Chapter 36.40 RCW

BUDGET

Sections
Estimates to be filed by county officials.
Commissioners to file road and bridge estimate and estimate of future bond expenditures.
Forms of estimatesPenalty for delay.
Preliminary budget.
Revision by county commissioners.
Notice of hearing on budget.
Budget hearing.
Budget hearingAlternate date for budget hearing.
Final budget to be fixed.
Taxes to be levied.
Budget constitutes appropriationsTransfersSupplemental appropriations.
Limitation on use of borrowed money.
Excess of expenditures, liability.
Emergencies subject to hearing.
Emergencies subject to hearingRight of taxpayer to review order.
Emergencies subject to hearingPetition for review suspends order.
Emergencies subject to hearingCourt's power on review.
Emergencies subject to hearingNondebatable emergencies.
Payment of emergency warrants.
Supplemental appropriations of unanticipated funds from local sources.
Lapse of budget appropriations.
Salary adjustment for county legislative authority officeRatification and validation of preelection action.
Monthly report.
Rules, classifications, and forms.
No new funds created.
Penalty.
Biennial budgetsSupplemental and emergency budgets.
NOTES:
County road property tax revenues, budgeting of for services: RCW 36.33.220.
Flood control zone district budget as affecting: RCW 86.15.140.
Juvenile detention facilities, budget allocation may be used for: RCW 13.16.080.
Metropolitan municipal corporation costs in: RCW 35.58.420.


36.40.010
Estimates to be filed by county officials.

On or before the second Monday in July of each year, the county auditor or chief financial officer designated in a charter county shall notify in writing each county official, elective or appointive, in charge of an office, department, service, or institution of the county, to file with him or her on or before the second Monday in August thereafter detailed and itemized estimates, both of the probable revenues from sources other than taxation, and of all expenditures required by such office, department, service, or institution for the ensuing fiscal year.
[ 2009 c 337 § 6; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.010. Prior: 1923 c 164 § 1, part; RRS § 3997-1, part.]



36.40.020
Commissioners to file road and bridge estimate and estimate of future bond expenditures.

The county commissioners shall submit to the auditor a detailed statement showing all new road and bridge construction to be financed from the county road fund, and from bond issues theretofore issued, if any, for the ensuing fiscal year, together with the cost thereof as computed by the county road engineer or for constructions in charge of a special engineer, then by such engineer, and such engineer shall prepare such estimates of cost for the county commissioners. They shall also submit a similar statement showing the road and bridge maintenance program, as near as can be estimated.
The county commissioners shall also submit to the auditor detailed estimates of all expenditures for construction or improvement purposes proposed to be made from the proceeds of bonds or warrants not yet authorized.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.020. Prior: 1923 c 164 § 1, part; RRS § 3997-1, part.]



36.40.030
Forms of estimates—Penalty for delay.

The estimates required in RCW 36.40.010 and 36.40.020 shall be submitted on forms provided by the county auditor or chief financial officer designated in a charter county and classified according to the classification established by the state auditor. The county auditor or chief financial officer designated in a charter county shall provide such forms. He or she shall also prepare the estimates for interest and debt redemption requirements and any other estimates the preparation of which properly falls within the duties of his or her office.
Each such official shall file his or her estimates within the time and in the manner provided in the notice and form and the county auditor or chief financial officer designated in a charter county may deduct and withhold as a penalty from the salary of each official failing or refusing to file such estimates as herein provided, the sum of fifty dollars for each day of delay: PROVIDED, That the total penalty against any one official shall not exceed two hundred fifty dollars in any one year.
In the absence or disability of any official the duties required herein shall devolve upon the official or employee in charge of the office, department, service, or institution for the time being. The notice shall contain a copy of this penalty clause.
[ 2009 c 337 § 7; 1995 c 301 § 62; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.030. Prior: 1923 c 164 § 1, part; RRS § 3997-1, part.]



36.40.040
Preliminary budget.

Upon receipt of the estimates the county auditor or chief financial officer designated in a charter county shall prepare the county budget which shall set forth the complete financial program of the county for the ensuing fiscal year, showing the expenditure program and the sources of revenue by which it is to be financed.
The revenue section shall set forth the estimated receipts from sources other than taxation for each office, department, service, or institution for the ensuing fiscal year, the actual receipts for the first six months of the current fiscal year and the actual receipts for the last completed fiscal year, the estimated surplus at the close of the current fiscal year and the amount proposed to be raised by taxation.
The expenditure section shall set forth in comparative and tabular form by offices, departments, services, and institutions the estimated expenditures for the ensuing fiscal year, the appropriations for the current fiscal year, the actual expenditures for the first six months of the current fiscal year including all contracts or other obligations against current appropriations, and the actual expenditures for the last completed fiscal year.
All estimates of receipts and expenditures for the ensuing year shall be fully detailed in the annual budget and shall be classified and segregated according to a standard classification of accounts to be adopted and prescribed by the state auditor after consultation with the Washington state association of counties and the Washington state association of county officials.
The county auditor or chief financial officer designated in a charter county shall set forth separately in the annual budget to be submitted to the county legislative authority the total amount of emergency warrants issued during the preceding fiscal year, together with a statement showing the amount issued for each emergency, and the legislative authority shall include in the annual tax levy, a levy sufficient to raise an amount equal to the total of such warrants: PROVIDED, That the legislative authority may fund the warrants or any part thereof into bonds instead of including them in the budget levy.
[ 2009 c 337 § 8. Prior: 1995 c 301 § 63; 1995 c 194 § 7; 1973 c 39 § 1; prior: 1971 ex.s. c 85 § 4; 1969 ex.s. c 252 § 1; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.040; prior: (i) 1923 c 164 § 2; RRS § 3997-2. (ii) 1925 ex.s. c 143 § 2, part; 1923 c 164 § 6, part; RRS § 3997-6, part.]



36.40.050
Revision by county commissioners.

The budget shall be submitted by the auditor or chief financial officer designated in a charter county to the board of county commissioners on or before the first Tuesday in September of each year. The board shall thereupon consider the same in detail, making any revisions or additions it deems advisable.
[ 2009 c 337 § 9; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.050. Prior: 1923 c 164 § 3, part; RRS § 3997-3, part.]



36.40.060
Notice of hearing on budget.

The county legislative authority shall then publish a notice stating that it has completed and placed on file its preliminary budget for the county for the ensuing fiscal year, a copy of which will be furnished any citizen who will call at its office for it, and that it will meet on the first Monday in October thereafter for the purpose of fixing the final budget and making tax levies, designating the time and place of the meeting, and that any taxpayer may appear thereat and be heard for or against any part of the budget. The notice shall be published once each week for two consecutive weeks immediately following adoption of the preliminary budget in the official newspaper of the county. The county legislative authority shall provide a sufficient number of copies of the detailed and comparative preliminary budget to meet the reasonable demands of taxpayers therefor and the same shall be available for distribution not later than two weeks immediately preceding the first Monday in October.
[ 1985 c 469 § 47; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.060. Prior: 1923 c 164 § 3, part; RRS § 3997-3, part.]



36.40.070
Budget hearing.

On the first Monday in October in each year the board of county commissioners shall meet at the time and place designated in the notice, whereat any taxpayer may appear and be heard for or against any part of the budget. The hearing may be continued from day to day until concluded but not to exceed a total of five days. The officials in charge of the several offices, departments, services, and institutions shall, at the time the estimates for their respective offices, departments, services or institutions are under consideration be called in and appear before such hearing by the board at the request of any taxpayer and may be questioned concerning such estimates by the commissioners or any taxpayer present.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.070. Prior: 1943 c 145 § 1, part; 1941 c 99 § 1, part; 1923 c 164 § 4, part; Rem. Supp. 1943 § 3997-4, part.]



36.40.071
Budget hearing—Alternate date for budget hearing.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the board of county commissioners may meet for the purpose of holding a budget hearing, provided for in RCW 36.40.070, on the first Monday in December. The board of county commissioners may also set other dates relating to the budget process, including but not limited to the dates set in RCW 36.40.010, 36.40.050, and 36.81.130 to conform to the alternate date for the budget hearing.



36.40.080
Final budget to be fixed.

Upon the conclusion of the budget hearing the county legislative authority shall fix and determine each item of the budget separately and shall by resolution adopt the budget as so finally determined and enter the same in detail in the official minutes of the board, a copy of which budget shall be forwarded to the state auditor.
[ 1995 c 301 § 64; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.080. Prior: 1943 c 145 § 1, part; 1941 c 99 § 1, part; 1923 c 164 § 4, part; Rem. Supp. 1943 § 3997-4, part.]



36.40.090
Taxes to be levied.

The board of county commissioners shall then fix the amount of the levies necessary to raise the amount of the estimated expenditures as finally determined, less the total of the estimated revenues from sources other than taxation, including such portion of any available surplus as in the discretion of the board it shall be advisable to so use, and such expenditures as are to be met from bond or warrant issues: PROVIDED, That no county shall retain an unbudgeted cash balance in the current expense fund in excess of a sum equal to the proceeds of a one dollar and twenty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value levy against the assessed valuation of the county. All taxes shall be levied in specific sums and shall not exceed the amount specified in the preliminary budget.
[ 1973 1st ex.s. c 195 § 33; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.090. Prior: 1943 c 145 § 1, part; 1941 c 99 § 1, part; 1923 c 164 § 4, part; Rem. Supp. 1943 § 3997-4, part.]
NOTES:
SeverabilityEffective datesConstruction1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.



36.40.100
Budget constitutes appropriations—Transfers—Supplemental appropriations.

The estimates of expenditures itemized and classified as required in RCW 36.40.040 and as finally fixed and adopted in detail by the board of county commissioners shall constitute the appropriations for the county for the ensuing fiscal year; and every county official shall be limited in the making of expenditures or the incurring of liabilities to the amount of the detailed appropriation items or classes respectively: PROVIDED, That upon a resolution formally adopted by the board at a regular or special meeting and entered upon the minutes, transfers or revisions within departments, or supplemental appropriations to the budget from unanticipated federal or state funds may be made: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the board shall publish notice of the time and date of the meeting at which the supplemental appropriations resolution will be adopted, and the amount of the appropriation, once each week, for two consecutive weeks prior to the meeting in the official newspaper of the county.
[ 1985 c 469 § 48; 1973 c 97 § 1; 1969 ex.s. c 252 § 2; 1965 ex.s. c 19 § 1; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.100. Prior: 1945 c 201 § 1, part; 1943 c 66 § 1, part; 1927 c 301 § 1, part; 1923 c 164 § 5, part; Rem. Supp. 1945 § 3997-5, part.]



36.40.120
Limitation on use of borrowed money.

Moneys received from borrowing shall be used for no other purpose than that for which borrowed except that if any surplus shall remain after the accomplishment of the purpose for which borrowed, it shall be used to redeem the county debt. Where the budget contains an expenditure program to be financed from a bond issue to be authorized thereafter no such expenditure shall be made or incurred until such bonds have been duly authorized.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.120. Prior: 1945 c 201 § 1, part; 1943 c 66 § 1, part; 1927 c 301 § 1, part; 1923 c 164 § 5, part; Rem. Supp. 1945 § 3997-5, part.]



36.40.130
Excess of expenditures, liability.

Expenditures made, liabilities incurred, or warrants issued in excess of any of the detailed budget appropriations or as revised by transfer as in RCW 36.40.100 or 36.40.120 provided shall not be a liability of the county, but the official making or incurring such expenditure or issuing such warrant shall be liable therefor personally and upon his or her official bond. The county auditor shall issue no warrant and the county commissioners shall approve no claim for any expenditure in excess of the detailed budget appropriations or as revised under the provisions of RCW 36.40.100 through 36.40.130, except upon an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or for emergencies as hereinafter provided.
[ 2009 c 337 § 10; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.130. Prior: 1945 c 201 § 1, part; 1943 c 66 § 1, part; 1927 c 301 § 1, part; 1923 c 164 § 5, part; Rem. Supp. 1945 § 3997-5, part.]



36.40.140
Emergencies subject to hearing.

When a public emergency, other than such as are specifically described in RCW 36.40.180, and which could not reasonably have been foreseen at the time of making the budget, requires the expenditure of money not provided for in the budget, the board of county commissioners by majority vote of the commissioners at any meeting the time and place of which all the commissioners have had reasonable notice, shall adopt and enter upon its minutes a resolution stating the facts constituting the emergency and the estimated amount of money required to meet it, and shall publish the same, together with a notice that a public hearing thereon will be held at the time and place designated therein, which shall not be less than one week after the date of publication, at which any taxpayer may appear and be heard for or against the expenditure of money for the alleged emergency. The resolution and notice shall be published once in the official county newspaper, or if there is none, in a legal newspaper in the county. Upon the conclusion of the hearing, if the board of county commissioners approves it, an order shall be made and entered upon its official minutes by a majority vote of all the members of the board setting forth the facts constituting the emergency, together with the amount of expenditure authorized, which order, so entered, shall be lawful authorization to expend said amount for such purpose unless a review is applied for within five days thereafter.
[ 1969 ex.s. c 185 § 3; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.140. Prior: 1925 ex.s. c 143 § 2, part; 1923 c 164 § 6, part; RRS § 3997-6, part.]



36.40.150
Emergencies subject to hearing—Right of taxpayer to review order.

No expenditure shall be made or liability incurred pursuant to the order until a period of five days, exclusive of the day of entry of the order, have elapsed, during which time any taxpayer or taxpayers of the county feeling aggrieved by the order may have the superior court of the county review it by filing with the clerk of such court a verified petition, a copy of which has been served upon the county auditor. The petition shall set forth in detail the objections of the petitioners to the order and the reasons why the alleged emergency does not exist.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.150. Prior: 1925 ex.s. c 143 § 2, part; 1923 c 164 § 6, part; RRS § 3997-6, part.]



36.40.160
Emergencies subject to hearing—Petition for review suspends order.

The service and filing of the petition shall operate to suspend the emergency order and the authority to make any expenditure or incur any liability thereunder until final determination of the matter by the court.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.160. Prior: 1925 ex.s. c 143 § 2, part; 1923 c 164 § 6, part; RRS § 3997-6, part.]



36.40.170
Emergencies subject to hearing—Court's power on review.

Upon the filing of a petition the court shall immediately fix a time for hearing it which shall be at the earliest convenient date. At such hearing the court shall hear the matter de novo and may take such testimony as it deems necessary. Its proceedings shall be summary and informal and its determination as to whether an emergency such as is contemplated within the meaning and purpose of this chapter exists or not and whether the expenditure authorized by said order is excessive or not shall be final.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.170. Prior: 1925 ex.s. c 143 § 2, part; 1923 c 164 § 6, part; RRS § 3997-6, part.]



36.40.180
Emergencies subject to hearing—Nondebatable emergencies.

Upon the happening of any emergency caused by fire, flood, explosion, storm, earthquake, epidemic, riot, or insurrection, or for the immediate preservation of order or of public health or for the restoration to a condition of usefulness of any public property the usefulness of which has been destroyed by accident, or for the relief of a stricken community overtaken by a calamity, or in settlement of approved claims for personal injuries or property damages, exclusive of claims arising from the operation of any public utility owned by the county, or to meet mandatory expenditures required by any law, the board of county commissioners may, upon the adoption by the unanimous vote of the commissioners present at any meeting the time and place of which all of such commissioners have had reasonable notice, of a resolution stating the facts constituting the emergency and entering the same upon their minutes, make the expenditures necessary to meet such emergency without further notice or hearing.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.180. Prior: 1925 ex.s. c 143 § 2, part; 1923 c 164 § 6, part; RRS § 3997-6, part.]



36.40.190
Payment of emergency warrants.

All emergency expenditures shall be paid for by the issuance of emergency warrants which shall be paid from any moneys on hand in the county treasury in the fund properly chargeable therewith and the county treasurer shall pay such warrants out of any moneys in the treasury in such fund. If at any time there are insufficient moneys on hand in the treasury to pay any of such warrants, they shall be registered, bear interest and be called in the manner provided by law for other county warrants.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.190. Prior: 1925 ex.s. c 143 § 2, part; 1923 c 164 § 6, part; RRS § 3997-6, part.]



36.40.195
Supplemental appropriations of unanticipated funds from local sources.

In addition to the supplemental appropriations provided in RCW 36.40.100 and 36.40.140, the county legislative authority may provide by resolution a policy for supplemental appropriations as a result of unanticipated funds from local revenue sources.



36.40.200
Lapse of budget appropriations.

All appropriations shall lapse at the end of the fiscal year: PROVIDED, That the appropriation accounts may remain open for a period of thirty days, and may, at the auditor's discretion, remain open for a period not to exceed sixty days thereafter for the payment of claims incurred against such appropriations prior to the close of the fiscal year.
After such period has expired all appropriations shall become null and void and any claim presented thereafter against any such appropriation shall be provided for in the next ensuing budget: PROVIDED, That this shall not prevent payments upon uncompleted improvements in progress at the close of the fiscal year.
[ 1997 c 204 § 2; 1963 c 4 § 36.40.200. Prior: 1925 ex.s. c 143 § 2, part; 1923 c 164 § 6, part; RRS § 3997-6, part.]



36.40.205
Salary adjustment for county legislative authority office—Ratification and validation of preelection action.

If prior to the election for any county legislative authority office, a salary adjustment for such position to become effective upon the commencement of the term next following such election is adopted by ordinance or resolution of the legislative authority of such county, and a salary adjustment coinciding with such preceding ordinance or resolution thereof is properly adopted as part of the county budget for the years following such election, such action shall be deemed a continuing part of and shall ratify and validate the preelection action as to such salary adjustment.



36.40.210
Monthly report.

On or before the twenty-fifth day of each month the auditor shall submit or make available to the board of county commissioners a report showing the expenditures and liabilities against each separate budget appropriation incurred during the preceding calendar month and like information for the whole of the current fiscal year to the first day of said month, together with the unexpended and unencumbered balance of each appropriation. He or she shall also set forth the receipts from taxes and from sources other than taxation for the same periods.



36.40.220
Rules, classifications, and forms.

The state auditor may make such rules, classifications, and forms as may be necessary to carry out the provisions in respect to county budgets, define what expenditures shall be chargeable to each budget account, and establish such accounting and cost systems as may be necessary to provide accurate budget information.



36.40.230
No new funds created.

This chapter shall not be construed to create any new fund.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.230. Prior: 1923 c 164 § 9; RRS § 3997-9.]



36.40.240
Penalty.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars.
[ 1963 c 4 § 36.40.240. Prior: 1923 c 164 § 10; RRS § 3997-10.]



36.40.250
Biennial budgets—Supplemental and emergency budgets.

In lieu of adopting an annual budget, the county legislative authority of any county may adopt an ordinance or a resolution providing for biennial budgets with a mid-biennium review and modification for the second year of the biennium. The county legislative authority may repeal such an ordinance or resolution and revert to adopting annual budgets for a period commencing after the end of a biennial budget cycle. The county legislative authority of a county with a biennial budget cycle may adopt supplemental and emergency budgets in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the county legislative authority in a county with an annual budget cycle.
The procedure and steps for adopting a biennial budget shall conform with the procedure and steps for adopting an annual budget and with requirements established by the state auditor. The state auditor shall establish requirements for preparing and adopting the mid-biennium review and modification for the second year of the biennium.
Expenditures included in the biennial budget, mid-term modification budget, supplemental budget, or emergency budget shall constitute the appropriations for the county during the applicable period of the budget and every county official shall be limited in making expenditures or incurring liabilities to the amount of the detailed appropriation item or classes in the budget.
In lieu of adopting an annual budget or a biennial budget with a mid-biennium review for all funds, the legislative authority of any county may adopt an ordinance or a resolution providing for a biennial budget or budgets for any one or more funds of the county, with a mid-biennium review and modification for the second year of the biennium, with the other funds remaining on an annual budget. The county legislative authority may repeal such an ordinance or resolution and revert to adopting annual budgets for a period commencing after the end of the biennial budget or biennial budgets for the specific agency fund or funds. The county legislative authority of a county with a biennial budget cycle may adopt supplemental and emergency budgets in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the county legislative authority in a county with an annual budget cycle.
The county legislative authority shall hold a public hearing on the proposed county property taxes and proposed road district property taxes prior to imposing the property tax levies.
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