Chapter 35.57 RCW

PUBLIC FACILITIES DISTRICTS

Sections

35.57.010CreationBoard of directorsCorporate powers.
35.57.020Regional centers, recreational facilitiesCharges and feesPowers.
35.57.025Independent financial feasibility reviewWhen requiredPublic document.
35.57.027Statutorily authorized taxing authority.
35.57.030General obligation bonds.
35.57.040Authorized charges, fees, and taxesGifts.
35.57.050Travel, expense reimbursement policyRequired.
35.57.060Expenditure of fundsPurposes.
35.57.070Service provider agreements.
35.57.080Purchases and salesProcedures.
35.57.090Revenue bondsLimitations.
35.57.100Tax on admissions.
35.57.110Tax on vehicle parking charges.


CreationBoard of directorsCorporate powers.

(1)(a) The legislative authority of any town or city located in a county with a population of less than one million may create a public facilities district.
(b) The legislative authorities of any contiguous group of towns or cities located in a county or counties each with a population of less than one million may enter an agreement under chapter 39.34 RCW for the creation and joint operation of a public facilities district.
(c) The legislative authority of any town or city, or any contiguous group of towns or cities, located in a county with a population of less than one million and the legislative authority of a contiguous county, or the legislative authority of the county or counties in which the towns or cities are located, may enter into an agreement under chapter 39.34 RCW for the creation and joint operation of a public facilities district.
(d) The legislative authority of a city located in a county with a population greater than one million may create a public facilities district, when the city has a total population of less than one hundred fifteen thousand but greater than eighty thousand and commences construction of a regional center prior to July 1, 2008.
(e) At least three contiguous towns or cities with a combined population of at least one hundred sixty thousand, each of which previously created a public facilities district under (a) of this subsection, may create an additional public facilities district. The previously created districts may continue their full corporate existence and activities notwithstanding the creation and existence of the additional district within the same geographic area.
(2)(a) A public facilities district is coextensive with the boundaries of the city or town or contiguous group of cities or towns that created the district.
(b) A public facilities district created by an agreement between a town or city, or a contiguous group of towns or cities, and a contiguous county or the county in which they are located, is coextensive with the boundaries of the towns or cities, and the boundaries of the county or counties as to the unincorporated areas of the county or counties. The boundaries do not include incorporated towns or cities that are not parties to the agreement for the creation and joint operation of the district.
(3)(a) A public facilities district created by a single city or town shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of five members selected as follows: (i) Two members appointed by the legislative authority of the city or town; and (ii) three members appointed by legislative authority based on recommendations from local organizations. The members appointed under (a)(i) of this subsection, shall not be members of the legislative authority of the city or town. The members appointed under (a)(ii) of this subsection, must be based on recommendations received from local organizations that may include, but are not limited to the local chamber of commerce, local economic development council, and local labor council. The members shall serve four-year terms. Of the initial members, one must be appointed for a one-year term, one must be appointed for a two-year term, one must be appointed for a three-year term, and the remainder must be appointed for four-year terms.
(b) A public facilities district created by a contiguous group of cities and towns must be governed by a board of directors consisting of seven members selected as follows: (i) Three members appointed by the legislative authorities of the cities and towns; and (ii) four members appointed by the legislative authorities of the cities and towns based on recommendations from local organizations. The members appointed under (b)(i) of this subsection shall not be members of the legislative authorities of the cities and towns. The members appointed under (b)(ii) of this subsection, must be based on recommendations received from local organizations that include, but are not limited to the local chamber of commerce, local economic development council, local labor council, and a neighborhood organization that is directly affected by the location of the regional center in their area. The members of the board of directors must be appointed in accordance with the terms of the agreement under chapter 39.34 RCW for the joint operation of the district and shall serve four-year terms. Of the initial members, one must be appointed for a one-year term, one must be appointed for a two-year term, one must be appointed for a three-year term, and the remainder must be appointed for four-year terms.
(c) A public facilities district created by a town or city, or a contiguous group of towns or cities, and a contiguous county or the county or counties in which they are located, must be governed by a board of directors consisting of seven members selected as follows: (i) Three members appointed by the legislative authorities of the cities, towns, and county; and (ii) four members appointed by the legislative authorities of the cities, towns, and county based on recommendations from local organizations. The members appointed under (c)(i) of this subsection shall not be members of the legislative authorities of the cities, towns, or county. The members appointed under (c)(ii) of this subsection must be based on recommendations received from local organizations that include, but are not limited to, the local chamber of commerce, the local economic development council, the local labor council, and a neighborhood organization that is directly affected by the location of the regional center in their area. The members of the board of directors must be appointed in accordance with the terms of the agreement under chapter 39.34 RCW for the joint operation of the district and shall serve four-year terms. Of the initial members, one must be appointed for a one-year term, one must be appointed for a two-year term, one must be appointed for a three-year term, and the remainder must be appointed for four-year terms.
(d)(i) A public facilities district created under subsection (1)(e) of this section must provide, in the agreement providing for its creation and operation, that the district must be governed by an odd-numbered board of directors of not more than nine members who are also members of the legislative authorities that created the public facilities district or of the governing boards of the public facilities districts previously created by those legislative authorities, or both.
(ii) A board of directors formed under this subsection must have an equal number of members representing each city or town participating in the public facilities district. If there are unfilled board member positions after each city or town has appointed an equal number of board members, the members so appointed must appoint a number of additional board members necessary to fill any remaining positions. For a board formed under this subsection to submit a proposition to the voters under RCW 82.14.048, a majority of the members representing or appointed by each legislative authority participating in the public facilities district must agree to submit the proposition to the voters; however, the board may not submit a proposition to the voters prior to January 1, 2011.
(4) A public facilities district is a municipal corporation, an independent taxing "authority" within the meaning of Article VII, section 1 of the state Constitution, and a "taxing district" within the meaning of Article VII, section 2 of the state Constitution.
(5) A public facilities district constitutes a body corporate and possesses all the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes as well as all other powers that may now or hereafter be specifically conferred by statute, including, but not limited to, the authority to hire employees, staff, and services, to enter into contracts, and to sue and be sued.
(6) A public facilities district may acquire and transfer real and personal property by lease, sublease, purchase, or sale. No direct or collateral attack on any public facilities district purported to be authorized or created in conformance with this chapter may be commenced more than thirty days after creation by the city and/or county legislative authority.



Regional centers, recreational facilitiesCharges and feesPowers.

*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 1499.SL) ***
(1)(a) A public facilities district is authorized to acquire, construct, own, remodel, maintain, equip, reequip, repair, finance, and operate one or more regional centers. For purposes of this chapter, "regional center" means a convention, conference, or special events center, or any combination of facilities, and related parking facilities, serving a regional population constructed, improved, or rehabilitated after July 25, 1999, at a cost of at least ten million dollars, including debt service. "Regional center" also includes an existing convention, conference, or special events center, and related parking facilities, serving a regional population, that is improved or rehabilitated after July 25, 1999, where the costs of improvement or rehabilitation are at least ten million dollars, including debt service. A "special events center" is a facility, available to the public, used for community events, sporting events, trade shows, and artistic, musical, theatrical, or other cultural exhibitions, presentations, or performances. A regional center is conclusively presumed to serve a regional population if state and local government investment in the construction, improvement, or rehabilitation of the regional center is equal to or greater than ten million dollars.
(b) A public facilities district created under RCW 35.57.010(1)(e):
(i) Is authorized, in addition to the authority granted under (a) of this subsection, to acquire, construct, own, remodel, maintain, equip, reequip, repair, finance, and operate one or more recreational facilities other than a ski area;
(ii) If exercising its authority under (a) or (b)(i) of this subsection, must obtain voter approval to fund each recreational facility or regional center pursuant to *RCW 82.14.048(3); and
(iii) Possesses all of the powers with respect to recreational facilities other than a ski area that all public facilities districts possess with respect to regional centers under subsections (3), (4), and (7) of this section.
(2) A public facilities district may enter into contracts with any city or town for the purpose of exercising any powers of a community renewal agency under chapter 35.81 RCW.
(3) A public facilities district may impose charges and fees for the use of its facilities, and may accept and expend or use gifts, grants, and donations for the purpose of a regional center.
(4) A public facilities district may impose charges, fees, and taxes authorized in RCW 35.57.040, and use revenues derived therefrom for the purpose of paying principal and interest payments on bonds issued by the public facilities district to construct a regional center.
(5) Notwithstanding the establishment of a career, civil, or merit service system, a public facilities district may contract with a public or private entity for the operation or management of its public facilities.
(6) A public facilities district is authorized to use the supplemental alternative public works contracting procedures set forth in chapter 39.10 RCW in connection with the design, construction, reconstruction, remodel, or alteration of any regional center.
(7) A city or town in conjunction with any special agency, authority, or other district established by a county or any other governmental agency is authorized to use the supplemental alternative public works contracting procedures set forth in chapter 39.10 RCW in connection with the design, construction, reconstruction, remodel, or alteration of any regional center funded in whole or in part by a public facilities district.
(8) Any provision required to be submitted for voter approval under this section, may not be submitted for voter approval prior to January 1, 2011.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 82.14.048 was amended by 2012 c 4 § 6, changing subsection (3) to subsection (4).
SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Independent financial feasibility reviewWhen requiredPublic document.

(1) An independent financial feasibility review under this section is required to be performed prior to any of the following events:
(a) The formation of a public facilities district under this chapter;
(b) The issuance of any indebtedness, excluding the issuance of obligations to refund or replace such indebtedness, by a public facilities district under this chapter; or
(c) The long-term lease, purchase, or development of a facility under RCW 35.57.020.
(2) The independent financial feasibility review required by this section must be conducted by the department of commerce through the municipal research and services center under RCW 43.110.030 or under a contract with another entity under the authority of RCW 43.110.080. The review must examine the potential costs to be incurred by the public facility [facilities] district and the adequacy of revenues or expected revenues to meet those costs. The cost of the independent financial feasibility review must be borne by the public facility [facilities] district or the local government proposing to form a public facility [facilities] district.
(3) The independent financial feasibility review, upon completion, must be a public document and must be submitted to the governor, the state treasurer, the state auditor, the public facility [facilities] district and participating local political subdivisions, and appropriate committees of the legislature.



Statutorily authorized taxing authority.

After June 7, 2012, the statutorily authorized taxing authority of a public facility [facilities] district may not be restricted in any manner by the forming jurisdiction or jurisdictions or by any action of the public facility [facilities] district.



General obligation bonds.

(1) To carry out the purpose of this chapter, a public facilities district may issue general obligation bonds, not to exceed an amount, together with any outstanding nonvoter-approved general obligation indebtedness, equal to one-half of one percent of the value of the taxable property within the district, as the term "value of the taxable property" is defined in RCW 39.36.015. A facilities district additionally may issue general obligation bonds for capital purposes only, together with any outstanding general obligation indebtedness, not to exceed an amount equal to one and one-fourth percent of the value of the taxable property within the district, as the term "value of the taxable property" is defined in RCW 39.36.015, when authorized by the voters of the public facilities district pursuant to Article VIII, section 6 of the state Constitution, and to provide for the retirement thereof by taxes authorized in chapter 165, Laws of 1999.
(2) General obligation bonds may be issued with a maturity of up to thirty years, and shall be issued and sold in accordance with the provisions of chapter 39.46 RCW.
(3) The general obligation bonds may be payable from the operating revenues of the public facilities district in addition to the tax receipts of the district.



Authorized charges, fees, and taxesGifts.

(1) The board of directors of the public facilities district may impose the following for the purpose of funding a regional center:
(a) Charges and fees for the use of any of its facilities;
(b) Admission charges under RCW 35.57.100;
(c) Vehicle parking charges under RCW 35.57.110; and
(d) Sales and use taxes authorized under RCW 82.14.048 and 82.14.390.
(2) The board may accept and expend or use gifts, grants, and donations for the purpose of a regional center. The revenue from the charges, fees, and taxes imposed under this section shall be used only for the purposes authorized by this chapter.



Travel, expense reimbursement policyRequired.

The board of directors of the public facilities district shall adopt a resolution that may be amended from time to time that shall establish the basic requirements governing methods and amounts of reimbursement payable to such district officials and employees for travel and other business expenses incurred on behalf of the district. The resolution shall, among other things, establish procedures for approving such expenses; the form of the travel and expense voucher; and requirements governing the use of credit cards issued in the name of the district. The resolution may also establish procedures for payment of per diem to board members. The state auditor shall, as provided by general law, cooperate with the public facilities district in establishing adequate procedures for regulating and auditing the reimbursement of all such expenses.



Expenditure of fundsPurposes.

(1) The board of directors of the public facilities district shall have authority to authorize the expenditure of funds for the public purposes of preparing and distributing information to the general public and promoting, advertising, improving, developing, operating, and maintaining a regional center. For promotional activities the district board must: (a) Identify the proposed expenditure in its annual budget; and (b) adopt written rules governing promotional hosting by employees, agents, and the board, including requirements for identifying and evaluating the public benefits to be derived and documenting the public benefits realized.
(2) Nothing contained in this section may be construed to authorize preparation and distribution of information to the general public for the purpose of influencing the outcome of a district election.



Service provider agreements.

The public facilities district may secure services by means of an agreement with a service provider. The public facilities district shall publish notice, establish criteria, receive and evaluate proposals, and negotiate with respondents under requirements set forth by district resolution.



Purchases and salesProcedures.

In addition to provisions contained in chapter 39.04 RCW, the public facilities district is authorized to follow procedures contained in chapter 39.26 RCW for all purchases, contracts for purchase, and sales.



Revenue bondsLimitations.

(1) A public facilities district may issue revenue bonds to fund revenue-generating facilities, or portions of facilities, which it is authorized to provide or operate. Whenever revenue bonds are to be issued, the board of directors of the district shall create or have created a special fund or funds from which, along with any reserves created pursuant to RCW 39.44.140, the principal and interest on such revenue bonds shall exclusively be payable. The board may obligate the district to set aside and pay into the special fund or funds a fixed proportion or a fixed amount of the revenues from the public improvements, projects, or facilities, and all related additions, that are funded by the revenue bonds. This amount or proportion shall be a lien and charge against these revenues, subject only to operating and maintenance expenses. The board shall have due regard for the cost of operation and maintenance of the public improvements, projects, or facilities, or additions, that are funded by the revenue bonds, and shall not set aside into the special fund or funds a greater amount or proportion of the revenues that in its judgment will be available over and above the cost of maintenance and operation and the amount or proportion, if any, of the revenue so previously pledged. The board may also provide that revenue bonds payable out of the same source or sources of revenue may later be issued on a parity with any revenue bonds being issued and sold.
(2) Revenue bonds issued under this section shall not be an indebtedness of the district issuing the bonds, and the interest and principal on the bonds shall only be payable from the revenues lawfully pledged to meet the principal and interest requirements and any reserves created under RCW 39.44.140. The owner or bearer of a revenue bond or any interest coupon issued under this section shall not have any claim against the district arising from the bond or coupon except for payment from the revenues lawfully pledged to meet the principal and interest requirements and any reserves created under RCW 39.44.140. The substance of the limitations included in this subsection shall be plainly printed, written, or engraved on each bond issued under this section.
(3) Revenue bonds with a maturity in excess of thirty years shall not be issued. The board of directors of the district shall by resolution determine for each revenue bond issue the amount, date, form, terms, conditions, denominations, maximum fixed or variable interest rate or rates, maturity or maturities, redemption rights, registration privileges, manner of execution, manner of sale, callable provisions, if any, and covenants including the refunding of existing revenue bonds. Facsimile signatures may be used on the bonds and any coupons. Refunding revenue bonds may be issued in the same manner as revenue bonds are issued.



Tax on admissions.

A public facility district may levy and fix a tax of not more than one cent on twenty cents or fraction thereof to be paid by the person who pays an admission charge to a regional center. This includes a tax on persons who are admitted free of charge or at reduced rates if other persons pay a charge or a regular higher charge for the same privileges or accommodations.
The term "admission charge" includes:
(1) A charge made for season tickets or subscriptions;
(2) A cover charge, or a charge made for use of seats and tables reserved or otherwise, and other similar accommodations;
(3) A charge made for food and refreshment if free entertainment, recreation, or amusement is provided;
(4) A charge made for rental or use of equipment or facilities for purposes of recreation or amusement; if the rental of the equipment or facilities is necessary to the enjoyment of a privilege for which a general admission is charged, the combined charges shall be considered as the admission charge;
(5) Automobile parking charges if the amount of the charge is determined according to the number of passengers in the automobile.



Tax on vehicle parking charges.

A public facility district may levy and fix a tax on any vehicle parking charges imposed at any parking facility that is owned or leased by the public facility district as part of a regional center. No county or city or town within which the regional center is located may impose a tax of the same or similar kind on any vehicle parking charges at the facility. For the purposes of this section, "vehicle parking charges" means only the actual parking charges exclusive of taxes and service charges and the value of any other benefit conferred. The tax authorized under this section shall be at the rate of not more than ten percent.