Chapter 52.16 RCW

FINANCES

Sections

52.16.010County treasurer as financial agent.
52.16.020Funds.
52.16.030Budget for each fundBiennial budget authority.
52.16.040Tax leviesAssessment rollCollection.
52.16.050Disbursal of fundsIssuance of warrantsMonthly reports.
52.16.061General obligation bondsIssuanceLimitations.
52.16.070Obligations shall not exceed taxes, revenues, and cash balancesExceptions.
52.16.080Bonds may be issued for capital purposesExcess property tax levies.
52.16.130General levy authorizedLimitExcess levy at special election.
52.16.140General levy may exceed limitWhen.
52.16.150Donations and bequests to district.
52.16.160Tax levy authorized.
52.16.170Taxation and assessment of lands lying both within a fire protection district and forest protection assessment area.


County treasurer as financial agent.

It is the duty of the county treasurer of the county in which all, or the largest portion of, any fire protection district created under this title is located to receive and disburse district revenues, to collect taxes and assessments authorized and levied under this title, and to credit district revenues to the proper fund. However, where a fire protection district is located in more than one county, the county treasurer of each other county in which the district is located shall collect the fire protection district's taxes and assessments that are imposed on property located within the county and transfer these funds to the county treasurer of the county in which the largest portion of the district is located.



Funds.

In each county in which a fire protection district is situated, there shall be in the county treasurer's office of each district the following funds: (1) Expense fund; (2) reserve fund; (3) local improvement district No. . . . . fund; (4) general obligation bond fund; and (5) such other funds as the board of commissioners of the district may establish. Taxes levied for administrative, operative, and maintenance purposes and for the purchase of firefighting and emergency medical equipment and apparatus and for the purchase of real property, when collected, and proceeds from the sale of general obligation bonds shall be placed by the county treasurer in the proper fund. Taxes levied for the payment of general obligation bonds and interest thereon, when collected, shall be placed by the county treasurer in the general obligation bond fund. The board of fire commissioners may include in its annual budget items of possible outlay to be provided for and held in reserve for any district purpose, and taxes shall be levied therefor. Such taxes, when collected, shall be placed by the county treasurer in the reserve fund. The reserve fund, or any part of it, may be transferred by the county treasurer to other funds of the district at any time by order of the board of fire commissioners. Special assessments levied against the lands in any improvement district within the district, when collected, shall be placed by the county treasurer in the local improvement district fund for the local improvement district.

NOTES:

Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.



Budget for each fundBiennial budget authority.

(1) Annually after the county board or boards of equalization of the county or counties in which the district is located have equalized the assessments for general tax purposes in that year, the secretary of the district shall prepare and certify a budget of the requirements of each district fund, and deliver it to the county legislative authority or authorities of the county or counties in which the district is located in ample time for the tax levies to be made for district purposes.
(2) In lieu of adopting an annual budget, a fire protection district may adopt a biennial budget with a mid-biennium review and modification for the second year of the biennium.



Tax leviesAssessment rollCollection.

At the time of making general tax levies in each year the county legislative authority or authorities of the county or counties in which a fire protection district is located shall make the required levies for district purposes against the real and personal property in the district in accordance with the equalized valuations of the property for general tax purposes and as a part of the general taxes. The tax levies shall be a part of the general tax roll and shall be collected as a part of the general taxes against the property in the district.

NOTES:

Levy of taxes: Chapter 84.52 RCW.



Disbursal of fundsIssuance of warrantsMonthly reports.

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the county treasurer shall pay out money received for the account of the district on warrants issued by the county auditor against the proper funds of the district. The warrants shall be issued on vouchers approved and signed by a majority of the district board and by the district secretary.
(2) The board of fire commissioners of a district that had an annual operating budget of five million or more dollars in each of the preceding three years may by resolution adopt a policy to issue its own warrants for payment of claims or other obligations of the fire district. The board of fire commissioners, after auditing all payrolls and bills, may authorize the issuing of one general certificate to the county treasurer, to be signed by the chair of the board of fire commissioners, authorizing the county treasurer to pay all the warrants specified by date, number, name, and amount, and the accounting funds on which the warrants shall be drawn; thereupon the district secretary may issue the warrants specified in the general certificate.
(3) The board of fire commissioners of a district that had an annual operating budget of greater than two hundred fifty thousand dollars and under five million dollars in each of the preceding three years may upon agreement between the county treasurer and the fire district commission, with approval of the fire district commission by resolution, adopt a policy to issue its own warrants for payment of claims or other obligations of the fire district. The board of fire commissioners, after auditing all payrolls and bills, may authorize the issuing of one general certificate to the county treasurer, to be signed by the chair of the board of fire commissioners, authorizing the county treasurer to pay all the warrants specified by date, number, name, and amount, and the accounting funds on which the warrants shall be drawn. The district secretary may then issue the warrants specified in the general certificate.
(4) The county treasurer may also pay general obligation bonds and the accrued interest thereon in accordance with their terms from the general obligation bond fund when interest or principal payments become due. The county treasurer shall report in writing monthly to the secretary of the district the amount of money held by the county in each fund and the amounts of receipts and disbursements for each fund during the preceding month.

NOTES:

Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.



General obligation bondsIssuanceLimitations.

The board of fire commissioners of the district shall have authority to contract indebtedness and to refund same for any general district purpose, including expenses of maintenance, operation and administration, and the acquisition of firefighting facilities, and evidence the same by the issuance and sale of general obligation bonds of the district payable at such time or times not longer than twenty years from the issuing date of the bonds. Such bonds shall be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW. Such bonds shall not exceed an amount, together with any outstanding nonvoter approved general obligation indebtedness, equal to three-eighths of one percent of the value of the taxable property within the fire protection district, as the term "value of the taxable property" is defined in RCW 39.36.015.

NOTES:

Purpose1984 c 186: See note following RCW 39.46.110.
Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.
Purpose1970 ex.s. c 56: See note following RCW 39.52.020.
ValidationSavingSeverability1969 ex.s. c 232: See notes following RCW 39.52.020.



Obligations shall not exceed taxes, revenues, and cash balancesExceptions.

Except as authorized by the issuance and sale of general obligation bonds, the creation of local improvements districts, and the issuance of local improvement bonds and warrants of the fire protection district, the board of fire commissioners may not incur expenses or other financial obligations payable in any year in excess of the aggregate amount of taxes levied for that year, revenues derived from all other sources, and the cash balances on hand in the expense and reserve funds of the district on the first day of that year. In the event that there are any unpaid warrants drawn on any district funds for expenses and obligations incurred and outstanding at the end of any calendar year, the warrants may be paid from taxes collected in the subsequent year or years and from other income.

NOTES:

Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.
SeverabilityConstruction1975 1st ex.s. c 130: "If any section, clause, or other provision of this 1975 amendatory act, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of such 1975 amendatory act, or the application of such section, clause, or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected. The rule of strict construction shall have no application to this 1975 amendatory act, but the same shall be liberally construed, in order to carry out the purposes and objects for which this 1975 amendatory act is intended. When this 1975 amendatory act comes in conflict with any provision, limitation, or restriction in any other law, this 1975 amendatory act shall govern and control." [ 1975 1st ex.s. c 130 § 6.]



Bonds may be issued for capital purposesExcess property tax levies.

Fire protection districts additionally are authorized to incur general indebtedness for capital purposes and to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed an amount, together with any outstanding general obligation indebtedness, equal to three-fourths of one percent of the value of the taxable property within such district, as the term "value of the taxable property" is defined in RCW 39.36.015, and to provide for the retirement thereof by excess property tax levies, when the voters of the district have approved a proposition authorizing such indebtedness and levies by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of those voting on the proposition at such election, at which election the total number of persons voting shall constitute not less than forty percent of the voters in the fire protection district who voted at the last preceding general state election. The maximum term of such bonds may not exceed twenty years. Such bonds shall be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW. Such elections shall be held as provided in RCW 39.36.050.

NOTES:

Purpose1984 c 186: See note following RCW 39.46.110.
SeverabilityEffective dates and termination datesConstruction1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.
SeverabilityEffective date1970 ex.s. c 42: See notes following RCW 39.36.015.



General levy authorizedLimitExcess levy at special election.

To carry out the purposes for which fire protection districts are created, the board of fire commissioners of a district may levy each year, in addition to the levy or levies provided in RCW 52.16.080 for the payment of the principal and interest of any outstanding general obligation bonds, an ad valorem tax on all taxable property located in the district not to exceed fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value: PROVIDED, That in no case may the total general levy for all purposes, except the levy for the retirement of general obligation bonds, exceed one dollar per thousand dollars of assessed value. Levies in excess of one dollar per thousand dollars of assessed value or in excess of the aggregate dollar rate limitations or both may be made for any district purpose when so authorized at a special election under RCW 84.52.130. Any such tax when levied shall be certified to the proper county officials for the collection of the tax as for other general taxes. The taxes when collected shall be placed in the appropriate district fund or funds as provided by law, and shall be paid out on warrants of the auditor of the county in which all, or the largest portion of, the district is located, upon authorization of the board of fire commissioners of the district.

NOTES:

Contingent effective date2002 c 180: See note following RCW 84.52.052.
Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.
SeverabilityEffective dates and termination datesConstruction1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.



General levy may exceed limitWhen.

Notwithstanding the limitation of dollar rates contained in RCW 52.16.130, the board of fire commissioners of any district may levy, in addition to any levy for the payment of the principal and interest of outstanding general obligation bonds, an ad valorem tax on all property located in the district of not to exceed fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value and which will not cause the combined levies to exceed the constitutional or statutory limitations, and the additional levy, or any portion of the levy, may also be made when dollar rates of other taxing units are released by agreement with the other taxing units from their authorized levies.

NOTES:

Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.
SeverabilityEffective dates and termination datesConstruction1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.
Levy of taxes: Chapter 84.52 RCW.
Protection from levy prorationing: RCW 84.52.120.



Donations and bequests to district.

A fire protection district may accept and receive in behalf of the district any money or property donated, devised, or bequeathed to the district, and may carry out the terms of the donation, devise, or bequest, if within the powers granted by law to fire protection districts. In the absence of such terms, a fire protection district may expend or use the money or property for district purposes as determined by the board.



Tax levy authorized.

Notwithstanding the limitation of dollar rates contained in RCW 52.16.130, and in addition to any levy for the payment of the principal and interest of any outstanding general obligation bonds and in addition to any levy authorized by RCW 52.16.130, 52.16.140 or any other statute, the board of fire commissioners of any fire protection district within such county is hereby authorized to levy each year an ad valorem tax on all taxable property within such district of not to exceed fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value, which levy may be made only if it will not affect dollar rates which other taxing districts may lawfully claim nor cause the combined levies to exceed the constitutional and/or statutory limitations.

NOTES:

Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.
SeverabilityEffective dates and termination datesConstruction1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.
Severability1969 ex.s. c 243: "If any provision of this act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1969 ex.s. c 243 § 8.]
Protection from levy prorationing: RCW 84.52.120.



Taxation and assessment of lands lying both within a fire protection district and forest protection assessment area.

In the event that lands lie within both a fire protection district and a forest protection assessment area they shall be taxed and assessed as follows:
(1) If the lands are wholly unimproved, they shall be subject to forest protection assessments but not to fire protection district levies;
(2) If the lands are wholly improved, they shall be subject to fire protection district levies but not to forest protection assessments;
(3) If the lands are partly improved and partly unimproved they shall be subject both to fire protection district levies and to forest protection assessments: PROVIDED, That upon request, accompanied by appropriate legal descriptions, the county assessor shall segregate any unimproved portions which each consist of twenty or more acres, and thereafter the unimproved portion or portions shall be subject only to forest protection assessments.

NOTES:

Forest protection assessments: RCW 76.04.610.