This page provides information on the formation and operation of Public Facilities Districts. The existing districts are listed by county. For historical information on this topic, see the Bellingham Public Facilities District's document, Public Facilities Districts in the State of Washington: A History, updated April 2004 and a companion Summary, updated July 2006. There is also a membership organization, the Association of Washington Public Facilities Districts which provides summary information on its member districts.
In December 2011, the Greater Wenatchee PFD was unable to refinance short-term bonds issued in 2008 and it defaulted on its obligation. Legislation was passed during the 2012 session to allow an anchor Public Facilities District that has defaulted on debt to impose a councilmanic sales tax of two-tenths of one percent for the purpose of refinancing the debt in addition to any sales tax imposed by the PFD. See summary of the 2012 legislation below.
About Public Facilities Districts
Public facilities districts (PFDs) are municipal corporations with independent taxing authority and are taxing districts under the state constitution. There are two enabling statutes, Ch. 36.100 RCW for counties and Ch. 35.57 RCW for cities, towns, and contiguous groups of cities and towns. A PFD may charge fees for the use of its facilities, levy an admissions tax not exceeding five percent, and impose a vehicle parking tax not exceeding 10 percent. In addition to these revenue sources, state law allows PFDs to impose two different types of sales and use taxes. Public facilities districts may impose a local sales and use tax of up to 0.033 percent to finance regional centers and with voter approval, PFDs may also impose a local sales and use tax up to 0.2 percent to finance, design, construct, remodel, maintain, or operate public facilities. For additional discussion see, City and County Options for Creative Financing: PFDs, PDAs and 501(c)(3)s, by Jay Reich and Stacey Crawshaw-Lewis, Attorneys, Preston Gates Ellis, Washington Economic Development Association’s Spring Conference, April 15-16, 2003.
In 2009, SHB 1692 (Laws of 2009, ch. 167), was passed which requires a public facilities district to identify, in its annual budget, proposed expenditures for promotional activities and to adopt rules governing promotional hosting.
The Laws of 2012, ch. 4 (SB 5984), effective March 1, 2012, amends Ch. 35.57 RCW. SB 5984 was introduced in response to the Wenatchee Public Facilities District bond default. It would require an independent financial feasibility review to be performed prior to any of the following events: the formation of a public facilities district, the issuance of any indebtedness by a public facilities district, or the long-term lease, purchase, or development of a facility. See Legislative Summary in House Bill Report 5984 . Also see Public Facilities District Feasibility Review, Washington State Department of Commerce.
List of Public Facilities Districts by County
Asotin Public Facilities District
Kennewick Public Facilities District
Richland Public Facilities District
- Ordinance No. 18-02 - Creates the Richland Facilities District to acquire, construct, operate, and/or finance a regional center in Richland, including any related parking facilities, passed 07/2002
- Charter and Bylaws
- Public Facilities District Board
- The Reach - A project of the Richland Public Facilities District. The facility features exhibitions and programs that celebrate the region's history and culture.
Benton and Franklin County
Tri Cities Regional Public Facilities District
The district was formed through an interlocal agreement between Richland, Pasco and Kennewick to assist in the financing, construction and operation and maintenance of a regional aquatic facility and water park.
Chelan and Douglas County
Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District
See Legislative Summary of Laws of 2012, ch. 4 (SSB 5984) in the Final Bill Report SSB 5984 regarding the Greater Wenatchee Public Facilities District December 31, 2011 bond default.
Pursuant to the 2012 legislation, Proposition 1 was placed before the district's voters at the April 17, 2012 special election. The ballot title was as follows: Proposition 1, Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District Sales and Use Tax For Public Facilities District.
The Board of Directors of the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District adopted Resolution No. 2012-02, concerning a proposition to finance the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center. This proposition would authorize the District to impose a sales and use tax equal to one-tenth of one percent (0.1%), for support of the operations of the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center and to refinance existing debt, all as provided in Resolution No. 2012-02. This sales and use tax must terminate one year after such refinancing debt is repaid. Should this proposition be approved?
The proposition was approved by 64.55% yes votes.
In an October 2012 Washington Supreme Court decision, In re Bond Issuance of Greater Wenatchee Reg'l Events Center, the Court held that a "contingent loan agreement" had to be considered in determining whether the city had exceeded its debt limit. Wenatchee had agreed to make debt payments on behalf of a public facilities district, if the district failed to do so. Even though the debt was contingent, it was essentially a guaranty placing risk on the city and its taxpayers; to be valid, the agreement needed to be approved by a vote of the people
The Greater Wenatchee Public Facilities District was formed via an interlocal agreement between Chelan and Douglas Counties, the Cities of Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Chelan, Cashmere, Entiat, and Rock Island, and the Town of Waterville.
Clark County Public Facilities District
Vancouver Public Facilities District
- Vancouver Public Facilities District Board
- Vancouver Conference Center and Hotel
- Ordinance No. M-3461 - Creates the Vancouver Public Facilities District; charter of the Vancouver Public Facilities District, passed 10/1999
Cowlitz County Public Facilities District
Pasco Public Facilities District
Grays Harbor County
Grays Harbor Public Facilities District
Kent Special Events Center Public Facilities District
Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District
- Safeco Field
- King County Code Ch. 2.38 - Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District
Kitsap Public Facilities District
- Resolution No. 093-2000 - Creates a public facilities district and provides for the appointment of members to the district, passed 05/2000
- Resolution No. 139-2000 - Establishes the terms and duties of the Kitsap County Public Facilities District board of directors, 07/2000
- Kitsap Conference Center - The Conference Center and parking garage below it were initially funded by a partnership of the City of Bremerton, Kitsap County and the Kitsap Public Facilities District. Subsequent public/private development partnerships added the many other elements to the Harborside Plaza complex.
Lewis County Public Facilities District
- Resolution No. 07-247, passed 08/2007
- Laws of 2007, ch. 48 (HB 3151) and Final Bill Report 3151 - Extended commencement-of-construction date for a sales and use tax for public facilities districts in national disaster counties.
- Lewis County Event Center and Sports Complex - A joint partnership between the City of Centralia, Lewis County Public Facilities District, and the Centralia School District
- Lewis County Lewis County Event Center and Sports Complex LLC Umbrella Agreement, 03/2010 - Agreement with the Lewis County Public Facilities District, Centralia School District, and Lewis County Event Center and Sports Complex LLC to construct and operate a new multi-use regional multi-million dollar facility in historic Fort Borst Park and on adjacent Centralia School District land. This project will channel economic development benefits in many ways for Centralia and all of Lewis County. It will bring new tournaments for baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, and other special events to the city. This influx of tournaments and visitors will then provide additional income for restaurants, retail establishments, and overnight facilities.
Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District
- Greater Tacoma Regional Convention and Trade Center
- Resolution No. 34548 - Creates Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District by Interlocal Agreement, passed 10/1999
- Charter and Bylaws
- Resolution 34561 - Authorizes the city to enter into agreement with the Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities Districts for design, development construction, and operation of the convention center, passed 10/1999
- Interlocal operating agreement between the Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District and Tacoma, dated 11/01/1999
- Interlocal agreement between of Fife, Tacoma, University Place, and Lakewood for the creation of a Tacoma Convention Center Public Facilities District, 1999
- Pierce County Resolution No. R2002-85 - Authorizes an agreement to form and operate a public facilities district with the cities of Tacoma, Fife, Lakewood, and University Place to construct and operate a Regional Convention Center (agreement attached), passed 05/2002
Skagit County Regional Public Facilities District
Snohomish County Public Facilities District
Edmonds Public Facilities District
Everett Public Facilities District
South Snohomish County Public Facilities District
Spokane Public Facilities District
Capitol Area Regional Public Facilities District
This district encompasses Olympia, Lacey, and Thurston County in a Joint Public Facilities District.
- Ordinance No. 1183 - Adopts an interlocal agreement for creation of a public facilities district for a regional center and charter of a Lacey Public Facilities district, passed 07/2002. File includes Lacy Ordinance No. 1196 amending Ordinance No. 1183 dated 12/19/2002
- Lacey-Thurston County Regional Athletic Complex
- Sports Complex Memorandum of Understanding between Thurston County and the city of Lacey Regional Sports Complex joint purchase, ownership, use and maintenance, 1999
Olympia Public Facilities District
Walla Walla County
Walla Walla County Public Facilities District
- Walla Walla County Unnumbered Resolution - Creates the Walla Walla County Public Facilities District, passed 07/2003
Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District
- Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District
- Whatcom County Ordinance No. 2002-041 - Creates a joint public facilities district known as the Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District to undertake the design, construction, operation, promotion, and financing of a regional center and/or related parking or other related facilities, passed 07/2002
- Bellingham Ordinance No. 2002-02-015 - Creates the Bellingham Public Facilities District, passed 03/2002
- Interlocal Agreement to include all Whatcom County cities and towns in District, Contract No. 2002070261, 10/2007
Yakima Regional Public Facilities District
This district encompasses the cities of Yakima, Selah, and Union Gap.
- Yakima Convention Center - The District was established to lease and operate the Yakima Convention Center
- Ordinance 2002-36 -Creates a public facilities district revenue fund, passed 06/2002
- Resolution No. R-2001-102 - Authorizes execution of design development, construction, financing, and operations agreement, and authorizing execution of lease of convention center to the public facilities district, passed 06/2002