Chapter 3.04
LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS*

Sections:

3.04.010    State statutes adopted.

3.04.015    Local improvement district assessment roll hearings.

3.04.020    Fund established.

3.04.030    Interest earnings.

3.04.040    Subrogation rights to assessments.

3.04.050    Surplus funds.

3.04.060    Tax levy.

3.04.070    Purchases of bonds, coupons and warrants.

3.04.080    Purchases of certificates or property.

3.04.090    Warrants against fund.

3.04.100    Assessment – Deferrals – Liens.

3.04.110    Assessment – Delinquency – Foreclosure action.

3.04.120    Assessment – Delinquency – Notification of property owner.

3.04.130    Assessment – Delinquency – Balance of payment due.

3.04.140    Reasonable attorneys’ fees allowed.

*    For statutory provisions on local improvements in code cities, see Chapter 35A.43 RCW, making applicable Chapters 35.43 through 35.56 RCW.

3.04.010 State statutes adopted.

The procedures relating to municipal local improvements and assessments as set forth in Chapters 35.43 through 35.56 RCW are adopted for the city. (Ord. 834 § 1, 1977).

3.04.015 Local improvement district assessment roll hearings.

A.    As authorized by RCW 35.44.070, the city council hereby provides for delegating, whenever directed by majority vote of the city council, the duty of conducting public hearings for the purpose of considering final assessment rolls and the individual assessments upon property within local improvement districts to a city of Bothell hearing examiner appointed under Chapter 2.54 BMC; and the hearing examiner is directed to conduct such hearings when thus authorized by the city council.

B.    All objections to the confirmation of the assessment roll shall be in writing and identify the property, be signed by the owners and clearly state the grounds of the objection. Objections not made within the time and in the manner prescribed in this chapter and as required by law shall be conclusively presumed to have been waived.

C.    The hearing examiner shall make recommendations to the city council following the completion of such hearings and the city council shall either adopt or reject the recommendations of the hearing examiner.

D.    The recommendations of the hearing examiner shall be that the city council correct, revise, lower, change or modify the roll or any part thereof, or set aside the roll in order for the assessment to be made de novo, or that the city council adopt or correct the roll or take other action on the roll. The recommendations of the hearing examiner shall be filed with the city clerk and each person whose name appears upon the recommended assessment roll shall receive written notification of their recommended assessment. The city council shall adopt or reject the recommendation of the hearing examiner at a public meeting and shall act by ordinance in confirming the final assessment roll; provided, that any person who shall have timely filed an objection to their assessment may appeal the decision of the hearing examiner to the city council by filing written notice of such appeal with the city council within 10 calendar days after the date of mailing of the hearing examiner’s decision.

E.    The appeal shall be based exclusively upon the record made before the hearing examiner and shall be considered by the city council at a public meeting. No new evidence may be presented. Arguments on appeal shall be either oral or written as the city council may order.

F.    Appeals from a decision of the city council regarding any assessment shall be made to the superior court within the time and in the manner prescribed by law. (Ord. 1650 § 1, 1996).

3.04.020 Fund established.

There is established in the city a fund designated as the local improvement guaranty fund for the purpose of guaranteeing, to the extent of the fund, the payment of the city’s local improvement bonds and warrants issued to pay for any local improvement ordered in the city or in any area wholly or partly outside its corporate boundaries. The rules and regulations for the maintenance and operation of the guaranty fund are established by BMC 3.04.030 through 3.04.100. (Ord. 855 § 1, 1977).

3.04.030 Interest earnings.

Interest and earnings from the local improvement guaranty fund shall be paid into the fund. (Ord. 855 § 2, 1977).

3.04.040 Subrogation rights to assessments.

Whenever any sum is paid out of the local improvement guaranty fund on account of principal or interest of a local improvement bond or warrant, the city as trustee of the fund shall be subrogated to all the rights of the holder of the bond or interest coupon or warrant so paid, and the proceeds thereof, or of the underlying assessment, shall become part of the guaranty fund. (Ord. 855 § 3, 1977).

3.04.050 Surplus funds.

If in any local improvement fund guaranteed by the local improvement guaranty fund there is a surplus remaining after the payment of all outstanding bonds and warrants payable therefrom, it shall be paid into the local improvement guaranty fund. (Ord. 855 § 4, 1977).

3.04.060 Tax levy.

A.    For the purpose of maintaining the local improvement guaranty fund, the city shall, at the time of making its annual budget and tax levy, provide for the levy of a sum sufficient, with the other sources of the fund, to pay to warrants issued against the fund during the preceding fiscal year and to establish a balance therein; provided, that the levy in any one year shall not exceed five percent of the outstanding obligations guaranteed by the fund.

B.    The taxes levied for the maintenance of the local improvement guaranty fund shall be additional to and, if need be, in excess of all statutory limitations applicable to tax levies in the city. (Ord. 855 § 5, 1977).

3.04.070 Purchases of bonds, coupons and warrants.

Defaulted bonds, interest coupons, and warrants against local improvement funds shall be purchased out of the guaranty fund and, as between the several issues of bonds, coupons, or warrants, no preference shall exist, but shall be purchased in the order of their presentation. (Ord. 855 § 6, 1977).

3.04.080 Purchases of certificates or property.

A.    For the purpose of protecting the guaranty fund, so much of the guaranty fund as is necessary may be used to purchase certificates of delinquency for general taxes on property subject to local improvement assessments which underlie the bonds, coupons, or warrants guaranteed by the fund, or to purchase such property at county tax foreclosures, or from the county after foreclosure.

B.    The city, as trustee of the fund, may foreclose the lien of general tax certificates of delinquency and purchase the property at foreclosure sale; when doing so the court costs, costs of publication, expense for clerical work and other expenses incidental thereto shall be charged to and paid from the local improvement guaranty fund.

C.    After acquiring title to property by purchase at general tax foreclosure sale or from the county after foreclosure, the city may lease it or sell it at public or private sale at such price on such terms as may be determined by resolution of the council. All proceeds shall belong to and be paid into the local improvement guaranty fund. (Ord. 855 § 7, 1977).

3.04.090 Warrants against fund.

Warrants drawing interest at a rate not to exceed six percent shall be issued against the local improvement guaranty fund to meet any liability accruing against it. The warrants so issued shall at no time exceed five percent of the outstanding obligations guaranteed by the fund. (Ord. 855 § 8, 1977).

3.04.100 Assessment – Deferrals – Liens.

A.    Whenever payment of a local improvement district assessment is deferred pursuant to the provisions of RCW 35.43.250, the amount of the deferred assessment shall be paid out of the local improvement guaranty fund. The local improvement guaranty fund shall have a lien on the benefitted property in an amount equal to the deferral together with interest as provided for by the establishing ordinance.

B.    The lien may accumulate up to an amount not to exceed the sum of two installments; provided, that the ordinance creating the local improvement district may provide for one or additional deferrals of up to two installments. Local improvement assessment obligations deferred under this chapter shall become payable upon the earliest of the following dates:

1.    Upon the date and pursuant to conditions established by the ordinance granting the deferral; or

2.    Upon the sale of property which has a deferred assessment lien upon it from the purchase price; or

3.    Upon the death of the person to whom the deferral was granted from the value of his estate; except a surviving spouse shall be allowed to continue the deferral which shall then be payable by that spouse as provided in this section. (Ord. 855 § 9, 1977).

3.04.110 Assessment – Delinquency – Foreclosure action.

If on the first day of January in any year two installments of any local improvement assessment are delinquent, or if the final installment thereof has been delinquent for more than one year, the city attorney is authorized and directed to proceed with the foreclosure of the delinquent assessment or delinquent installments by an action on behalf of the city in the superior court for King County. Such action shall be commenced on or before June 1st of that year; provided, that the provisions of BMC 3.04.060 have been previously complied with. (Ord. 532 § 1, 1968).

3.04.120 Assessment – Delinquency – Notification of property owner.

The city treasurer shall mail to each person whose name appears on the assessment roll as owner of the property charged with any assessment or installment which is delinquent, at the address last known to the city treasurer, a notice at least 30 days before the commencement of any action to foreclose a delinquent assessment. The notice shall state the amount due on each separate lot, tract or parcel of land, and the date after which the proceedings will commence. (Ord. 532 § 2, 1968).

3.04.130 Assessment – Delinquency – Balance of payment due.

In any action brought for the foreclosure of a delinquent assessment or a delinquent installment thereof, future installments not otherwise due and payable shall thereupon be accelerated, and the entire balance of the assessment with interest, penalty and costs shall become due and payable and the collection thereof shall be enforced by foreclosure. (Ord. 532 § 3, 1968).

3.04.140 Reasonable attorneys’ fees allowed.

In the case of foreclosure of delinquent assessments, there shall be added to the cost and expense allowed by Chapter 3.40 RCW such reasonable attorneys’ fees as the court may adjudge to be equitable. The amount thereof shall be apportioned to each delinquent assessment or installment appearing on the assessment roll. (Ord. 1004 § 1, 1981).