Chapter 3.18


3.18.010    Purpose.

3.18.020    Property tax levy imposed.

3.18.030    Fund established.

3.18.040    Use of fund.

3.18.050    Establishment of a Conservation Futures Program Advisory Board.

3.18.010 Purpose.

It is hereby declared to be in the public interest and to be a County purpose to adopt and impose a property tax levy as authorized by RCW 84.34.230 and to create a special fund to which all such levy proceeds shall be credited. The purpose of the fund created is to acquire interests or rights in real property for the preservation of farm, agricultural land, and critical areas. (Ord. 16380 § 1, 1996)

3.18.020 Property tax levy imposed.

Pursuant to RCW 84.34.230, there is hereby imposed a property tax levy to be applied against all taxable property within Skagit County. The levy shall be applied at a rate of six and one-quarter cents ($0.0625) per thousand dollars ($1,000) of assessed valuation. (Ord. 16380 § 2, 1996)

3.18.030 Fund established.

A special fund is hereby established, as provided for under RCW 84.34.240, which shall be known as the Conservation Futures Fund No. 122 and to which will be credited all taxes levied under this chapter. It is further ordered that all monies collected through Agricultural Land Mitigation/Preservation Fund No. 121 as established under Resolution No. 14873 shall be transferred into the Conservation Futures Fund No. 122, that Fund No. 121 be closed, and future receipts of monies to mitigate the conversion of agricultural land for commercial development or to preserve agricultural land be deposited into Fund No. 122. (Ord. 16380 § 3, 1996)

3.18.040 Use of fund.

Amounts placed in the conservation futures fund shall be used solely to acquire rights and interests in farm, agricultural land and critical areas on a voluntary basis, as established in Chapter 84.34 RCW and the Skagit County Code. The purpose is to protect, preserve, maintain, improve, restore, limit the future use of, or otherwise conserve the property for public use or enjoyment. Included are debt issuances and debt service costs related to bond monies and repayment in instances where bonds are issued to further these purposes. Until withdrawn for such use, the monies accumulated in the fund may be invested in interest-bearing securities. It shall be the joint responsibility of the Skagit County Treasurer and the County Auditor to account for all aspects of this fund. Any money remaining in the fund upon fund closure shall be transferred as directed by the Board of County Commissioners. (Ord. 16380 § 4, 1996)

3.18.050 Establishment of a Conservation Futures Program Advisory Board.

Effective January 1, 1997, the Board of County Commissioners shall appoint a Conservation Futures Program Advisory Board to implement the provisions of this chapter and the requirements found in SCC Title 14. The Program Advisory Board shall recommend to the Board of County Commissioners criteria for selection of the projects to be funded. The Program Advisory Board shall also make annual or more frequent recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners for projects to be funded as part of the conservation futures program and shall develop strategic, long-term plans for the program. All recommendations of the Program Advisory Board for purchases of development rights shall be reviewed by the County Finance Director and the County Planning Director to ensure conformity with financial limits and for consistency with the County planning policies, as specified within RCW 84.34.240. All recommendations of the Program Advisory Board shall be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners for final action.

The Program Advisory Board shall consist of seven voting members, who shall include one representative of the Skagit Conservation District, one representative from the Skagitonians to Protect Farm Land, one representative from the Skagit Land Trust, one citizen representative from each County Commissioner District, and one citizen-at-large member. Skagit County shall appoint a staff member to serve as the Program Advisory Board coordinator who shall serve as a nonvoting ex-officio member of this Board. Terms of the Program Advisory Board members shall be limited to four years. Initial terms shall be staggered so that no more than 33 percent of the Board members’ terms shall expire in any year. (Ord. O20230005; Ord. O20080006: Ord. 16380 § 5, 1996)