State of Washington 57th Legislature2002 Regular Session

By Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Parks & Shorelines (originally sponsored by Senators Morton, Hargrove, Hewitt, Honeyford, T. Sheldon, Hochstatter, Benton, Stevens, McCaslin, Long, Hale and Sheahan)

READ FIRST TIME 02/07/2002.

AN ACT Relating to purchase of land by state agencies; and creating new sections.




NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature finds that in some regions of the state there is growing controversy over the purchase of large tracts of land by state agencies for wildlife habitat and related purposes, especially in areas of the state with a limited private land base. There is concern that these purchases may decrease local tax revenues, may cause inflated land values, and that the stewardship of the lands may not be adequate, leading to weed infestation and other impacts to neighboring properties. Therefore, the legislature finds that the joint legislative audit and review committee should investigate these concerns and others, and make recommendations for legislative action where warranted.


NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. The joint legislative audit and review committee must conduct a review of state agency land purchases for wildlife habitat and related purposes over the last five years in the six counties of the state with the highest proportion of public land ownership. The review must include an assessment of the following:

(1) The cumulative effect of the purchases of state land on local government property tax revenues;

(2) The process used to select properties for state land purchase;

(3) The method of appraising potential lands for purchase, and the appraised value in comparison to the final purchase price;

(4) Whether state agency land purchases have impacted property values positively or negatively in the immediate vicinity of the property;

(5) The maintenance and management of state lands purchased, specifically with regard to weed management; and

(6) The effects on the local economy from the changes in use of the property purchased.

The report must be submitted to the natural resources committees of the senate and house of representatives by December 1, 2003.


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