By Cindy Alia December 13, 2019
Early in December, the State Supreme Court quietly and somewhat contradictorily reversed a Superior Court Decision that disallowed King County's ordinance to charge a fee for utilities use of rights of way.
A tax by any other name…
On November 7, 2016, the King County Council adopted Ordinance 18403 to authorize the imposition and collection of rent from water, sewer, gas and electric utilities using county roads and rights-of-way. According to the county the Ordinance would generate $10,000,000 yearly, which will be deposited to the County’s general fund. On December 29, 2017, the county Facilities Management Division adopted the rule for Determining Franchise Compensation to implement the Ordinance. The rule was effective as of January 29, 2018.