SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL NO. 5144


                                                            AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE


                                                                            C 204 L 89



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Governmental Operations (originally sponsored by Senators Pullen and DeJarnatt)



Read first time 1/30/89.



AN ACT Relating to the preservation of documents recorded or filed with county auditors; amending RCW 36.18.010; adding new sections to chapter 36.18 RCW; and creating a new section.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     The legislature, finding in this centennial year that many old documents recorded or filed with county officials are deteriorating due to age and environmental degradation and that such documents require preservation in the public interest before they are irreparably damaged, enacts the centennial document preservation act of 1989.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.     Each county auditor is hereby authorized to provide for the installation and thereafter for the maintenance of an improved system for copying, preserving, and indexing documents recorded in the county.  Such a system may utilize the latest technology including, but not limited to, photomicrographic and computerized electronic digital storage methodology.  The initial installation of the improved system shall include the following:

          (1) The acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of the equipment provided for in the definition above; and

          (2) The establishment of procedures for the continued preservation, indexing, and filing of all instruments and records that will, after the effective installation date, constitute a part of the improved system.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.     A surcharge of two dollars per instrument shall be charged by the county auditor for each document recorded, which will be in addition to any other charge authorized by law.  Fifty percent of the revenue generated through this surcharge shall be transmitted monthly to the state treasurer who shall distribute such funds to each county treasurer within the state in July of each year in accordance with the formula described in section 5 of this act.  The county treasurer shall place the funds received in a special account titled the auditor's centennial document preservation and modernization account to be used solely for the purpose authorized by this chapter and shall not be added to the county current expense fund.  Fifty percent of the revenue generated by this surcharge shall be retained by the county and deposited in the auditor's operation and maintenance fund for ongoing preservation of historical documents.  The portion of the surcharge transmitted to the state treasurer shall expire January 1, 1995, at which time the surcharge authorized in this section shall be reduced to one dollar per instrument.

          The centennial document preservation and modernization account is hereby created in the custody of the state treasurer and shall be classified as a treasury trust account.  State distributions from the centennial document preservation and modernization account shall be made without appropriation.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.     The state treasurer may charge the fund for the actual costs of collecting, administering, and disbursing the funds but the charge shall not exceed one percent of the funds collected.  The state treasurer shall invest funds while in the department's custody in accordance with existing laws and the interest earned will be added to the fund.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.     After deduction of those costs of the state treasurer that are described under section 4 of this act, the balance of the funds will be distributed to the counties according to the following formula:  One-half of the funds available shall be equally distributed among the thirty-nine counties; and the balance will be distributed among the counties in direct proportion to their population as it relates to the total state's population based on the most recent population statistics.


        Sec. 6.  Section 36.18.010, chapter 4, Laws of 1963 as last amended by section 1, chapter 230, Laws of 1987 and RCW 36.18.010 are each amended to read as follows:

          County auditors shall collect the following fees for their official services:

          For recording instruments, for the first page, legal size (eight and one-half by thirteen inches or less), five dollars; for each additional legal size page, one dollar;

          For preparing and certifying copies, for the first legal size page, three dollars; for each additional legal size page, one dollar;

          For preparing noncertified copies, for each legal size page, one dollar;

          For administering an oath or taking an affidavit, with or without seal, two dollars;

          For issuing a marriage license, eight dollars, (this fee includes taking necessary affidavits, filing returns, indexing, and transmittal of a record of the marriage to the state registrar of vital statistics) plus an additional five-dollar fee to be transmitted monthly to the state treasurer and deposited in the state general fund, which five-dollar fee shall expire June 30, 1988, plus an additional ten-dollar fee to be transmitted monthly to the state treasurer and deposited in the state general fund.  The legislature intends to appropriate an amount at least equal to the revenue generated by this fee for the purposes of the displaced homemaker act, chapter 28B.04 RCW;

          For searching records per hour, eight dollars;

          For recording plats, fifty cents for each lot except cemetery plats for which the charge shall be twenty-five cents per lot; also one dollar for each acknowledgment, dedication, and description:  PROVIDED, That there shall be a minimum fee of twenty-five dollars per plat;

          For recording of miscellaneous records, not listed above, for first legal size page, five dollars; for each additional legal size page, one dollar;

          For modernization and improvement of the recording and indexing system, a surcharge as provided in section 3 of this act.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.     Sections 2 through 5 of this act are each added to chapter 36.18 RCW.