Public Facilities Districts (PFDs)
This page provides a basic overview of public facilities districts (PFDs) in Washington State, including funding sources and a list of existing districts by county.
Any city or group of contiguous cities in a county of less than one million population may create a public facilities district (PFD) under chapter 35.57 RCW to develop, improve, and operate "regional centers" (defined in RCW 35.57.020) costing at least $10 million and serving a regional population.
In addition, any county may create a public facilities district under chapter 36.100 RCW to develop and operate sports, entertainment, convention, or recreational facilities, as well as "regional centers" as defined above.
Public facilities districts are municipal corporations with independent taxing authority and are taxing districts under the state constitution. PFDs must be coextensive with the boundaries of the jurisdictions that created them.
PFDs may impose a number of taxes, fees, and charges, including:
- A 0.2% sales tax which must be approved by a simple majority of voters (RCW 82.14.048), with an additional 0.2% taxing authority for "distressed PFDs" which currently applies only to the City of Wenatchee;
- Admission taxes up to 5% (RCW 35.57.100 and RCW 36.100.210);
- Parking taxes up to 10% (RCW 35.57.110 and RCW 36.100.220);
- General obligation and revenue bonds;
- Lodging taxes (for county PFDs only under RCW 36.100.040);
- "State shared" sales tax credits (RCW 82.14.390 and RCW 82.14.485); and
- User charges and fees.
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.
Since 2012, an independent financial feasibility review is required prior to the formation of a new PFD, the issuance of new debt, or the long-term lease, purchase, or development of a facility (RCW 35.57.025 and RCW 36.100.025). For more information, see the state Department of Commerce Public Facility District Financial Feasibility Reviews Program.
- Association of Washington Public Facilities Districts - Provides summary information on its member districts
Also 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.
Kennewick Public Facilities District
- Ordinance No. 3966 (2000) - Creates the Kennewick Public Facilities District
- Resolution No. 01-10 (2001) - Appoints a board of directors to the Kennewick Public Facilities District
- Three Rivers Convention Center and Coliseum
Richland Public Facilities District
- Ordinance No. 18-02 (2002) - Creates the Richland Facilities District to acquire, construct, operate, and/or finance a regional center in Richland, including any related parking facilities
- Charter and Bylaws
- 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 Counties
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.
- Interlocal Cooperation Agreement (Tri Cities Regional Public Facilities District) (2010)
- Tri Cities Regional Public Facilities District Resolution No. 2013-02 (2013) - Authorizes election for voters to approve or reject a proposition to impose a 0.1% sales tax for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of an indoor/outdoor regional aquatics facility and water park.
Chelan and Douglas Counties
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.
In a 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.
- Town Toyota Center
- Wenatchee Municipal Code Ch. 5.104 - Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District Sales and Use Tax
Clark County Public Facilities District
- Ordinance No. 2002-07-21 (2002) - PFD was formed for the purpose of participating in the study, planning, and development of two regional centers in Clark County: the Vancouver Convention Center and the Exhibition Hall at the Fairgrounds.
Vancouver Public Facilities District
- Vancouver Conference Center and Hotel
- Ordinance No. M-3461 (1999) - Creates the Vancouver Public Facilities District; charter of the Vancouver Public Facilities District
Cowlitz County Public Facilities District
- Resolution 99-240 (1999) - Creates Cowlitz County Public Facilities District
- Cowlitz County Regional Conference Center
Pasco Public Facilities District
- Pasco Public Facilities District - Passed sales and use tax in 2022 following unsuccessful attempt in 2013 by Tri-Cities Regional PFD
Grays Harbor County
Grays Harbor Public Facilities District
Kent Special Events Center Public Facilities District
- ShoWare Center
- Ordinance No. 3852 (2007) - Creates the Kent Special Events Center Public Facilities District - File includes interlocal agreement and bylaws of PFD
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
- Resolution No. 093-2000 (2000) - Creates a public facilities district and provides for the appointment of members to the district; includes second resolution establishing terms and duties of the board of directors
- 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 (2007) - Creating public facilities district
- 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 (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 (1999) - Creates Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District by Interlocal Agreement
- Charter and Bylaws
- Resolution 34561 (1999) - 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
- Interlocal operating agreement (1999) between the Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District and Tacoma
- Interlocal agreement (1999) between Fife, Tacoma, University Place, and Lakewood for the creation of a Tacoma Convention Center Public Facilities District
- Pierce County Resolution No. R2002-85 (2002) - 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)
Skagit County Regional Public Facilities District
- McIntyre Hall Performing Arts and Conference Center
- Resolution No. 18364 (2001) - Forms Skagit County Regional Public Facilities District
- Resolution No. 20020048 (2002) - Amends charter
- Snohomish PFD Projects
- Ordinance No. 01-041 (2001) - Creates the Snohomish County Public Facilities District
- Charter and Bylaws
Edmonds Public Facilities District
Everett Public Facilities District
South Snohomish County Public Facilities District
- Lynnwood Ordinance No. 2266 (1999) - Creates public facilities district pursuant to Ch. 35.57 RCW including the authority to acquire, construct, own, finance, and operate a regional center
- Bylaws of South Snohomish County Public Facilities District (2000)
- Lynnwood Convention Center
Spokane Public Facilities District
- Spokane Public Facilities District
- Spokane Convention Center - Spokane Performing Arts Center
- Center Place at Mirabeau Point Park, Spokane Valley - Project of city of Spokane Valley, Spokane County, and Spokane Public Facilities District (Regional event center)
Capital Area Regional Public Facilities District
This district encompasses Olympia, Lacey, and Thurston County in a Joint Public Facilities District.
- Ordinance Nos. 1183 and 1196 (2002) - Adopts an interlocal agreement for creation of a public facilities district for a regional center and charter of a Lacey Public Facilities district; includes additional amendment ordinance
- Lacey-Thurston County Regional Athletic Complex
- Sports Complex Memorandum of Understanding (1999) between Thurston County and the city of Lacey Regional Sports Complex joint purchase, ownership, use and maintenance
Olympia Public Facilities District
Walla Walla County
Walla Walla County Public Facilities District
- Walla Walla County Unnumbered Resolution (2003) - Creates the Walla Walla County Public Facilities District
Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District
- Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District
- Whatcom County Ordinance No. 2002-041 (2002) - 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
- Bellingham Ordinance No. 2002-02-015 (2002) - Creates the Bellingham Public Facilities District
- Interlocal Agreement (2007) - To include all Whatcom County cities and towns in District
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 (2002) - Creates a public facilities district revenue fund
- Resolution No. R-2001-102 (2002) - Authorizes execution of design development, construction, financing, and operations agreement, and authorizing execution of lease of convention center to the public facilities district