This section is intended to provide definitions of the terms most frequently used to administer the deferral program for special assessments and/or property taxes on residential housing created by chapter 84.37
RCW. Unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, the words and phrases used in this chapter have the following meanings:
(1) "Boarding house" means a residence in which lodging and meals are provided. Each resident of a boarding house is charged a lump sum to cover the costs of lodging and meals with no separate accounting for the fair selling price of the meals.
(2) "Claimant" means a person who elects under chapter 84.37
RCW to defer payment of special assessments and/or real property taxes accrued on his or her residence by filing a declaration to defer as allowed under chapter 84.37
RCW. If more than one individual in a household wishes to defer special assessments and/or taxes, only one may file a declaration to defer; in other words, only one claimant per household is allowed.
(3) "Cooperative housing" means any existing structure, including surrounding land and improvements, that contains one or more dwelling units and is owned by:
(a) An association with resident shareholders who are granted renewable leasehold interests in dwelling units in the building. Unlike owners of a condominium, the resident shareholders who hold a renewable leasehold interest do not own their dwelling units; or
(b) An association organized under the Cooperative Association Act (chapter 23.86
(4) "Department" means the state department of revenue.
(5) "Domestic partner" means a person registered under chapter 26.60
RCW or a partner in a legal union of two persons, other than a marriage, that was validly formed in another jurisdiction, and that is substantially equivalent to a domestic partnership under chapter 26.60
(6) "Domestic partnership" means a partnership registered under chapter 26.60
RCW or a legal union of two persons, other than a marriage, that was validly formed in another jurisdiction, and that is substantially equivalent to a domestic partnership under chapter 26.60
(7) "Equity value" means the amount by which the true and fair value of a residence exceeds the total amount of all liens, obligations, and encumbrances against the property excluding the deferral liens. As used in this context, the "true and fair value" of a residence is the value shown on the county tax rolls maintained by the assessor for the assessment year in which the deferral claim is made.
(8) "Fire and casualty insurance" means a policy with an insurer that is authorized by the state insurance commission to insure property in this state.
(9) "Good cause" means factors peculiar to each claimant. At a minimum, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that factors outside of his or her control were the cause for missing the statutory deadline. This includes factors which would effectively prevent a reasonable person facing similar circumstances from filing a timely application, such as acting or failing to act based on authoritative written advice received directly from persons upon which a reasonable person would normally rely, severe weather conditions preventing safe travel to the point of filing, incapacity due to illness or injury, and other factors of similar gravity. Inadvertence or oversight is not a basis for a "good cause" extension of the filing deadline.
(10) "Irrevocable trust" means a trust that may not be revoked after its creation by the trustor.
(11) "Lease for life" means a lease that terminates upon the death of the lessee.
(12) "Lien" means any interest in property given to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation, including a deed of trust. A lien includes the total amount of special assessments and/or property taxes deferred and the interest thereon. It also may include any other outstanding balance owed to local government for special assessments.
(13) "Life estate" means an estate that consists of total rights to use, occupy, and control real property, but is limited to the lifetime of a designated party; this party is often called a "life tenant."
(14) "Local government" means any city, town, county, water-sewer district, public utility district, port district, irrigation district, flood control district, or any other municipal corporation, quasi municipal corporation, or other political subdivision authorized to levy special assessments.
(15) "Perjury" means the willful assertion as to a matter of fact, opinion, belief, or knowledge made by a claimant upon the declaration to defer that the claimant knows to be false.
(16) "Real property taxes" means ad valorem property taxes levied on a residence in this state. The term includes foreclosure costs, interest, and penalties accrued as of the date the declaration to defer is filed.
(17) "Residence" has the same meaning given in RCW 84.36.383
; it means a single-family dwelling unit whether the unit is separate or part of a multiunit dwelling and includes up to one acre of the parcel of land on which the dwelling stands, and it includes any additional property up to a total of five acres that comprises the residential parcel if local land use regulations require this larger parcel size.
(18) "Revocable trust" means an agreement that entitles the trustor to have the full right to use the real property and to revoke the trust and retake complete ownership of the property at any time during his or her lifetime. The trustee of a revocable trust holds only bare legal title to the real property. Full equitable title to the property remains with the trustor; the original property owner.
(19) "Rooming house" means a residence where persons may rent rooms.
(20) "Special assessment" means the charge or obligation imposed by local government upon real property specially benefited by improvements.