is made."  Thus an excess levy, to be imposed for two successive years, would require two successful elections ‑ one each levy year.  Excess levies are thus limited to a duration of one year.  Elective districts are limited to two special elections per year, and only one elective attempt for a particular purpose may be made during one levy year.

            We, therefore, advise the proposed excess levy of the school district is invalid.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General