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Chapter 458-19 WAC

Last Update: 1/23/19

PROPERTY TAX LEVIES, RATES, AND LIMITS

WAC Sections

HTMLPDF458-19-005Definitions.
HTMLPDF458-19-010Levy limit and levy rate calculations.
HTMLPDF458-19-020Levy limit—Method of calculation.
HTMLPDF458-19-025Restoration of regular levy.
HTMLPDF458-19-030Levy limit—Consolidation of districts.
HTMLPDF458-19-035Levy limit—Annexation.
HTMLPDF458-19-040Levy limit—Newly formed taxing district.
HTMLPDF458-19-045Levy limit—Removal of limit (lid lift).
HTMLPDF458-19-050Port district levies.
HTMLPDF458-19-05001Port district levies for industrial development district purposes.
HTMLPDF458-19-055Levy limit—Proration of earmarked funds.
HTMLPDF458-19-060Emergency medical service levy.
HTMLPDF458-19-065Levy limit—Protection of future levy capacity.
HTMLPDF458-19-070Five dollars and ninety cents statutory aggregate limit calculation.
HTMLPDF458-19-075Constitutional one percent limit calculation.
HTMLPDF458-19-080City annexed by fire protection and/or library districts.
HTMLPDF458-19-085Refunds—Procedures—Applicable limits.
HTMLPDF458-19-090Fire protection district formation—Cities and towns—Highest lawful levy.
HTMLPDF458-19-550State levy—Apportionment between counties.
DISPOSITION OF SECTIONS FORMERLY CODIFIED IN THIS TITLE
458-19-015Assessor to determine one hundred six percent levy limit—Exceptions. [Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-015, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.] Repealed by WSR 02-24-015, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. 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).


PDF458-19-005

Definitions.

(1) Introduction. This rule contains definitions of the terms used throughout chapters 84.52 and 84.55 RCW and chapter 458-19 WAC in the administration of the system used to levy property taxes on taxable property within the state of Washington.
(2) Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Annexation" means one taxing district is adding territory or another dissimilar taxing district from outside the annexing taxing district's boundary and includes a merger of a portion of a fire protection district under chapter 52.06 RCW with another fire protection district.
(b) "Assessed value" means the value of taxable property placed on the assessment rolls. The term is often abbreviated with the initials "A.V."
(c) "Certified property tax levy rate" means the tax rate calculated by the county assessor in accordance with law to produce the lawful amount of the certified property tax levy.
(d) "Consolidated levy rate" means:
(i) For purposes of the statutory aggregate dollar rate levy limit, the sum of all regular levy rates set for collection exclusive of rates set for the state levy, port, public utility districts, financing affordable housing for very low-income households under RCW 84.52.105, acquiring conservation futures under RCW 84.34.230, criminal justice purposes under RCW 84.52.135, emergency medical care or emergency medical services under RCW 84.52.069, county ferry districts under RCW 36.54.130, the portions of the fire protection and regional fire protection service authority levies protected under RCW 84.52.125, the portion of metropolitan park district levies protected under RCW 84.52.120, transit-related purposes under RCW 84.52.140, the protected portion of the levies imposed under RCW 84.52.816 by flood control zone districts, and levies imposed by a regional transit authority under RCW 81.104.175; and
(ii) For purposes of the constitutional one percent limit, the sum of all regular levy rates set for collection exclusive of rates set for port and public utility districts.
(e) "Consolidation" means the act of combining two or more similar taxing districts into one taxing district; for example, the combination of two fire protection districts into one fire protection district.
(f) "Constitutional one percent limit" means the levy limit established by Article VII, section 2 of the state Constitution, which prohibits the aggregate of all tax levies on real and personal property from exceeding one percent ($10 per $1,000) of the true and fair value of property. This limit does not apply to excess levies, levies by port districts, and levies by public utility districts. This limit is also set forth in RCW 84.52.050.
(g) "Department" means the department of revenue of the state of Washington.
(h) "Excess property tax levy" or "excess levy" means a voter-approved property tax levy by or for a taxing district, other than a port or public utility district, that is subject to neither the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit set forth in RCW 84.52.043 nor the constitutional one percent limit set forth in Article VII, section 2 of the state Constitution and in RCW 84.52.050. It does not include regular levies allowed to exceed the levy limit with voter approval.
(i) "Improvement" means any valuable change in or addition to real property, including the subdivision or segregation of parcels of real property or the merger of parcels of real property.
(j) "Inflation" means the percentage change in the implicit price deflator for personal consumption expenditures for the United States as published for the most recent twelve-month period by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Federal Department of Commerce by September 25th of the year before the taxes are payable; see RCW 84.55.005.
(k) "Joint taxing district" means a taxing district that exists in two or more counties; the term does not include the state nor does it include an intercounty rural library district.
(l) "Junior taxing district" means a taxing district other than the state, a county, a county road district, a city, a town, a port district, or a public utility district.
(m) "Levy limit" means:
(i) The statutorily established limit that prohibits a taxing district, other than the state, from levying regular property taxes for a particular year that exceed the limit factor multiplied by the highest amount of regular property taxes that could have been lawfully levied in the taxing district in any year since 1985, plus an additional dollar amount calculated by multiplying the regular property tax levy rate of that district for the preceding year, or the last year the taxing district levied taxes, by the increase in assessed value in the taxing district resulting from:
(A) New construction;
(B) Improvements to property;
(C) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property; and
(D) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property.
(ii) For purposes of the levy limit, the phrase "highest amount of regular property taxes that could have been lawfully levied" means the maximum amount that could have been levied by a taxing district under the limitation set forth in chapter 84.55 RCW unless the highest amount that could have been levied was actually restricted by the taxing district's statutory dollar rate limit. If the taxing district's levy was restricted by the statutory dollar rate limit, the highest amount that could have been lawfully levied is the amount produced by multiplying the assessed value of the taxing district by the statutory dollar rate.
(iii) For purposes of the levy limit, the regular property tax levy rate of the district for the preceding year, or the last year the taxing district levied taxes, may reflect a reduced rate due to the $5.90 statutory aggregate limitation and/or the constitutional one percent limitation, if prorating occurred in the district.
The regular property tax levy rate of the district for the preceding year may also reflect a levy error or a levy error correction. If this occurs, the rate used will be the rate had the levy error or levy error correction not occurred. RCW 84.52.085.
(iv) The levy limit for the state is the amount calculated under WAC 458-19-550.
(n) "Levy rate" means the dollar amount per thousand dollars of assessed value applied to taxable property within a taxing district and is calculated by dividing the total amount of a statutorily authorized levy of a taxing district by the total assessed value of that district and is expressed in dollars and cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.
(o) "Limit factor" means:
(i) For taxing districts with a population of less than ten thousand in the calendar year immediately prior to the assessment year, one hundred one percent;
(ii) For taxing districts, other than the state, having made a finding of substantial need in accordance with RCW 84.55.0101, the lesser of the substantial need factor or one hundred one percent;
(iii) For all other taxing districts, excluding the state, the lesser of one hundred one percent or one hundred percent plus inflation; or
(iv) For the state, the limits described in WAC 458-19-550.
(p) "New construction" means the construction or alteration of any property for which a building permit was issued, or should have been issued, under chapter 19.27, 19.27A, or 19.28 RCW or other laws providing for building permits, which results in an increase in the value of the property.
(q) "Regular property tax levy" or "regular levy" means a property tax levy by or for a taxing district that is subject to the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit set forth in RCW 84.52.043, the constitutional one percent limit set forth in RCW 84.52.050, or is a levy imposed by or for a port district or a public utility district.
(r) "Regular property taxes" means those taxes resulting from regular property tax levies.
(s) "Senior taxing district" means the state (for support of common schools), a county, a county road district, a city, or a town.
(t) "Statutory aggregate dollar rate limit" or "statutory aggregate limit" means the maximum aggregate regular property tax levy rate within a county established by law for senior and junior taxing districts, other than the state. The current limit is $5.90 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. See RCW 84.52.043 and WAC 458-19-070.
(u) "Substantial need limit factor" means a limit factor approved by a taxing district's legislative authority that exceeds one hundred percent plus inflation. This limit cannot exceed one hundred one percent.
(v) "Statutory dollar rate limit" means the maximum regular property tax levy rate established by law for a particular type of taxing district.
(w) "Super majority" means a majority of at least three-fifths of the registered voters of a taxing district approving a proposition authorizing a levy, at which election the number of persons voting "yes" on the proposition constitutes three-fifths of a number equal to forty percent of the total votes cast in the taxing district in the last preceding general election; or by a majority of at least three-fifths of the registered voters of the taxing district voting on the proposition when the number of registered voters voting on the proposition exceeds forty percent of the total votes cast in the taxing district in the last preceding general election.
(x) "Tax code area" means a geographical area made up of one or more taxing districts, which is established for the purpose of properly calculating, collecting, and distributing taxes. Only one tax code area will have the same combination of taxing districts, with limited exceptions.
(y) "Taxing district" means the state and any county, city, town, port district, school district, road district, metropolitan park district, regional transit authority, water-sewer district, or other municipal corporation, having the power or legal authority to impose burdens upon property within the district on an ad valorem basis, for the purpose of obtaining revenue for public purposes, as distinguished from municipal corporations authorized to impose burdens, or for which burdens may be imposed for public purposes, on property in proportion to the increase in benefits received.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.52.0502 and 84.55.060. WSR 18-14-095, § 458-19-005, filed 7/3/18, effective 8/3/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-005, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.52.010, 84.52.043, and 84.52.0502. WSR 06-02-008, § 458-19-005, filed 12/22/05, effective 1/22/06. 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, § 458-19-005, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-005, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-010

Levy limit and levy rate calculations.

(1) Introduction. This rule explains two of the basic steps in the levy setting process. First, who determines the levy limit for all taxing districts and second, who calculates the levy rate for the various taxing districts.
(2) Who determines the levy limit? The assessor generally determines the levy limit for all taxing districts levying regular property taxes. However, the levy limit for joint taxing districts, intercounty rural library districts, and the state is determined as follows:
(a) Joint taxing districts. The levy limit for joint taxing districts is determined by the assessor of the county in which the greatest amount of assessed value of the joint taxing district is located;
(b) Intercounty rural library districts. The levy limit for intercounty rural library districts is determined by the board of trustees of the intercounty rural library district in consultation with the assessors of the counties served by the district; and
(c) State levy. The levy limit for the state is determined by the department. Additional information regarding the levy limit for the state can be found in WAC 458-19-550.
(3) Who sets levy rates? The assessor generally calculates the property tax levy rate necessary to collect the amount of taxes levied by or for each taxing district, including the state, within the limitations provided by law. However, the levy rate for joint taxing districts and intercounty rural library districts is calculated as follows:
(a) Joint taxing districts. The assessor of the county in which the greatest amount of assessed value of the joint taxing district is located calculates the levy rate; and
(b) Intercounty rural library districts. The board of trustees of an intercounty rural library district calculates the levy rate for the intercounty rural library district in consultation with the assessors of the counties served by the district and certifies that rate to the respective county legislative authorities.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.52.0502 and 84.55.060. WSR 18-14-095, § 458-19-010, filed 7/3/18, effective 8/3/18. 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, § 458-19-010, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-010, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-020

Levy limitMethod of calculation.

(1) Introduction. This rule explains the general method used to calculate the levy limit for regular property tax levies for taxing districts, other than the state, in accordance with RCW 84.55.092 and 84.55.120. Except for the state levy, the same method is generally used to calculate the amount of regular property taxes that can be levied by a taxing district in any year. This rule also describes what occurs when a taxing district makes a finding of substantial need in accordance with RCW 84.55.0101 to use a limit factor in excess of one hundred percent plus inflation. This rule does not attempt to include all special circumstances, such as the reduction in the levy limit for cities and towns that form a fire protection district under RCW 52.02.160, which may affect the applicable limit under chapter 84.55 RCW.
(2) Increase in tax revenues - Ordinance or resolution required. The following describes the ordinance or resolution required by taxing districts when requesting increases in tax revenues.
(a) Except by holding a public hearing and adopting an ordinance or resolution, no taxing district, other than the state, may authorize an increase in property tax revenue, other than one resulting from an increase in assessed value of the district attributable to:
(i) New construction;
(ii) Improvements to property;
(iii) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property; and
(iv) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property.
(b) The ordinance or resolution may cover a period of up to two years, but the ordinance or resolution must specifically state for each year the dollar increase and percentage change in the levy from the previous year. The dollar increase and percentage change should reflect everything included in the levy limit and should not reflect anything excluded under chapter 84.55 RCW (such as, but not limited to, a levy for property tax refunds paid under the provisions of chapter 84.68 or 84.69 RCW).
(c) A majority of the legislative authority of a taxing district must approve the ordinance or resolution authorizing an increase in the taxing district's levy as calculated in subsection (3) of this rule.
(d) Upon making a finding of substantial need to increase its levy by an amount greater than the rate of inflation, the legislative authority of a taxing district may adopt a second ordinance or resolution establishing a limit factor greater than one hundred percent plus inflation. But the substantial need limit factor can never exceed one hundred one percent.
(i) In districts with legislative authorities of four members or less, two-thirds of the members must approve an ordinance or resolution supporting a substantial need to increase the limit factor.
(ii) In districts with more than four members, a majority plus one must approve an ordinance or resolution supporting a substantial need to increase the limit factor.
(3) Calculation of levy limit for all taxing districts other than the state. The amount of regular property taxes that can be levied by a taxing district, other than the state, in any year is limited to an amount that will not exceed the amount resulting from the following calculation, except as otherwise provided by statute:
(a) The highest amount that could have been lawfully levied by the taxing district in any year since 1985 for 1986 collection, multiplied by the limit factor; plus
(b) A dollar amount calculated by multiplying the regular property tax levy rate of the district for the preceding year, or the last year the taxing district levied taxes, by the increase in assessed value of the district resulting from:
(i) New construction;
(ii) Improvements to property;
(iii) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property; and
(iv) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property.
(4) Calculation of levy limit for the state levy. The levy limit for the state is calculated according to WAC 458-19-550.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.52.0502 and 84.55.060. WSR 18-14-095, § 458-19-020, filed 7/3/18, effective 8/3/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-020, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. 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, § 458-19-020, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-020, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-025

Restoration of regular levy.

(1) Introduction. This rule explains how a taxing district restores a regular property tax levy if it has not levied since 1985 and it elects to restore a regular property tax levy in accordance with RCW 84.55.015.
(2) Calculation of restored regular levy. If a taxing district has not levied since 1985 and it elects to restore a regular property tax levy, the first regular property tax payable as a result of the restored levy cannot exceed the lesser of:
(a) The combination of the following:
(i) The amount last levied plus,
(ii) A dollar amount calculated by multiplying the property tax levy rate which is proposed to be restored, by the increase in assessed value in the district since the last levy resulting from:
(A) New construction;
(B) Improvements to property;
(C) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property; and
(D) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property.
The levy rate that is proposed to be restored is determined by dividing the total dollar amount that was last levied by the district by the current year's assessed value after deducting the accumulated assessed values attributable to (A) through (D) of this subsection; or
(b) The maximum amount which could be lawfully levied by that district in the year the restored levy is proposed, subject to the statutory dollar rate limit contained in the taxing district's authorizing statute, without considering the calculation used in subsection (2)(a) of this rule.
(3) Example. Taxing district "A" has not levied a regular levy since 1985 when it levied $10,000 based upon 1985 assessed values and all lawful limitations at that time. The total increase since the 1985 assessment year in assessed value of property in the district as a result of new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities beginning in 1986 through the current assessment year is $3,000,000. The assessed value of taxing district "A" for the current year is $15,000,000. The calculation for subsection (2)(a) of this rule is as follows:
Current year A.V. -
$15,000,000
Minus increases in new construction, improvements to property, etc., since 1985 -
- 3,000,000
 
$12,000,000
Amount levied in 1985 -
$10,000
Current year A.V. less increases in new
construction, improvements to property, etc., -
÷ $12,000,000
Levy rate proposed to be restored -
.000833
Increases in new construction, improvements to property, etc., -
x $3,000,000
Calculated dollar amount -
$2,500
Allowable 1985 levy -
+ 10,000
Allowable levy for current year (under subsection (2)(a) of this rule) -
$12,500
The amount calculated under subsection (2)(a) of this rule must be compared to the amount determined under subsection (2)(b) of this rule and the lesser of the two amounts is the maximum amount that can be levied.
(4) Assessor to maintain taxing district records. Records of value increases attributable to new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities are to be maintained each year by the county assessor for each taxing district whether or not the district imposes a regular property tax levy.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-025, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. 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, § 458-19-025, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-025, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-030

Levy limitConsolidation of districts.

(1) Introduction. This rule describes the method used to calculate the first levy for a taxing district created by the consolidation of similar taxing districts in accordance with RCW 84.55.020.
(2) Calculation of the first levy of a consolidated taxing district. The first regular property tax levy made by a taxing district, created by the consolidation of two or more similar taxing districts, cannot exceed:
(a) The sum of the product of the limit factor multiplied by the highest amount of regular property taxes lawfully levied by each of the component districts during the three most recent years in which taxes were levied; plus
(b) The sum of each of the amounts calculated by multiplying the regular property tax levy rate of each of the component districts for the preceding year by the increase in assessed value in each component district resulting from:
(i) New construction;
(ii) Improvements to property;
(iii) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property; and
(iv) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property.
(3) Example. Taxing district "A" and taxing district "B" consolidate, becoming one taxing district. The highest amount of regular property taxes lawfully levied by district "A" during the three most recent years is $100,000. The highest amount of regular property taxes lawfully levied by district "B" during the three most recent years is $150,000. The increase in assessed value due to new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities in district "A" since the year prior to consolidation was $600,000. The increase in assessed value due to new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities in district "B" since the year prior to consolidation was $900,000. The regular property tax rate for district "A" in the year prior to consolidation was $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The regular property tax rate for district "B" in the year prior to consolidation was $0.45 per $1,000 of assessed value. Assume the limit factor for this example is 101% because it is the lesser of one hundred one percent and one hundred percent plus the rate of inflation. The maximum amount of regular property taxes that can be levied in the year of consolidation, for taxes payable the following year, by the new consolidated taxing district is calculated as follows:
 
Highest regular levy
District "A" -
 
$100,000
 
 
 
District "B" -
 
150,000
 
 
 
Total -
 
$250,000
x 1.01 = $252,500
Increases in assessed value multiplied by levy rate:
District "A" - $600,000 x $0.50 ÷ $1,000
= $300
District "B" - $900,000 x $0.45 ÷ $1,000
= $405
 
 
 
 
 
$705
Maximum regular property taxes that can be levied in the year of consolidation, payable in the year following consolidation:
$252,500 + $705 = $253,205
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-030, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. 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, § 458-19-030, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-030, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-035

Levy limitAnnexation.

(1) Introduction. One taxing district may annex territory or another dissimilar taxing district from outside the annexing taxing district's boundary. This rule sets forth the method used to calculate the first regular property tax levy made after a taxing district has annexed territory or a dissimilar taxing district in accordance with RCW 84.55.030 and 84.55.110. This rule also explains what occurs when the department of natural resources (DNR) discontinues forest fire patrol assessments on parcels of forest land.
(2) Increase in territory due to annexation. The first regular property tax levy of a taxing district after it annexes territory or a dissimilar taxing district cannot exceed the amount calculated as follows:
(a) Multiply the highest amount of regular property taxes that could have been lawfully levied since 1985 for 1986 collection, of the annexing district as though no annexation had occurred, by the limit factor as defined in RCW 84.55.005 and WAC 458-19-005;
(b) Multiply the regular property tax levy rate of the annexing district for the preceding year by the increase in assessed value in the annexing district resulting from:
(i) New construction;
(ii) Improvements to property;
(iii) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property; and
(iv) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property; and
(c) Multiply the current year assessed value of the annexed territory or district by the levy rate that would have been used for the current year by the annexing district had there been no annexation. To calculate the levy rate that would have been used for the current year by the annexing district, divide the regular levy limit of the annexing district by the current assessed value of the annexing district, excluding the annexed area.
(d) Add together the result of each of the calculations set forth in subsection (2)(a), (b), and (c) of this rule to determine the maximum amount of the first regular levy of a taxing district after annexation.
(3) Example. Following is an example of the calculations prescribed in subsection (2) of this rule. Taxing district "A" annexes a portion of taxing district "B" that takes effect before August 1st in 2014. The highest amount of regular property taxes that could have been levied by district "A" since 1985 for 1986 collection is $100,000. The increase in assessed value from 2013 to 2014 in district "A" due to new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities is $700,000. The levy rate for district "A" for 2013 was $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The 2014 levy rate for district "A," had there been no annexation, would have been $0.48 per $1,000 of assessed value. The 2014 assessed value of the portion of taxing district "B" that was annexed by taxing district "A" is $5,000,000, which includes the value of new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities. Assume the levy limit for this example is 101% because it is the lesser of one hundred one percent and one hundred percent plus the rate of inflation. The first regular levy by taxing district "A" after annexation cannot exceed the amount calculated as follows:
District "A" highest levy since 1985 -
$100,000
 
x 1.01
 
$101,000
A.V. of new construction* in district "A" -
$700,000
District "A" levy rate for 2013 -
x 0.50
 
$350,000
Divide by $1,000 -
÷ 1,000
Levy amount for new construction -
$350
2014 A.V. of annexed portion of district "B" -
$5,000,000
District "A" levy rate that would have been used in 2014, absent annexation -
x 0.48
$2,400,000
Divide by $1,000 -
÷ 1,000
Levy amount for annexed part of district "B" -
$2,400
 
$101,000
 
350
 
+ 2,400
Maximum levy amount for district "A" after annexation -
$103,750
* For purposes of this example, "new construction" also includes improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities.
(4) Loss of territory due to annexation. When a taxing district loses a portion of its territory as a result of annexation to another district, the levy limit for the taxing district that loses part of its territory is calculated by multiplying the highest amount that could have been lawfully levied by that taxing district since 1985 for 1986 collection by the limit factor as defined in RCW 84.55.005 and WAC 458-19-005. However, only the increase in assessed value from the preceding year, attributable to new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities that occurred in the remaining territory of the taxing district is added to the amount determined, to calculate the levy limit. Except for voter approval of an excess levy, the levy rate cannot exceed the statutory dollar rate limit for that type of taxing district.
(5) Forest fire patrol protection assessments discontinued by DNR - Effect. If an owner of forest land within a forest protection zone neglects or fails to provide adequate fire protection as required by RCW 76.04.600, DNR will provide this protection and impose an annual assessment on each parcel of forest land in accordance with RCW 76.04.610. When DNR discontinues the forest fire patrol assessment by dissolving the forest protection assessment areas and an existing fire district assumes protection services and property tax levying authority for this unimproved land within its existing boundaries, the assessed value of the fire district will increase and effectively be an annexation for property tax purposes. In order to be included in the assessed value of the fire district, all details of the dissolution and annexation must be completed and the county assessor's office must receive formal notice from the fire district and DNR prior to August 1st of the assessment year. This notice must specify the forest fire patrol assessment areas being dissolved, the fire district(s) assuming the levying and fire protection responsibilities, and the forest land impacted by the change.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-035, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. 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, § 458-19-035, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-035, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-040

Levy limit—Newly formed taxing district.

(1) Introduction. This rule explains how the levy limit is determined for any taxing district that is created by means other than by consolidation or annexation.
(2) RCW 84.55.035 specifically states that the first regular levy made by a newly formed taxing district created other than by consolidation or annexation is not subject to the levy limit set forth in chapter 84.55 RCW. The newly formed taxing district may levy up to the lesser of the statutory dollar rate limit for that class of district, or the amount approved by the voters when the district was formed, subject to the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit and the constitutional one percent limit. The second regular levy by the district and all subsequent regular levies are subject to the levy limit or, if applicable, the limit described in WAC 458-19-025 regarding the restoration of a regular property tax levy.
[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, § 458-19-040, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-040, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-045

Levy limitRemoval of limit (lid lift).

(1) Introduction. 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) Definitions. The definitions in WAC 458-19-005 apply to this rule.
(3) Lid lift - Purpose. The purpose of a 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 increasing property taxes. A 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 as described in 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. Lid lifts may result in increasing the limit factor, as defined in WAC 458-19-005, 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.
(4) 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 not be held 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. 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. A simple majority vote is required for approval of a lid lift.
(5) 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 1985 for 1986 collection, for one year.
(6) Ballot title and measure - Single year lid lift. 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; and
(b) Any of the following conditions 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, except for taxes levied for collection in 2018 and thereafter in Thurston County, the period for which the increased levies are made may not exceed twenty-five years;
(ii) The purpose or purposes of the increased levy;
(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; and
(iv) Whether the increase in regular property taxes by a county or city resulting from the approval of the lid lift will not apply to property exempt under the senior citizens and disabled persons property tax exemption in RCW 84.36.381.
(7) 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 1985 for 1986 collection, for up to six consecutive years.
(a) Ballot title and measure. 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 is not required to 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) The limited purposes for which the proposed annual increases will be used; and
(iv) Any of the following conditions 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, except for taxes levied for collection in 2018 and thereafter in Thurston County, the period for which the increased levies are made may not exceed twenty-five years;
(B) The purpose or purposes of the increased levy;
(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; and
(D) Whether the increase in regular property taxes by a county or city resulting from the approval of the lid lift will not apply to property exempt under the senior citizens and disabled persons property tax exemption in RCW 84.36.381.
(b) Supplanting of existing funds.
(i) Except as otherwise provided in (b) of this subsection, funds raised by a levy under this rule 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:
(A) Lost federal funds;
(B) Lost or expired state grants or loans;
(C) Extraordinary events not likely to reoccur;
(D) Changes in contract provisions beyond the control of the taxing district receiving the services; and
(E) 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.
(8) Permanent lid lift. A permanent lid lift occurs when the ballot title and measure expressly state that the levy will be used for the purpose of computing the limitations for subsequent levies as provided in subsection (6)(b)(iii) and (7)(a)(iv)(C) of this rule. Approval of a permanent lid lift permanently increases the base used to calculate the levy limit.
(a) First levy after voter approval. 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. The dollar rate is subject to the constitutional one percent limit, the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit, and any applicable prorationing.
(b) Subsequent levies. 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 for 1986 collection, including the dollar amount of the regular levy calculated in (a) of this subsection, by the limit factor.
(9) Temporary lid lift. If the ballot title and measure do not expressly indicate that the final levy will be used for the purpose of computing subsequent levies, the levy increase is temporary.
(a) First levy after voter approval. 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. The dollar rate is subject to the constitutional one percent limit, the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit, and any applicable prorationing.
(b) Subsequent levies. 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 for 1986 collection, including the dollar amount of the regular levy calculated in (a) of this subsection, by the limit factor.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, and 84.55.060. WSR 18-24-104, § 458-19-045, filed 12/4/18, effective 1/4/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.48.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 18-05-013, § 458-19-045, filed 2/8/18, effective 3/11/18; 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.]



PDF458-19-050

Port district levies.

(1) Introduction. This rule describes certain port district levies and their respective limitations. Discussions on port district levies authorized under RCW 53.36.100 and 53.36.160 for industrial development district purposes are in WAC 458-19-05001.
Other rules that may apply. Readers may also want to refer to the following rules for additional information:
(a) WAC 458-19-005 Definitions.
(b) WAC 458-19-010 Levy limit and levy rate calculations.
(c) WAC 458-19-020 Levy limitMethod of calculation.
(d) WAC 458-19-05001 Port district levies for industrial development district purposes.
(2) Definitions. For purposes of this rule, the definitions in WAC 458-19-005 apply.
(3) Limitations upon regular property tax levies; exceptions.
(a) As set forth in RCW 84.04.140, all port district levies discussed in this rule are regular property tax levies regardless of whether they are voter-approved levies. As such, they are generally subject to the levy limit as described in subsection (7) of this rule, unless otherwise specified.
(b) Port district levies are not subject to either the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit set forth in RCW 84.52.043 or the constitutional one percent limit set forth in RCW 84.52.050.
(4) Levy for general port purposes. Port districts may annually levy taxes for general port purposes, including the establishment of a capital improvement fund for future capital improvements. This levy cannot exceed the levy rate of forty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the port district. RCW 53.36.020 authorizes this levy without voter approval.
(5) Levy for bond repayment. Port districts may levy taxes for the purpose of paying the principal and interest on any general bonded indebtedness of the port district. RCW 53.36.020 authorizes this levy, in excess of any port levy that is subject to the forty-five cent levy rate limitation in subsection (4) of this rule. Even though the levy for bond repayment is not subject to any statutory aggregate dollar rate limit, the limitations in RCW 53.36.030 on the amount of indebtedness that a port district may incur by contract or borrowing do apply.
(6) Levy for dredging, canal construction, or land leveling or filling purposes. Port districts may annually levy taxes for dredging, canal construction, or land leveling or filling purposes, and the proceeds of any such levy must be used exclusively for these purposes. This levy cannot exceed the levy rate of forty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the port district. RCW 53.36.070 requires that this levy must be authorized each year by a majority of the voters of the district voting on whether to make such a levy, submitted at an election held under RCW 29A.04.330.
(7) Calculation of the levy limit for port districts. The levies described in subsections (4), (5), and (6) of this rule are subject to the levy limit. For purposes of calculating the levy limit, the dollar amount of those levies are combined and the levy limit is calculated as provided in WAC 458-19-020.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.48.080, 84.55.060, 84.52.0502, 34.05.230 and chapters 84.52 and 84.55 RCW. WSR 18-11-054, § 458-19-050, filed 5/10/18, effective 6/10/18. 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, § 458-19-050, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-050, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-05001

Port district levies for industrial development district purposes.

(1) Introduction. Port districts may annually levy for industrial development district (IDD) purposes when they have adopted a comprehensive scheme of harbor improvements and industrial development. Levies for IDD purposes are treated as though they are separate regular property tax levies made by or for a separate taxing district. This rule describes these port district levies for IDD purposes, authorized in RCW 53.36.100 and 53.36.160.
(a) Other rules that may apply. Readers may also want to refer to the following rules for additional information:
(i) WAC 458-19-005 Definitions.
(ii) WAC 458-19-010 Levy limit and levy rate calculations.
(iii) WAC 458-19-020 Levy limitMethod of calculation.
(iv) WAC 458-19-050 Port district levies.
(b) Examples. This rule contains examples; each example identifies a number of assumed facts and then states a conclusion. The examples should only be used as a general guide. The results of other situations must be determined after a review of all the facts and circumstances.
(2) Organization of rule. This rule has two parts:
(a) Part I - IDD levy under RCW 53.36.100.
(b) Part II - Multiyear IDD levies under RCW 53.36.160.
(3) Definitions. For purposes of this rule, the definitions in WAC 458-19-005 apply. In addition, "base year" means the year prior to the first collection year in a first or second multiyear IDD levy period.
(4) Limitations upon regular property tax levies; exception.
(a) As set forth in RCW 84.04.140, all port district levies discussed in this rule are regular property tax levies regardless of whether they are voter-approved levies. As such, they are generally subject to the levy limit, unless otherwise specified.
(b) Port district levies are not subject to either the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit set forth in RCW 84.52.043 or the constitutional one percent limit set forth in RCW 84.52.050.
Part I - IDD levies under RCW 53.36.100
(101) Levy periods. A port district having adopted a comprehensive scheme of harbor improvements and industrial developments may impose up to three periods of six IDD levies. The levy periods do not have to be continuous, but they may not overlap. The six IDD levies in a levy period do not have to be continuous, but may not overlap.
(a) First IDD levy period. The first IDD levy period does not require voter approval.
(b) Second IDD levy period. The port commission must publish their intention to make an additional period of six IDD levies in a newspaper by June 1st of the year in which the first levy of this period will be made. Voter approval to make this levy is only required if a petition with eight percent of the voters' signatures of the district is submitted to the county auditor within ninety days of the date of notice in the newspaper. If voter approval is required, a majority of the voters must approve this levy.
(c) Third IDD levy period. Port districts in a county bordering the Pacific Ocean may request voter approval to make a third period of six IDD levies. This levy period requires a simple majority voter approval.
(102) Forty-five cent levy rate limitation. This levy cannot exceed the levy rate of forty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the port district specified in RCW 53.36.100(1).
(103) Levy limit calculation. Except for the first levy in each period, the IDD levies are subject to the levy limit in chapter 84.55 RCW. Refer to WAC 458-19-020 for more information about the levy limit calculation. County assessors must calculate the levy limit every calendar year until there has been six levies in each period. County assessors must use the levy rate from the last year in which there is an IDD levy when calculating increases to the authorized levy amount due to new construction, wind turbine/solar/biomass/geothermal facility construction, improvements to property, and any increase in the value of state-assessed property (collectively "new construction increases").
(104) Effective period.
(a) RCW 53.36.100 applies to a port district that has initiated one or more IDD levy periods before tax year 2016.
(b) RCW 53.36.100 is repealed effective January 1, 2026, and port districts are prohibited from levying taxes under this repealed provision for collection in 2026 and after.
(c) A port district authorized under RCW 53.36.100 may continue to levy under this provision, so long as no collection occurs in 2026 and after.
Part II - Multiyear IDD levies under RCW 53.36.160
(201) Multiyear levy periods. A port district having adopted a comprehensive scheme of harbor improvements and industrial developments may impose up to three periods of multiyear IDD levies. The multiyear levy periods do not have to be continuous, but they may not overlap. Except as otherwise provided, a multiyear levy period may not exceed twenty years from the date the first levy is made in the period.
(a) First multiyear IDD levy period. A port district must adopt a resolution during the base year approving the use of the first multiyear IDD levy period.
(b) Second multiyear IDD levy period.
(i) A port district must adopt a resolution during the base year approving the use of the second multiyear IDD levy period.
(ii) A port district must publish notice of the intention to impose a second multiyear IDD levy period. The port commission must publish their intention to make this levy in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the district, by April 1st of the base year of this second multiyear levy period.
(iii) A petition containing the signatures of eight percent of the number of voters registered and voting in the port district for the office of the governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election, may be filed with the county auditor within ninety days of the date of the port commission's publication. The county auditor then has two weeks to certify to the port commission the sufficiency of the signatures in accordance with RCW 29A.72.230. Once certified, the proposition to impose the levies in this second multiyear levy period is subject to voter's approval in a special election, no later than the date on which a primary election would be held under RCW 29A.04.311. The levies may proceed only if a majority of voters of the port district voting on this proposition approves it.
(c) Third multiyear IDD levy period. A county bordering on the Pacific Ocean having adopted a comprehensive scheme of harbor improvements and industrial developments may seek a simple majority voter approval to impose up to six levies in a six-year period for the third multiyear levy period.
(202) Forty-five cent levy rate limitation. RCW 53.36.160 (1) and (3) provide that no levy in any period may exceed forty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the port district.
(203) Levy limit calculation.
(a) RCW 84.55.130 provides that the levy limit under RCW 84.55.010 does not apply to a district's first or second multiyear levy period. The levy limit under RCW 84.55.010 only applies to the third multiyear levy period's years two through six.
(b) Instead, the first and second multiyear levy periods have a limit on the aggregate revenue amount that the period may collect. The aggregate revenue amount for each multiyear levy period may not exceed the maximum allowable amount that could have been collected under RCW 84.55.010 for the first six collection years of the period. This means that:
(i) County assessors must calculate the levy limit for each of the first six calendar years of the period as if the port district were levying;
(ii) County assessors must use the levy rate from the last year in which there is an IDD levy when calculating increases to the authorized levy amount due to new construction increases; there would be no new construction increases in the first year. See subsection (203)(d) of this rule below for examples of aggregate revenue limit calculations.
(c) For purposes of this section (203), the levy limit in RCW 84.55.010 is calculated in accordance with RCW 84.55.092, and any other applicable provisions in chapter 84.55 RCW, and subject to the forty-five cent levy rate limitation. See WAC 458-19-020.
(d) Examples. Some numbers in the examples are rounded for ease of illustration.
(i) Example 1. Assume a qualifying port district has a base year of $1,000,000,000 assessed value, with approximately four percent increase annually. There are new construction increases in years four and five. The maximum allowable amount that could have been levied under RCW 84.55.010 for the first six collection years of the levy period is computed as follows:
 
 
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6
(A)
Assessed value (AV)
$1,040,000,000
$1,082,000,000
$1,125,000,000
$1,170,000,000
$1,217,000,000
$1,266,000,000
(B)
Highest prior lawful levy
n/a
$468,000
$472,680
$477,407
$486,381
$494,245
(C)
(B) + 1% growth
n/a
$472,680
$477,407
$482,181
$491,245
$499,187
(D)
Statutory max, @ 45¢/ $1,000 AV
$468,000
$486,900
$506,250
$526,500
$547,650
$569,700
(E)
New construction increases
n/a
$0
$0
$10,000,000
$7,500,000
$0
(F)
Multiply (E) by prior year levy rate
n/a*
$0
$0
$4,200
$3,000
$0
(G)
Levy limit: Lesser of (C) and (D), plus (F); and not exceeding (D)
$468,000
$472,680
$477,407
$486,381
$494,245
$499,187
(H)
Regular property tax levy rate: (G) divided by (A)
44¢
44¢
42¢
42¢
41¢
39¢
*
There has been no IDD levy yet, so there would not be any new construction increases for the first IDD levy year.
The aggregate revenue amount for the period is the sum of the levy limits (row G), which is $2,897,900. A port district may collect this aggregate revenue amount for the levy period in at most twenty levies within twenty years from, and including, the first year.
(ii) Example 2. Assume a qualifying port district has a base year of $2,200,000,000 assessed value, with fluctuating increases/decreases over the course of the six years. There are new construction increases in years three and six. The maximum allowable amount that could have been levied under RCW 84.55.010 for the first six collection years of the levy period is computed as follows:
 
 
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6
(A)
Assessed value (AV)
$2,500,000,000
$2,000,000,000
$1,400,000,000
$1,800,000,000
$2,300,000,000
$2,800,000,000
(B)
Highest prior lawful levy
n/a
$1,125,000
$1,125,000
$1,125,000
$1,125, 000
$1,125, 000
(C)
(B) + 1% growth
n/a
$1,136,250
$1,136,250
$1,136,250
$1,136,250
$1,136,250
(D)
Statutory max, @ 45¢/ $1,000 AV
$1,125,000
$900,000
$630,000
$810,000
$1,035,000
$1,260,000
(E)
New construction increases
n/a*
$0
$100,000,000
$0
$0
$800,000,000
(F)
Multiply (E) by prior year levy rate
n/a
$0
$45,000
$0
$0
$360,000
(G)
Levy limit: Lesser of (C) and (D), plus (F); and not exceeding (D)
$1,125,000
$900,000
$630,000
$810,000
$1,035,000
$1,260,000
(H)
Regular property tax levy rate: (G) divided by (A)
45¢
45¢
45¢
45¢
45¢
45¢
*
There has been no IDD levy yet, so there would not be any new construction increases for the first IDD levy year.
The aggregate revenue amount for the period is the sum of the levy limits (row G), which is $5,760,000. A port district may collect this aggregate revenue amount in up to twenty levies for the period.
(204) Effective period.
(a) RCW 53.36.160, authorizing multiyear IDD levies, is effective for IDD levy period that begins in 2016 and after.
(b) A port district that has levied the tax authorized under RCW 53.36.100 (see Part I of this rule) may not levy a tax authorized under RCW 53.36.160 (see Part II of this rule) except as follows:
If a Port District Levied Under RCW 53.36.100:
Then the Port District May Levy Under RCW 53.36.160:
IDD Levy Period
IDD Levy Period
At least one levy in the first period is collected in 2015 or prior
Second and third levy periods
At least one levy in the second period is collected in 2015 or prior
Third levy period
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.48.080, 84.55.060, 84.52.0502, 34.05.230 and chapters 84.52 and 84.55 RCW. WSR 18-11-054, § 458-19-05001, filed 5/10/18, effective 6/10/18.]



PDF458-19-055

Levy limitProration of earmarked funds.

(1) Introduction. Certain taxing districts are authorized to make "earmarked" levies for specific purposes. An "earmarked levy" is not a taxing district in and of itself; the levy is included within, or is in addition to, the general regular levy made by a taxing district. Because these levies are generally placed within a taxing district treasury as a separately identified fund, they are often referred to as "earmarked funds." A taxing district is either directed by statute to levy or is authorized by statute to levy, but is not required to levy, for these earmarked funds; that is, some of the underlying statutes are mandatory while others are permissive in nature. This rule only discusses those taxing districts with the statutory authority to reduce their earmarked levies from their budgeted levy amount when they are up against the levy limit contained in chapter 84.55 RCW.
(2) Reduction of earmarked funds when regular levy affected. Cities having a regularly organized full-time, paid, fire department may levy an additional amount for a firemen's pension fund under RCW 41.16.060. Counties are required to annually levy amounts for the developmental disabilities or mental health services fund under RCW 71.20.110 and for veterans' assistance fund under RCW 73.08.080. Each of these earmarked levies may be reduced if the taxing district's general regular levy is restricted by the levy limit contained in chapter 84.55 RCW. If a reduction is necessary, the earmarked levy may be reduced from its budgeted levy amount in the same proportion as the district's general levy is reduced from its budgeted amount.
(3) Modification of county earmarked funds when regular levy affected. The budgeted amount for an earmarked levy may be modified by the county legislative authority as provided in this subsection. For the purposes of this subsection, refund levies are not included within the general county property tax levy.
(a) If the general county property tax levy is reduced from the preceding year's levy, funding for the earmarked levies may be reduced by no more than the same percentage as the general county property tax levy was reduced from the preceding year's levy;
(b)(i) If the general county property tax levy is increased from the preceding year's levy, funding for the developmental disabilities and mental health services fund must be increased by at least the same percentage as the general county property tax levy was increased from the preceding year's levy; however, funding does not need to be increased for the portion of a voter-approved levy increase that is dedicated to a specific purpose;
(ii) If the general county property tax levy is increased from the preceding year's levy, funding for the veterans' assistance fund cannot be less than the base allocation (the most recent allocation that was not reduced when collections exceed expectations per RCW 73.08.080(2)) increased by the same percentage as the general county property tax levy was increased from the preceding year's levy; however, funding does not need to be increased for the portion of a voter-approved levy increase that is dedicated to a specific purpose; or
(c) If the general county property tax levy is unchanged from the preceding year's levy, funding for the programs must equal or exceed the previous year's funding.
(4) Nothing in this section precludes a county from increasing funding for the programs to an amount that is greater than the change in the regular county levy.
[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, § 458-19-055, 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, § 458-19-055, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-055, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-060

Emergency medical service levy.

(1) Introduction. This rule explains the criteria described in RCW 84.52.069 regarding a taxing district imposing a limited or permanent regular levy for emergency medical care or emergency medical services. This rule also describes the duration of this levy, the ballot title and measure that must be presented to and approved by the voters, the maximum levy rate, and the applicable levy limits.
Definitions. The definitions in WAC 458-19-005 apply to this rule.
(2) Purpose - Voter approval required - Who may levy. An emergency medical service (EMS) levy is a regular voter approved levy. Any taxes collected from this levy can only be used to provide emergency medical care or emergency medical services, including related personnel costs, training for such personnel and related equipment, supplies, vehicles, and structures needed to provide this care or service.
(a) Initial approval of EMS levy. A permanent EMS levy, or the initial imposition of a six-year or ten-year EMS levy must be approved by a super majority of registered voters at a general or special election. However, if an area comprising a newly formed regional fire protection service authority was subject to an EMS levy immediately prior to the creation of the authority, the initial imposition of a six-year or ten-year EMS levy may be approved by a majority of the registered voters who approved the creation of the authority and the related service plan.
(b) Subsequent approval of EMS levy. The subsequent approval of a six-year or ten-year EMS levy only requires the authorization of a majority of the registered voters at a general or special election. Only a county, emergency medical service district, city, town, public hospital district, urban emergency medical service district, regional fire protection service authority, or fire protection district is authorized to impose an EMS levy.
(3) Duration - Maximum levy rate. An EMS levy is imposed each year for six consecutive years, each year for ten consecutive years, or permanently. Except as provided in subsection (11) of this rule, a taxing district may impose an EMS levy in an amount that cannot exceed fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the property in the taxing district.
(4) Contents of ballot title and measure. Any ballot title and measure seeking authorization of an EMS levy must conform to the requirements of RCW 29A.36.210. A taxing district cannot submit to the voters, at the same election, multiple propositions to impose an EMS levy under RCW 84.52.069. If the approved ballot title and measure did not authorize the maximum allowable levy rate (fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value) for the EMS levy, any future proposition to increase the rate up to the maximum allowable levy rate must be specifically authorized by voters at a general or special election. Therefore, a taxing district may impose an EMS levy rate up to, but no greater than, the rate in the approved ballot measure without obtaining additional voter approval. The ballot title and measure authorizing a taxing district to impose:
(a) An EMS levy for a limited duration must state the name of the taxing district, the maximum levy rate per thousand dollars of assessed value to be imposed, and the maximum number of years the levy is allowed; or
(b) A permanent EMS levy must state the name of the taxing district and the maximum levy rate per thousand dollars of assessed value to be permanently imposed. A ballot title for this type of levy must include wording to indicate that it is a permanent EMS levy. A taxing district that seeks to impose a permanent levy must also provide for a referendum procedure to apply to the ordinance or resolution imposing the tax. For additional information regarding the referendum procedures, see RCW 84.52.069.
(5) County-wide EMS levy. A county-wide EMS levy proposal cannot be placed on the ballot without first obtaining the approval from the legislative authority of a majority of at least seventy-five percent of all cities within the county having a population exceeding fifty thousand. No other taxing district within the county may hold an election on a proposed EMS levy at the same time as the election on a proposed county-wide EMS levy. To the extent feasible, emergency medical care and services must be provided throughout the county whenever the county levies an EMS levy.
(6) Additional requirements. When a county levies an EMS levy, the following conditions apply:
(a) Other taxing districts within the county authorized to levy an EMS levy may do so, but only if the taxing district's EMS levy rate does not exceed the difference between the county's EMS levy rate and fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the property in the taxing district;
(b) If a taxing district within the county levies an EMS levy and the voters of the county subsequently approve a county-wide EMS levy, then the taxing district must reduce its EMS levy rate so the combined EMS levy rate of the county and the taxing district does not exceed fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the property in the taxing district;
(c) A taxing district within a county having an EMS levy of limited duration that was authorized by the voters subsequent to a county-wide EMS levy of limited duration, will expire at the same time as the county EMS levy; and
(d) A fire protection district having annexed an area described in subsection (11) of this rule may levy the maximum amount of tax allowed, taking into consideration any limitations in this subsection.
(7) EMS levy of a taxing district other than a county. When a taxing district levies an EMS levy within the county, only the county may, at the same time, levy an EMS levy within the boundaries of that taxing district; all other taxing districts are prohibited from levying an EMS levy within that taxing district's boundaries while it collects an EMS levy.
(a) If a regional fire protection service authority imposes an EMS levy under this rule, no other taxing district that is a participating fire protection jurisdiction in the regional fire protection service authority may impose an EMS levy under this rule.
(b) For purposes of this subsection, a "participating fire protection jurisdiction" means a fire protection district, city, town, Indian tribe, or port district that is represented on the governing board of a regional fire protection service authority.
(8) Constitutional one percent limit. An EMS levy is subject to the constitutional one percent limit for regular property taxes. If a reduction of the rate of an EMS levy is required because this limit is exceeded, it is reduced according to RCW 84.52.010 and WAC 458-19-075.
(9) Statutory aggregate dollar rate limit. An EMS levy is not subject to the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit of five dollars and ninety cents per thousand dollars of assessed value as described in RCW 84.52.043.
(10) Applicability of limit factor to EMS levy. The first year an EMS levy is made following voter approval, the levy limit in chapter 84.55 RCW does not apply. However, after the first year an EMS levy is subject to this limit. Therefore, in the second year, the EMS levy cannot exceed the limit factor multiplied by the highest amount of regular property taxes that could have lawfully been levied since the voters last approved the levy, plus an additional amount calculated by multiplying the regular property tax levy rate of the district from the preceding year by the increase in assessed value in the taxing district resulting from:
(a) New construction;
(b) Improvements to property;
(c) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property; and
(d) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property.
The EMS levy is calculated separately from any other levies made by the taxing district for purposes of calculating the levy limit.
(11) County boundaries. For purposes of imposing an EMS levy, the boundary of a county with a population greater than one million five hundred thousand does not include the area of the county that is located within a city that has a boundary in two counties. This only applies if the locally assessed value of all property in the area of the city within the county having a population greater than one million five hundred thousand is less than two hundred fifty million dollars.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, and 84.55.060. WSR 18-24-104, § 458-19-060, filed 12/4/18, effective 1/4/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-060, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. 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, § 458-19-060, 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, § 458-19-060, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-060, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-065

Levy limitProtection of future levy capacity.

(1) Introduction. This rule explains what occurs when a taxing district levies taxes in an amount less than the maximum allowed under the levy limit for any year and how future levies of the district will be calculated.
(2) Use of maximum lawful levy amount. In any year when a taxing district, other than the state, levies taxes in an amount less than the maximum amount allowed by the levy limit, whether voluntarily or as a result of the operation of the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit or constitutional one percent limit reducing or eliminating the taxing district's levy rate, the levy limit for succeeding years after 1985 will be calculated as though the maximum lawful levy amount allowed by the levy limit or the taxing district's statutory dollar rate limit had been levied.
(3) Examples. These examples do not include any amounts for new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, or increases in the assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities.
(a) In 2013, the highest amount of regular property taxes that could have been lawfully levied by taxing district "A" as restricted by the levy limit was $100,000. But in 2013 taxing district "A" was otherwise limited by the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit to a maximum levy of $95,000. The levy limit for the 2014 levy will be calculated on the basis of what could have been the highest levy amount since 1985, that is $100,000 multiplied by the limit factor. The amount actually levied in 2013 is not controlling.
(b) Using the same basic facts from the previous example, if the levy amount of district "A" had been limited by the statutory dollar rate limit in 2013 to $95,000, and $95,000 was the highest amount of regular property taxes that could have been lawfully levied since 1985, then the levy limit for 2014 will be calculated on the basis of $95,000, that is $95,000 multiplied by the limit factor.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-065, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. 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, § 458-19-065, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-065, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-070

Five dollars and ninety cents statutory aggregate limit calculation.

(1) Introduction. The aggregate of all regular levy rates of junior taxing districts and senior taxing districts, other than the state and other specifically identified districts, cannot exceed five dollars and ninety cents per thousand dollars of assessed value in accordance with RCW 84.52.043. When the county assessor finds that this limit has been exceeded, the assessor recomputes the levy rates and establishes a new consolidated levy rate in the manner set forth in RCW 84.52.010. This rule describes the prorationing process used to establish a consolidated levy rate when the assessor finds the statutory aggregate levy rate exceeds five dollars and ninety cents. If prorationing is required, the five dollar and ninety cents limit is reviewed before the constitutional one percent limit.
(2) Levies not subject to statutory aggregate dollar rate limit. The following levies are not subject to the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit of five dollars and ninety cents per thousand dollars of assessed value:
(a) Levies by the state;
(b) Levies by or for port or public utility districts;
(c) Excess property tax levies authorized in Article VII, section 2 of the state Constitution;
(d) Levies by or for county ferry districts under RCW 36.54.130;
(e) Levies for acquiring conservation futures under RCW 84.34.230;
(f) Levies for emergency medical care or emergency medical services under RCW 84.52.069;
(g) Levies for financing affordable housing for very low-income households under RCW 84.52.105;
(h) The portion of metropolitan park district levies protected under RCW 84.52.120;
(i) The portions of levies by fire protection districts and regional fire protection service authorities protected under RCW 84.52.125;
(j) Levies for criminal justice purposes under RCW 84.52.135;
(k) Levies for transit-related purposes by a county under RCW 84.52.140;
(l) The protected portion of the levies imposed under RCW 84.52.816 by flood control zone districts; and
(m) Levies imposed by a regional transit authority under RCW 81.104.175.
(3) Prorationing under consolidated levy rate limitation. RCW 84.52.010 sets forth the prorationing order in which the regular levies of taxing districts will be reduced or eliminated by the assessor to comply with the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit of five dollars and ninety cents per thousand dollars of assessed value. The order contained in the statute lists which taxing districts are the first to either reduce or eliminate their levy rate. Taxing districts that are at the same level within the prorationing order are grouped together in tiers. Reductions or eliminations in levy rates are made on a pro rata basis within each tier of taxing district levies until the consolidated levy rate no longer exceeds the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit of five dollars and ninety cents.
As opposed to the order contained in RCW 84.52.010, which lists the taxing districts that are the first to have their levy rates reduced or eliminated, this rule is written in reverse order; that is, it lists the taxing districts that must be first either fully or partially funded. If the statutory aggregate dollar rate is exceeded, then the levy rates for taxing districts within a particular tier must be reduced or eliminated on a pro rata basis. The proration factor, which is multiplied by each levy rate within the tier, is obtained by dividing the dollar rate remaining available to the taxing districts in that tier as a group by the sum of the levy rates originally certified by or for all of the taxing districts within the tier.
(a) Step one: Total the aggregate levy rates requested by all affected taxing districts in the tax code area. If this total is less than five dollars and ninety cents per thousand dollars of assessed value, no prorationing is necessary. If this total levy rate is more than five dollars and ninety cents, the assessor must proceed through the following steps until the aggregate dollar rate is brought within that limit.
(b) Step two: Subtract from $5.90 the levy rates of the county and the county road district if the tax code area includes an unincorporated portion of the county, or the levy rates of the county and the city or town if the tax code area includes an incorporated area, as applicable.
(c) Step three: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates, if any, for fire protection districts under RCW 52.16.130, regional fire protection service authorities under RCW 52.26.140 (1)(a), library districts under RCW 27.12.050 and 27.12.150, the first fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for metropolitan park districts created before January 1, 2002, under RCW 35.61.210, and the first fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for public hospital districts under RCW 70.44.060(6).
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step four.
(d) Step four: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates, if any, for fire protection districts under RCW 52.16.140 and 52.16.160, and regional fire protection service authorities under RCW 52.26.140 (1)(b) and (c). However, under RCW 84.52.125, a fire protection district or regional fire protection service authority may protect up to twenty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the total levies made under RCW 52.16.140 and 52.16.160, or 52.26.140 (1)(b) and (c) from prorationing.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. It is at this point that the provisions of RCW 84.52.125 come into play; that is, a fire protection district or regional fire protection service authority may protect up to twenty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of the total levies made under RCW 52.16.140 and 52.16.160, or 52.26.140 (1)(b) and (c) from prorationing under RCW 84.52.043(2), if the total levies would otherwise be prorated under RCW 84.52.010 (3)(a)(iii) with respect to the five-dollar and ninety cent per thousand dollars of assessed value limit. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step five.
(e) Step five: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate, if any, for the first fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of metropolitan park districts created on or after January 1, 2002, under RCW 35.61.210.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step six.
(f) Step six: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the twenty-five cent per thousand dollars of assessed value levy rate for metropolitan park districts if it is not protected under RCW 84.52.120, the twenty-five cent per thousand dollars of assessed value levy rate for public hospital districts under RCW 70.44.060(6), and the levy rates, if any, for cemetery districts under RCW 68.52.310 and all other junior taxing districts if those levies are not listed in steps three through five or seven or eight of this subsection.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step seven.
(g) Step seven: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate, if any, for flood control zone districts other than the portion of a levy protected under RCW 84.52.816.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step eight.
(h) Step eight: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates, if any, for city transportation authorities under RCW 35.95A.100, park and recreation service areas under RCW 36.68.525, park and recreation districts under RCW 36.69.145, and cultural arts, stadium, and convention districts under RCW 67.38.130.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step nine.
(i) Step nine: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy imposed, if any, for cultural access programs under RCW 36.160.080 until the remaining levy capacity equals zero.
(4) Example.
DISTRICT
ORIGINAL LEVY RATE
PRORATION FACTOR
FINAL LEVY RATE
REMAINING LEVY CAPACITY
County
County Road
1.8000
2.2500
NONE
NONE
1.8000
2.2500
1.850
Library
Fire
Hospital
.5000
.5000
.5000
NONE
NONE
NONE
.5000
.5000
.5000
.350
Fire
.2000
NONE
.2000
.150
Cemetery
Hospital
.1125
.2500
.4138
.4138
.0466
.1034
 
Totals
6.1125
 
5.90
 
(a) Beginning with the limit of $5.90, subtract the original certified levy rates for the county and county road taxing districts leaving $1.85 available for the remaining districts.
(b) Subtract the total of the levy rates for each district within the next tier: The library's $.50, the fire district's $.50 and the hospital's $.50 = $1.50, which leaves $.35 available for the remaining districts.
(c) Subtract the fire district's additional $.20 levy rate, which leaves $.15 available for the remaining districts.
(d) The remaining $.15 must be shared by the cemetery and the hospital districts within the next tier of levies. The cemetery district originally sought to levy $.1125 and the hospital district sought to levy $.25. The proration factor is arrived at by dividing the amount available ($.15) by the original levy rates ($.3625) requested within that tier resulting in a proration factor of .4138. Finally, the original levy rates in this tier of $.1125 and $.25 for the cemetery and hospital, respectively, are multiplied by the proration factor.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.36.389, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 18-04-006, § 458-19-070, filed 1/25/18, effective 2/25/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.010. WSR 16-02-126, § 458-19-070, filed 1/6/16, effective 2/6/16. 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, § 458-19-070, filed 6/23/14, effective 7/24/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.070, 84.34.141, 84.36.865, 84.52.0502. WSR 09-19-010, § 458-19-070, filed 9/3/09, effective 10/4/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.52.010, 84.52.043, and 84.52.0502. WSR 06-02-008, § 458-19-070, filed 12/22/05, effective 1/22/06. 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, § 458-19-070, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-070, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-075

Constitutional one percent limit calculation.

(1) Introduction. The total amount of all regular property tax levies that can be applied against taxable property is limited to one percent of the true and fair value of the property in money. The one percent limit is stated in Article VII, section 2 of the state Constitution and the enabling statute, RCW 84.52.050. The constitutional one percent limit is based upon the amount of taxes actually levied on the true and fair value of the property, not the dollar rate used in computing property taxes. This rule explains how to determine if the constitutional one percent limit is being exceeded and the sequence in which levy rates will be reduced or eliminated in accordance with RCW 84.52.010 if the constitutional one percent limit is exceeded. The constitutional one percent calculation is made after the assessor ensures that the $5.90 statutory aggregate dollar rate limit is not exceeded.
(2) Preliminary calculations. After prorationing under RCW 84.52.043 (the five dollar and ninety cent per thousand dollars of assessed value limit) has occurred, make the following calculations to determine if the constitutional one percent limit is being exceeded:
(a) First, add all the regular levy rates, except the rates for port and public utility districts, in the tax code area, to arrive at a combined levy rate for that tax code area. "Regular levy rates" in this context means the levy rates that remain after prorationing under RCW 84.52.043 has occurred. The levy rates for port and public utility districts are not included in this computation because they are not subject to the constitutional one percent limit. The rates for the following regular levies are used to calculate the combined levy rate of any particular tax code area:
(i) The local aggregate rate specified in RCW 84.52.065 for the state levy;
(ii) Levies by or for county ferry districts under RCW 36.54.130;
(iii) Levies for acquiring conservation futures under RCW 84.34.230;
(iv) Levies for emergency medical care or emergency medical services under RCW 84.52.069;
(v) Levies for financing affordable housing for very low-income households under RCW 84.52.105;
(vi) The portion of metropolitan park district levies protected under RCW 84.52.120;
(vii) The portions of levies by fire protection districts and regional fire protection service authorities protected under RCW 84.52.125;
(viii) Levies for criminal justice purposes under RCW 84.52.135;
(ix) Levies for transit-related purposes by a county with a population of one million five hundred thousand or more under RCW 84.52.140;
(x) The protected portion of the levies imposed under RCW 84.52.816 by flood control zone districts; and
(xi) Levies imposed, if any, by a regional transit authority under RCW 81.104.175.
(b) Second, divide ten dollars by the higher of the real or personal property ratio of the county for the assessment year in which the levy is made to determine the maximum effective levy rate. If the combined levy rate exceeds the maximum effective levy rate, then the individual levy rates must be reduced or eliminated until the combined levy rate is equal to the maximum effective levy rate.
(3) Prorationing - Constitutional one percent limit. RCW 84.52.010 sets forth the prorationing order in which levy rates are to be reduced or eliminated when the constitutional one percent limit is exceeded.
As opposed to the order contained in RCW 84.52.010, which lists the taxing districts that are the first to have their levy rates reduced or eliminated, this rule is written in reverse order; that is, it lists the taxing districts that must be first either fully or partially funded. If the constitutional one percent limit is exceeded, then the levy rates for taxing districts within a particular tier must be reduced or eliminated on a pro rata basis.
If the constitutional one percent limit is exceeded after performing the preliminary calculations described in subsection (2) of this rule, the following levies must be reduced or eliminated until the combined levy rate no longer exceeds the maximum effective levy rate:
(a) Step one: Subtract the aggregate levy rate calculated for the state for the support of common schools from the effective rate limit;
(b) Step two: Subtract the levy rates for the county, county road district, regional transit authority, and for city or town purposes;
(c) Step three: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for fire protection districts under RCW 52.16.130, regional fire protection service authorities under RCW 52.26.140 (1)(a), library districts under RCW 27.12.050 and 27.12.150, the first fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for metropolitan park districts created before January 1, 2002, under RCW 35.61.210, and the first fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for public hospital districts under RCW 70.44.060(6).
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step four.
(d) Step four: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for fire protection districts under RCW 52.16.140 and 52.16.160, and regional fire protection service authorities under RCW 52.26.140 (1)(b) and (c).
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step five.
(e) Step five: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for the first fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of metropolitan park districts created on or after January 1, 2002, under RCW 35.61.210.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance from step four. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step six.
(f) Step six: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for all other junior taxing districts if those levies are not listed in steps three through five or steps seven through seventeen of this subsection.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step seven.
(g) Step seven: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for flood control zone districts other than the portion of a levy protected under RCW 84.52.816.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step six. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step eight.
(h) Step eight: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for city transportation authorities under RCW 35.95A.100, park and recreation service areas under RCW 36.68.525, park and recreation districts under RCW 36.69.145, and cultural arts, stadium, and convention districts under RCW 67.38.130.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step nine.
(i) Step nine: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy imposed, if any, for cultural access programs under RCW 36.160.080.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity from any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step eight. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed to step ten.
(j) Step ten: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for the first thirty cents per thousand dollars for emergency medical care or emergency medical services under RCW 84.52.069.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step nine. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step eleven.
(k) Step eleven: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for levies used for acquiring conservation futures under RCW 84.34.230, financing affordable housing for very low-income households under RCW 84.52.105, and any portion of a levy rate for emergency medical care or emergency medical services under RCW 84.52.069 in excess of thirty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step twelve.
(l) Step twelve: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the portion of the levy by a metropolitan park district with a population of one hundred fifty thousand or more that is protected under RCW 84.52.120.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the portion of the levy within this tier must be reduced to the remaining balance in step eleven. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step thirteen.
(m) Step thirteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for county ferry districts under RCW 36.54.130.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step twelve. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step fourteen.
(n) Step fourteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for criminal justice purposes imposed under RCW 84.52.135.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step thirteen. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step fifteen.
(o) Step fifteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for a fire protection district or regional fire protection service authority protected under RCW 84.52.125.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the portion of the levy within this tier must be reduced to the remaining balance in step fourteen. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step sixteen.
(p) Step sixteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for transit-related purposes by a county under RCW 84.52.140.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step fifteen. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.
(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step seventeen.
(q) Step seventeen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the protected portion of the levy imposed under RCW 84.52.816 by a flood control zone district until the remaining levy capacity equals zero.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.36.389, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 18-04-006, § 458-19-075, filed 1/25/18, effective 2/25/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.010. WSR 16-02-126, § 458-19-075, filed 1/6/16, effective 2/6/16. 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, § 458-19-075, filed 6/23/14, effective 7/24/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.070, 84.34.141, 84.36.865, 84.52.0502. WSR 09-19-010, § 458-19-075, filed 9/3/09, effective 10/4/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.52.010, 84.52.043, and 84.52.0502. WSR 06-02-008, § 458-19-075, filed 12/22/05, effective 1/22/06. 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, § 458-19-075, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-075, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-080

City annexed by fire protection and/or library districts.

(1) Introduction. When a city or town is annexed to a fire protection and/or a library district, the city or town is entitled under RCW 52.04.081 and 27.12.390 to levy up to three dollars and sixty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value less the regular levy made by the fire protection and/or library district. However, the limitations upon regular property taxes imposed by chapter 84.55 RCW are still applicable. This rule explains how the first levy following annexation is calculated, how the levy limit is calculated, and the order of any prorationing that may be required.
(2) The assessor will calculate the first levy following annexation as follows:
(a) Calculate the levy and rate for the fire protection and/or library district, including the assessed value of the annexed city or town; and
(b) Subtract the fire protection and/or library district levy rate from the statutory rate ($3.60 per $1,000 A.V.) of the city or town. The resulting rate is the maximum levy rate for the city or town even if the fire and/or library district rate is later reduced as a result of prorationing under RCW 84.52.010 to prevent the consolidated levy rate from exceeding the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit or the constitutional one percent limit.
(3) Levy limit calculation. The levy limit for the city or town is calculated independently of the calculation performed in subsection (2) of this rule.
(4) Subtraction of fire protection or library district levy rate. The fire protection and/or library district levy rate is subtracted from the city or town statutory levy rate before any prorated reduction under RCW 84.52.010.
[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, § 458-19-080, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. WSR 94-07-066, § 458-19-080, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.]



PDF458-19-085

RefundsProceduresApplicable limits.

(1) Introduction. Chapters 84.68 and 84.69 RCW both set out procedures and conditions under which property taxes are refunded. This rule explains the differences between the types of refunds authorized under each chapter, the procedures related to the refunds, and the effect the refunds have on levy limits and the levy setting process in general.
(2) Court ordered refunds under chapter 84.68 RCW - County tax refund fund levy. Any person who believes that the taxes levied against their property are unlawful or excessive may pay the taxes under protest, setting forth all the grounds upon which the tax is claimed to be unlawful or excessive, and bring an action in superior court or in any federal court of competent jurisdiction against the state, county, or municipality. RCW 84.68.020. If the court determines that the taxes were indeed unlawful or excessive, it will enter a judgment in favor of the taxpayer who paid the tax under protest and determine the amount to be refunded to the taxpayer. When such a judgment is entered, the law provides a specific procedure for refunding the money to the taxpayer in RCW 84.68.030 and for taxing districts to generate the moneys to be refunded in RCW 84.68.040. Any and all taxing districts that were levying taxes against the property at the time for which a refund is directed by court order under RCW 84.68.020 must levy, or have levied for them, an amount for the county tax refund fund. The county tax refund fund levy is a regular levy that is subject to all the applicable levy limitations provided in law for regular levies. However, the law specifically exempts a refund fund levy from the levy limit set forth in RCW 84.55.010.
(a) Method used to make refunds. When a court judgment is entered in favor of a taxpayer, RCW 84.68.030 states that the refund is to be paid via warrants drawn against the "county tax refund fund." If, at the time the judgment is entered, there are no moneys in that fund, then the warrants bear interest and are "callable under such conditions as are provided by law for county warrants."
(b) Process used to generate funds for the county tax refund fund. RCW 84.68.040 provides that as part of the annual levying of taxes for county purposes, the county is required to make and enter a tax levy or levies for the county tax refund fund. The purpose of the refund fund levy is to produce moneys to be deposited into a fund from which a taxpayer, who paid taxes that were later adjudged to be unlawful or excessive, can be repaid, without unduly affecting the operating funds of the taxing districts. This levy has precedence over all other tax levies for county and/or taxing district purposes.
(c) Who makes and enters the tax levies for the refund fund levy? Officers of local taxing districts, the county legislative authority, the county assessor, and any other person or entity that would normally be involved in the levy making process are required to make and enter the refund fund levy. However, if a taxing district is required to levy for the county tax refund fund and fails to do so, or if a taxing district is required to levy for the county tax refund fund and does not have a regular nonvoted levy, then the county legislative authority levies the tax for or on behalf of the district, the assessor sets the rate, and the treasurer collects the tax.
(d) What limitations apply to the county tax refund fund levy? There are four basic levy limitations that need to be taken into consideration: The levy limit set forth in RCW 84.55.010; the constitutional (Article VII, section 2) and statutory (RCW 84.52.010) one percent limit; the statutory dollar rate limit for the various taxing districts; and the aggregate dollar rate limit contained in RCW 84.52.043.
(i) The levy limit set forth in RCW 84.55.010 does not apply to the county tax refund fund levy, regardless of which taxing district is involved (see RCW 84.55.070). Therefore, a taxing district(s) can levy the amount to be refunded even if that amount will cause the total levy of the taxing district to exceed the levy limit. For example, a court orders County A to refund $10,000 to a Taxpayer. The proper county officials in County A must determine what portion of the $10,000 is attributable to Taxing District No. 1. For purposes of this example, Taxing District No. 1 owes the Taxpayer $1,000. Taxing District No. 1's levy last year was $30,000. Without considering new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, the levy for this year under the levy limit would be $30,300. However, Taxing District No. 1's levy for this year, including the refund fund levy, can be $31,300.
(ii) The constitutional one percent limit, the statutory dollar rate limit, and the aggregate dollar rate limit apply to any refund fund levy. Consequently, any refund fund levy must be contained within the maximum dollar rate authorized by law for any taxing district. For example, if under the levy limit, the county current expense levy rate is $1.80/$1,000 and the refund fund levy rate is $0.10/$1,000 A.V., then only $1.70 may go to the current expense fund. Similarly, if the current expense levy rate, as limited by the levy limit, is $1.50/$1,000 A.V., then the $0.10/$1,000 is added to the $1.50 making a levy rate that is $1.60/$1,000 A.V. Any combination is possible as long as the total of the two does not exceed the statutory dollar rate maximum of $1.80/$1,000 A.V. for levies made for county purposes. All moneys levied for the county tax refund fund levy are allocated first, without consideration of any delinquency, and then whatever balance is remaining goes to the district's operating fund.
(e) Refund fund's relationship to excess levies. Because the refund fund levy is the direct result of a court ordered judgment in a specific amount, it does not matter whether the judgment amount is derived from taxes paid on regular, excess, or bond levies, or any combination of these levies. The refund fund levy is separate and independent of the levies from which it arose. The levy includes an additional amount deemed necessary to meet the obligations of the county tax refund fund, taking into consideration the probable portions of the taxes that will not be collected or collectible during the year in which they are due and payable, as well as any unobligated cash in hand in this fund.
(f) Applicability to school district levies and state school levy. All taxing districts for which, and within which, taxes were collected unlawfully are required to levy for the refund fund. A refund fund for the school district would not be limited by a dollar rate limit. However, the school district refund fund levy would be subject to the constitutional one percent limit because the refund fund is a regular levy subject to all applicable limits. The state school levy will include a refund fund levy, which will be calculated by the department at the time it levies the state school levy. The state, as a taxing district itself, follows the same procedures that apply to any other taxing district, to the extent that those procedures are applicable.
(g) Separate account in county treasury. The county treasurer must keep a separate account for each district for which a refund fund is created and can only disburse money from that account to the taxpayer(s) entitled to receive a court ordered refund.
(3) Administrative refunds under chapter 84.69 RCW. Property taxes may be refunded on the order of the county treasurer before or after delinquency if the property taxes were paid under one of the circumstances listed in RCW 84.69.020. These circumstances include errors, changes in valuation or status by a county board of equalization or the state board of tax appeals, and delays in applying for a senior citizen exemption or deferral.
(a) The levy limit set forth in RCW 84.55.010 does not apply. RCW 84.55.070 states that the limitations contained in chapter 84.55 RCW do not apply to property tax refunds paid or to be paid under the provisions of RCW 84.69.180. Therefore, an amount necessary to fund any refund paid in accordance with RCW 84.69.020 may be added to the levy for a taxing district without regard to the levy limit. A refund levy is not subject to the levy limit. However, the statutory dollar rate limit still applies to each taxing district, as well as the five dollar and ninety cent limit set forth in RCW 84.52.043 and the constitutional one percent limit set forth in Article VII, section 2 of the state Constitution and RCW 84.52.050.
(b) Refunds include interest. Refunds authorized under RCW 84.69.020 must include interest that is payable from the time the taxes were paid. The rate of interest is calculated in accordance with RCW 84.69.100, established annually by the department, and published in WAC 458-18-220.
(c) Taxing districts, other than the state, may levy a tax upon all the taxable property within the district for the purpose of:
(i) Funding refunds paid or to be paid under this chapter, except for refunds due to taxes paid more than once, RCW 84.69.020(1), including interest, as ordered by the county treasurer or county legislative authority within the preceding twelve months; and
(ii) Taxes that have been abated or canceled, offset by any supplemental taxes collected under Title 84 RCW other than amounts collected due to highly valued disputed property, RCW 84.52.018, within the preceding twelve months can be levied by taxing districts other than the state.
(iii) This subsection (3)(c)(ii) only applies to abatements and cancellations that do not require a refund under chapter 84.69 RCW. Cancellations that require a refund are included within the scope of (c)(i) of this subsection.
(d) Example 1. This example demonstrates net refunds, cancellations, and supplements that occurred within the past twelve months and the refund levy that can be requested by the taxing district:
Refunds
 
$8,000
Cancellations
$10,000
 
Abatements
$1,000
 
Supplements
$7,000
 
Net cancellations and abatements offset by supplements
 
$4,000
Net amount eligible for a refund levy
 
$12,000
(e) Example 2. This example assumes that the base for computing the allowable levy is $10,000 and refers to the county current expense levy rate that may not exceed one dollar and eighty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value in accordance with RCW 84.52.043.
(i) Statutory rate requested does not exceed the dollar rate allowable:
The allowable levy for the county current expense fund
$10,000
Refunds paid or to be paid
$2,000
Total amount of levy
$12,000
Assessed value
$7,000,000
Levy rate
$1.714/$1,000
The levy rate is within the statutory rate limit of $1.80/$1,000
 
(ii) Statutory rate requested exceeds the dollar rate allowable:
Allowable levy
$10,000
Refunds paid or to be paid
$2,000
Total amount of levy
$12,000
Assessed value
$6,500,000
Levy rate
$1.846/$1,000
The dollar rate cannot exceed $1.80/$1,000; therefore, the maximum that can be levied is $6,500,000 x $1.80/$1,000
$11,700
Amount to be refunded
$2,000
Amount to be credited to current expense
$9,700
(f) The base for computing the following year's levy limit does not include the refund levy amount. In the preceding example, the base for the following year's levy limit calculation is $10,000. However, when calculating the additional levy amount based on the value of new construction, improvements to property, increases in the assessed value of state assessed property, and increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, the actual regular levy rate (including the refund levy) is used.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-085, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. 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, § 458-19-085, 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, § 458-19-085, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02.]



PDF458-19-090

Fire protection district formationCities and townsHighest lawful levy.

(1) Introduction. RCW 52.02.160 allows a city or town to establish a fire protection district, subject to voter approval, within the same corporate boundaries of the city or town, for the provision of fire prevention services, fire suppression services, emergency medical services, and for the protection of life and property within the city or town. This rule explains how to calculate the highest amount of regular property taxes that can be lawfully levied (highest lawful levy) by a city or town that creates this type of fire protection district.
(2) Definitions. The definitions found in WAC 458-19-005 apply to this rule.
(3) Example. This rule includes an example that identifies a number of facts and then states a conclusion. This example should only be used as a general guide. The tax results of other situations must be determined after a review of all the facts and circumstances.
(4) Highest lawful levy limit calculation.
(a) First year. A city or town that establishes a fire protection district under RCW 52.02.160 must reduce its highest lawful levy by the total amount initially levied in the first year by the newly established fire protection district. This reduced amount will become the new highest lawful levy for the city or town, and will be used for subsequent levy limit calculations under chapter 84.55 RCW. This reduction in the highest lawful levy for the city or town must occur in the first year the newly established fire protection district imposes its property tax levy.
(b) Second and subsequent years. The city or town must further reduce its highest lawful levy in subsequent years if the fire protection district initially imposes any additional regular property tax levies as allowed under RCW 52.16.140 and 52.16.160 in those subsequent years.
(c) Maximum rate. The maximum statutory dollar rate for fire protection districts is one dollar and fifty cents per one thousand dollars of assessed value. This rate consists of three regular property tax levies as follows: RCW 52.16.130 (up to $0.50), 52.16.140 (up to $0.50), and 52.16.160 (up to $0.50).
Example. City A establishes a fire protection district under RCW 52.02.160. Prior to the formation, City A annually levied an amount of $200,390, which is equal to its highest lawful levy. In this example, the maximum statutory dollar rate of the city is $3.375 per $1,000 of assessed value.
First year levy. In its first year, the newly established fire protection district determines it will need to levy $57,000 and its total assessed value is $59,375,000 (the same total assessed value as City A). This levy amount is the equivalent to a levy rate for the fire protection district of $0.96 per $1,000 of assessed value ($57,000/$59,375,000(1,000)), thus the district is initially imposing regular property tax levies under RCW 52.16.130 ($0.50) and 52.16.140 ($0.46) in the first year. Therefore, City A must reduce its highest lawful levy by $57,000. City A's reduced highest lawful levy amount is the amount it will use when calculating the following year's levy calculations.
Second year levy. One year later, the fire protection district requests an increased levy amount of $74,000 and its total assessed value, along with the total assessed value of City A, has increased to $60,655,738. The increased levy amount is the equivalent to a levy rate for the fire protection district of $1.22 per $1,000 of assessed value ($74,000/$60,655,738(1,000)), thus the district is imposing regular levies under RCW 52.16.130, 52.16.140, and is initially imposing the third regular levy under RCW 52.16.160 ($0.22). Therefore, City A must further reduce its highest lawful levy by the amount resulting from the fire district initially imposing the third regular levy under RCW 52.16.160. The additional amount resulting from the initial imposition of the fire protection district's third regular levy under RCW 52.16.160 is $13,344 ($0.22 per $1,000 of assessed value multiplied by the total assessed value of $60,655,738). City A must make a reduction of $13,344 to its highest lawful levy. City A's newly reduced highest lawful levy is the amount it will use when calculating the following year's levy calculations.
Subsequent year levies. In subsequent years, if the fire protection district's levy rate increases beyond $1.22 per $1,000 of assessed value, City A is not required to further reduce its highest lawful levy because the fire protection district had already initially imposed all three regular levies under RCW 52.16.130, 52.16.140, and 52.16.160.
(5) Constitutional one percent limit and five dollars and ninety cents aggregate dollar limit. Fire protection district levies are subject to the constitutional one percent limit for regular property taxes and the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit of five dollars and ninety cents per thousand dollars of assessed value. If a reduction in a fire protection district levy is required because it exceeds these limits, it is reduced in the manner described in RCW 84.52.010, 84.52.043, and 84.52.125.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070 and 84.55.060. WSR 19-04-003, § 458-19-090, filed 1/23/19, effective 2/23/19.]



PDF458-19-550

State levyApportionment between counties.

(1) Introduction. The department is charged with levying the state taxes authorized by law. As part of this task, the department apportions the amount of tax levied for state purposes among the counties in proportion to the value of taxable property in each county for the year to ensure that each county pays its due and just share of the state tax. This rule explains how the state property tax levy rate is determined, how the department adjusts the previous year's apportionment because of changes and errors in taxable values reported to the department after October 1 of the preceding year, and how the limit factor set forth in RCW 84.55.010 is applied to the state levy.
(2) Calculation of state levy rate. The levy rate for the state property tax levy is the lesser of:
(a) $3.60 per thousand dollars of the true and fair value of the taxable property in the state; or
(b) The rate that, when applied to the valuation figures specified in subsection (3) of this rule, will produce a total amount equal to the levy limit set forth in RCW 84.55.010. This levy limit equals the limit factor multiplied by the highest state property tax levy of the most recent three annual state levies, plus an amount calculated by multiplying the state levy rate for the preceding year by the increase in assessed value in the state resulting from:
(i) New construction;
(ii) Improvements to property;
(iii) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property; and
(iv) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property.
(3) Apportionment between the counties - Adjustment for changes or errors. When determining the amount of the state levy using the calculations set forth in subsection (2)(b) of this rule, the dollar amount apportioned to each county is based upon the valuation figures reported to the department by each county by October 1 of the levy year. If use of the counties' certified assessed values for state levy purposes causes an erroneous apportionment among the counties because of later changes or later-identified errors in valuation within a county, the department will adjust the following year's levy apportionment to reflect these changes and corrections.
(a) For purposes of this rule, a change in taxable value includes any final adjustment made by a reviewing body (county board of equalization, state board of tax appeals, or court of competent jurisdiction) and may also include additions of omitted property, other additions to or deletions from the assessment or tax rolls, any assessment return submitted by a county to the department subsequent to December 1st, or a change in the indicated ratio of a county.
(b) Errors requiring adjustments under this rule include errors corrected by a final reviewing body or any other error that may have come to the department's attention and would otherwise be a subject for correction in the exercise of its supervisory powers.
(4) Changes or errors in current levy - Adjust apportionment for the following year's levy. If there are any changes or errors relating to the values used in apportioning the current levy, the apportionment for the following year's levy will be adjusted. For purposes of this apportionment, the department will recalculate the previous year's levy and the apportionment thereof to correct any changes or errors in taxable values reported to the department after October 1 of the preceding year. The department will adjust the apportioned amount of the current year's state levy for each county by the difference between the dollar amounts of state levy due from each county as shown by the original and revised levy computations for the previous year.
(5) County required to correct any error upon discovery. Nothing in this rule relieves a county from its obligation to correct any error immediately upon discovery when the correction may be timely made to avoid distortion in the true apportionment of the state levy between counties.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.08.080, 84.48.200, 84.52.0502, and 84.55.060. WSR 15-03-087, § 458-19-550, filed 1/21/15, effective 2/21/15. 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, § 458-19-550, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.48.080, 84.55.060 and 84.08.010. WSR 82-06-006 (Order PT 82-2), § 458-19-550, filed 2/19/82. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.48.080 and 84.55.060. WSR 81-04-055 (Order PT 81-4), § 458-19-550, filed 2/4/81.]