458-19-040  <<  458-19-045 >>   458-19-050

Levy limitRemoval of limit (lid lift).

(1) Introduction. The levy limit may be exceeded when authorized by a majority of the voters voting on a proposition to "lift the lid" of the levy limit in accordance with RCW 84.55.050. This "lid lift" is intended to allow the levy limit to be exceeded for the levy made immediately following the vote on the proposition. The purpose of the lid lift is to allow additional property taxes to be collected at a time when the levy limit in chapter 84.55 RCW is the effective legal constraint to the collection of additional property taxes. Lid lifts may result in increasing the limit factor for one year or up to six consecutive years. The result of the limit factor increase can temporarily or permanently impact subsequent levy limit calculations. The requirements for the text of a ballot title and measure differ depending on whether the levy limit will be exceeded for a single year or multiple years, up to six consecutive years. This rule explains the procedures for implementing a lid lift ballot measure when a taxing district wants to ask its voters for the authority to exceed the levy limit.
(2) Election for approval of lid lift proposition—when held. The election to approve a lid lift proposition must be held within the taxing district and may be held at the time of a general election, or at a special election called by the governing body of the taxing district for that purpose. The election must be held not more than twelve months prior to the date the proposed levy is to be made. For purposes of this rule, a levy is "made" when the taxing district's budget is certified. The ballot title and measure proposing the lid lift are prepared by the county prosecutor or city attorney, as applicable, in accordance with RCW 29A.36.071. RCW 29A.36.071 requires a ballot title to include a concise description of the measure, not to exceed seventy-five words. A simple majority vote is required for approval of a lid lift.
(3) Single year lid lift. A "single year lid lift" allows a taxing district to increase its levy by more than one percent over its highest lawful levy since 1986 for one year. The text of a ballot title and measure for a single year lid lift must contain the following:
(a) The dollar rate of the proposed levy so that it reflects the total dollar rate for the taxing district, which may be less than the maximum statutory dollar rate allowed for the particular class of taxing district;
(b) Any of the following limitations that are applicable:
(i) The number of years the increased levy is to be made by the taxing district; however, if one of the purposes of the increased levy is to make redemption payments on bonds of the taxing district, the duration of the increased levy cannot exceed nine years; and/or
(ii) The purpose or purposes of the increased levy; and
(iii) Whether the dollar amount of the increased levy will be used for the purpose of computing the limitations for subsequent levies and thereby permanently increase the taxing district's levy base.
(4) Multiple year lid lift. A "multiple year lid lift" allows a taxing district to increase its levy by more than one percent over its highest lawful levy since 1986 for up to six consecutive years.
(a) The text of a ballot title and measure for a multiple year lid lift must contain the following:
(i) The dollar rate of the first year's proposed levy so that it reflects the total dollar rate for the taxing district, which may be less than the maximum statutory dollar rate allowed for the particular class of taxing district;
(ii) The limit factor, or specific index used to determine the limit factor (such as the consumer price index), which need not be the same for all years, by which the regular tax levy for the district may be increased in each of the subsequent consecutive years;
(iii) Any of the following limitations that are applicable:
(A) The number of years the increased levy is to be made by the taxing district; however, if one of the purposes of the increased levy is to make redemption payments on bonds of the taxing district, the duration of the increased levy cannot exceed nine years;
(B) The purpose or purposes of the increased levy; and
(C) Whether the dollar amount of the increased levy will be used for the purpose of computing the limitations for subsequent levies and thereby permanently increase the taxing district's levy base.
(b) Supplanting of existing funds.
(i) Except as otherwise provided in (b) of this subsection, funds raised by a levy under this section may not supplant existing funds used for the limited purpose specified in the ballot title. For purposes of (b) of this subsection, existing funds means the actual operating expenditures for the calendar year in which the ballot measure is approved by voters. Actual operating expenditures excludes lost federal funds, lost or expired state grants or loans, extraordinary events not likely to reoccur, changes in contract provisions beyond the control of the taxing district receiving the services, and major nonrecurring capital expenditures.
(ii) In counties with a population of less than one million five hundred thousand, funds raised through a lid lift can be used to supplant existing funds beginning with levies submitted and approved by the voters after July 26, 2009.
(iii) In counties with a population of one million five hundred thousand or more, funds raised through a lid lift can be used to supplant existing funds for levies approved by the voters between July 26, 2009, and December 31, 2011.
(5) Permanent lid lift. A permanent lid lift occurs when the ballot title and ballot measure expressly state that the levy will be used for the purpose of computing the limitations for subsequent levies as provided in subsection (3)(a)(iii) and (4)(a)(iii)(C) of this section. Approval of a permanent lid lift permanently increases the base used to calculate the levy limit.
(a) The first regular levy of a taxing district made after voter approval of a permanent lid lift proposition is calculated on the basis of the dollar rate stated in the ballot title, but that dollar rate is subject to the constitutional one percent limit and the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit and any applicable prorationing.
(b) The levy limit on regular levies of a taxing district made subsequent to the first regular levy made after voter approval of a permanent lid lift proposition is calculated by multiplying the highest amount that could have been lawfully levied since 1985, including the dollar amount of the regular levy calculated in accordance with (a) of this subsection by the limit factor.
(6) Temporary lid lift. If the ballot title and ballot measure do not expressly indicate that the final levy will be used for the purpose of computing subsequent levies, the levy increase is presumed temporary.
(a) The first regular levy of a taxing district made after voter approval of a temporary lid lift proposition is calculated on the basis of the dollar rate stated in the ballot title, but that dollar rate is subject to the constitutional one percent limit and the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit and any applicable prorationing.
(b) The levy limit on regular levies of a taxing district made subsequent to the first regular levy made after voter approval of a temporary lid lift proposition is calculated by multiplying the highest amount that could have been lawfully levied since 1985, including the dollar amount of the regular levy calculated in accordance with (a) of this subsection by the limit factor.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.48.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, 84.55.060. WSR 14-14-023, § 458-19-045, filed 6/23/14, effective 7/24/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.48.080, 84.55.060, 84.52.0502, chapters 84.52 and 84.55 RCW, and RCW 34.05.230(1). WSR 02-24-015, § 458-19-045, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-045, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]
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