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AGO 1949 No. 150 - November 01, 1949
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

TAXATION -- REAL PROPERTY -- TERRITORY ANNEXED TO A CITY

A city to which territory is annexed effective December 31, 1949, will not be entitled to a share of the taxes levied in 1949 upon the property therein.

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                                                                November 1, 1949

Honorable Boone Hardin
Prosecuting Attorney
Whatcom County
Bellingham, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 150

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of October 21, 1949, in which you ask the following question:

            A certain area contiguous to the city of Bellingham, and now a part of Marietta township, will, in all probability, be annexed to the city effective December 31, 1949.  May taxes levied upon this property during 1949 for collection in 1950, be apportioned so that the city of Bellingham would receive some of the moneys to be collected therefrom?

            The conclusion reached may be summarized as follows:

            A city to which territory is annexed effective December 31, 1949, will not be entitled to a share of the taxes levied in 1949 upon the property therein.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Apparently you are considering the possibility of a portion of the township levy being diverted to the city, due to the fact that annexation to the city will automatically cause the area to be detached from the township, Rem. Rev. Stat. 11363, 11364.  Complete answer to your problem is found in the provisions of a statute enacted to provide for the  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] establishment of boundaries of taxing districts for the purpose of the levy of taxes, section 1, chapter 136, Laws of 1939, as last amended by section 1, chapter 65, Laws of 1949, which provides as follows:

            "For the purposes of property taxation and the levy of property taxes the boundaries of counties, cities and all other taxing districts shall be the established official boundaries of such districts existing on the first day of March of the year in which the levy is made, and no such levy shall be made for any taxing district whose boundaries were not duly established on the first day of March of such year."

            In view of the express provisions of the above statute, it appears clear that a taxing district may levy its taxes upon taxable property in the area included within its boundaries as of the first day of March in the year in which the levy is made regardless of subsequent alterations.  Therefore, the township levy on the property in the annexed area must be collected and applied by the county treasurer to the benefit of the township.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

C. JOHN NEWLANDS
Assistant Attorney General

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