RCW 35.21.955 (first and second class cities and towns) and RCW 35A.21.405 (code cities) authorize cities and towns that exercise their authority to abate nuisances to levy a special assessment against property for the expense of abatement. The special assessment constitutes a lien against the property and is binding on successors in title from the date the lien is recorded with the county.
Up to $2,000 of the recorded lien is of equal rank with state, county, and municipal taxes. Cities and towns levying the special assessment may contract with the county treasurer to collect the special assessment through the property tax collection process in accordance with RCW 84.56.035.
In cases where the nuisance threatens health and safety, the city or county must provide prior notice to the property owner that an abatement is pending and that a special assessment may be levied on the property for the expense of abatement. In all other cases, the city or town must notify both the property owner and any identifiable mortgage holder.