58th Legislature
2003 Regular Session

Passed by the House March 6, 2003
  Yeas 91   Nays 0

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate April 8, 2003
  Yeas 47   Nays 0

President of the Senate

I, Cynthia Zehnder, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1564 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington



Passed Legislature - 2003 Regular Session
State of Washington58th Legislature2003 Regular Session

By House Committee on Local Government (originally sponsored by Representatives Alexander, Fromhold, Mielke, Kessler and Buck)

READ FIRST TIME 02/26/03.   

     AN ACT Relating to clarifying county treasurer fiscal provisions; amending RCW 39.46.050, 84.56.120, 84.56.340, 84.64.060, 84.69.050, 84.69.070, and 36.29.190; and reenacting and amending RCW 84.64.080.


Sec. 1   RCW 39.46.050 and 1983 c 167 s 5 are each amended to read as follows:
     Each local government authorized to issue bonds is authorized to establish lines of credit with any qualified public depository to be drawn upon in exchange for its bonds or other obligations, to delegate to its ((fiscal officer)) treasurer authority to determine the amount of credit extended, and to pay interest and other finance or service charges. The interest rates on such bonds or other obligations may be a fixed rate or rates set periodically or a variable rate or rates determined by agreement of the parties.

Sec. 2   RCW 84.56.120 and 1991 c 245 s 20 are each amended to read as follows:
     After personal property has been assessed, it shall be unlawful for any person to remove the ((same)) personal property subject to priority tax liens created pursuant to RCW 84.60.010 and 84.60.020 from the county in which the property was assessed and from the state until taxes and interest are paid, or until notice has been given to the county treasurer describing the property to be removed and in case of public or private sales of personal property, a list of the property desired to be sold shall be sent to the treasurer, ((and no property shall be sold at such sale until the tax has been paid,)) the tax ((to)) will be computed upon the consolidated tax levy for the previous year. Any taxes owed shall become an automatic lien upon the proceeds of any auction and shall be remitted to the county treasurer before final distribution to any person, as defined in this section. If proceeds are distributed in violation of this section, the seller or agent of the seller shall assume all liability for taxes, interest, and penalties owed to the county treasurer. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. For the purposes of this section, "person" includes a property owner, mortgagor, creditor, or agent.

Sec. 3   RCW 84.56.340 and 1997 c 393 s 16 are each amended to read as follows:
     Any person desiring to pay taxes upon any part or parts of real property heretofore or hereafter assessed as one parcel, or tract, or upon such person's undivided fractional interest in such a property, may do so by applying to the county assessor, who must carefully investigate and ascertain the relative or proportionate value said part or part interest bears to the whole tract assessed, on which basis the assessment must be divided, and the assessor shall forthwith certify such proportionate value to the county treasurer: PROVIDED, That excepting when property is being acquired for public use, or where a person or financial institution desires to pay the taxes and any penalties and interest on a mobile home upon which they have a lien by mortgage or otherwise, no segregation of property for tax purposes shall be made under this section unless all current year and delinquent taxes and assessments on the entire tract have been paid in full. The county treasurer, upon receipt of certification, shall duly accept payment and issue receipt on the apportionment certified by the county assessor. In cases where protest is filed to said division appeal shall be made to the county legislative authority at its next regular session for final division, and the county treasurer shall accept and receipt for said taxes as determined and ordered by the county legislative authority. Any person desiring to pay on an undivided interest in any real property may do so by paying to the county treasurer a sum equal to such proportion of the entire taxes charged on the entire tract as interest paid on bears to the whole.

Sec. 4   RCW 84.64.060 and 2002 c 168 s 9 are each amended to read as follows:
     Any person owning ((an)) a recorded interest in lands or lots upon which judgment is prayed, as provided in this chapter, may in person or by agent pay the taxes, interest and costs due thereon to the county treasurer of the county in which the same are situated, at any time before the day of the sale; and for the amount so paid he or she shall have a lien on the property liable for taxes, interest and costs for which judgment is prayed; and the person or authority who shall collect or receive the same shall give a receipt for such payment, or issue to such person a certificate showing such payment. If paying by agent, the agent shall provide notarized documentation of the agency relationship.

Sec. 5   RCW 84.64.080 and 1999 c 153 s 72 and 1999 c 18 s 8 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
     The court shall examine each application for judgment foreclosing tax lien, and if defense (specifying in writing the particular cause of objection) be offered by any person interested in any of the lands or lots to the entry of judgment against the same, the court shall hear and determine the matter in a summary manner, without other pleadings, and shall pronounce judgment as the right of the case may be; or the court may, in its discretion, continue such individual cases, wherein defense is offered, to such time as may be necessary, in order to secure substantial justice to the contestants therein; but in all other cases the court shall proceed to determine the matter in a summary manner as above specified. In all judicial proceedings of any kind for the collection of taxes, and interest and costs thereon, all amendments which by law can be made in any personal action pending in such court shall be allowed, and no assessments of property or charge for any of the taxes shall be considered illegal on account of any irregularity in the tax list or assessment rolls or on account of the assessment rolls or tax list not having been made, completed or returned within the time required by law, or on account of the property having been charged or listed in the assessment or tax lists without name, or in any other name than that of the owner, and no error or informality in the proceedings of any of the officers connected with the assessment, levying or collection of the taxes, shall vitiate or in any manner affect the tax or the assessment thereof, and any irregularities or informality in the assessment rolls or tax lists or in any of the proceedings connected with the assessment or levy of such taxes or any omission or defective act of any officer or officers connected with the assessment or levying of such taxes, may be, in the discretion of the court, corrected, supplied and made to conform to the law by the court. The court shall give judgment for such taxes, interest and costs as shall appear to be due upon the several lots or tracts described in the notice of application for judgment or complaint, and such judgment shall be a several judgment against each tract or lot or part of a tract or lot for each kind of tax included therein, including all interest and costs, and the court shall order and direct the clerk to make and enter an order for the sale of such real property against which judgment is made, or vacate and set aside the certificate of delinquency or make such other order or judgment as in the law or equity may be just. The order shall be signed by the judge of the superior court, shall be delivered to the county treasurer, and shall be full and sufficient authority for him or her to proceed to sell the property for the sum as set forth in the order and to take such further steps in the matter as are provided by law. The county treasurer shall immediately after receiving the order and judgment of the court proceed to sell the property as provided in this chapter to the highest and best bidder for cash. The acceptable minimum bid shall be the total amount of taxes, interest, and costs. All sales shall be made at a location in the county on a date and time (except Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays) as the county treasurer may direct, and shall continue from day to day (Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays excepted) during the same hours until all lots or tracts are sold, after first giving notice of the time, and place where such sale is to take place for ten days successively by posting notice thereof in three public places in the county, one of which shall be in the office of the treasurer. The notice shall be substantially in the following form:


     Public notice is hereby given that pursuant to real property tax judgment of the superior court of the county of . . . . . . in the state of Washington, and an order of sale duly issued by the court, entered the . . . . day of . . . . . ., . . . ., in proceedings for foreclosure of tax liens upon real property, as per provisions of law, I shall on the . . . . day of . . . . . ., . . . ., at . . . . o'clock a.m., at . . . . . . in the city of . . . . . ., and county of . . . . . ., state of Washington, sell the real property to the highest and best bidder for cash, to satisfy the full amount of taxes, interest and costs adjudged to be due.
     In witness whereof, I have hereunto affixed my hand and seal this . . . . day of . . . . . ., . . . . .
      . . . . . . . . . . . .
                         Treasurer of . . . . . . . . . . . .

     No county officer or employee shall directly or indirectly be a purchaser of such property at such sale.
     If any buildings or improvements are upon an area encompassing more than one tract or lot, the same must be advertised and sold as a single unit.
     If the highest amount bid for any such separate unit tract or lot is in excess of the minimum bid due upon the whole property included in the certificate of delinquency, the excess shall be refunded following payment of all water-sewer district liens, on application therefor, to the record owner of the property. The record owner of the property is the person who held title on the date of issuance of the certificate of delinquency. Assignments of interests, deeds, or other documents executed or recorded after filing the certificate of delinquency shall not affect the payment of excess funds to the record owner. In the event no claim for the excess is received by the county treasurer within three years after the date of the sale he or she shall at expiration of the three year period deposit such excess in the current expense fund of the county. The county treasurer shall execute to the purchaser of any piece or parcel of land a tax deed. The deed so made by the county treasurer, under the official seal of his or her office, shall be recorded in the same manner as other conveyances of real property, and shall vest in the grantee, his or her heirs and assigns the title to the property therein described, without further acknowledgment or evidence of such conveyance, and shall be substantially in the following form:

State of Washington|
County of . . . . . . . . . . . .

     This indenture, made this . . . . day of . . . . . ., . . . . . ., between . . . . . ., as treasurer of . . . . . . county, state of Washington, party of the first part, and . . . . . ., party of the second part:
     Witnesseth, that, whereas, at a public sale of real property held on the . . . . day of . . . . . ., . . . ., pursuant to a real property tax judgment entered in the superior court in the county of . . . . . . on the . . . . day of . . . . . ., . . . ., in proceedings to foreclose tax liens upon real property and an order of sale duly issued by the court, . . . . . . duly purchased in compliance with the laws of the state of Washington, the following described real property, to wit: (Here place description of real property conveyed) and that the . . . . . . has complied with the laws of the state of Washington necessary to entitle (him, or her or them) to a deed for the real property.
     Now, therefore, know ye, that, I . . . . . ., county treasurer of the county of . . . . . ., state of Washington, in consideration of the premises and by virtue of the statutes of the state of Washington, in such cases provided, do hereby grant and convey unto . . . . . ., his or her heirs and assigns, forever, the real property hereinbefore described.
     Given under my hand and seal of office this . . . . day of . . . . . ., A.D. . . . .
                          . . . . . . . . . . . .
                         County Treasurer.

Sec. 6   RCW 84.69.050 and 1988 c 222 s 31 are each amended to read as follows:
     The part of the refund representing amounts paid to the state, including interest as provided in RCW 84.69.100, shall be paid from the county general fund and the department of revenue shall, upon the next succeeding settlement with the county, certify this amount refunded to the county: PROVIDED, That when a refund of tax funds pursuant to state levies is required, the department of revenue shall authorize adjustment procedures whereby counties may deduct from property tax remittances to the state the amount required to cover the state's portion of the refunds.

Sec. 7   RCW 84.69.070 and 1991 c 245 s 38 are each amended to read as follows:
     Refunds ordered with respect to taxing districts, including interest as provided in RCW 84.69.100, shall be paid by checks drawn by the county treasurer upon such available funds, if any, as the taxing districts may have on deposit in the county treasury, or in the event such funds are insufficient, then out of funds subsequently accruing to such taxing district and on deposit in the county treasury. When such refunds are made as a result of taxes paid under levies or statutes adjudicated to be illegal or unconstitutional all administrative costs including interest paid on the refunds incurred by the county treasurer in making such refunds shall be a charge against the funds of such districts and/or the state on a pro rata basis until the county current expense fund is fully reimbursed for the administrative expenses incurred in making such refund: PROVIDED, That whenever orders for refunds of ad valorem taxes promulgated by the county treasurer or county legislative authority and unpaid checks shall expire and become void as provided in RCW 84.69.110, then any moneys remaining in a refund account established by the county treasurer for any taxing district may be transferred by the county treasurer from such refund account to the county current expense fund to reimburse the county for the administrative expense incurred in making refunds as prescribed herein. Any excess then remaining in the taxing district refund account may then be transferred by the county treasurer to the current expense fund of the taxing district for which the tax was originally levied and collected.

Sec. 8   RCW 36.29.190 and 1997 c 393 s 19 are each amended to read as follows:
     County treasurers are authorized to accept credit cards, charge cards, debit cards, smart cards, stored value cards, federal wire, and automatic clearinghouse system transactions, or other electronic communication, for any payment of any kind including, but not limited to, taxes, fines, interest, penalties, special assessments, fees, rates, charges, or moneys due counties. A payer desiring to pay by a credit card, charge card, debit card, smart card, stored value card, federal wire, automatic clearinghouse system, or other electronic communication shall bear the cost of processing the transaction in an amount determined by the treasurer, unless the county legislative authority or the legislative authority of a district where the county treasurer serves as ex officio treasurer finds that it is in the best interests of the county or district to not charge transaction processing costs for all payment transactions made for a specific category of nontax payments ((due)) received by the county treasurer, including, but not limited to, fines, interest not associated with taxes, penalties not associated with taxes, special assessments, fees, rates, and charges. The treasurer's cost determination shall be based upon costs incurred by the treasurer and may not, in any event, exceed the additional direct costs incurred by the county to accept the specific form of payment utilized by the payer.

--- END ---