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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


April 15, 2003
Contact: Madonna Luers, 509-456-4073

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The tax man cometh, even to the Department of Fish and Wildlife

It's April 15 and the tax man cometh, even to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Checks totaling nearly $605,000 in payments are currently being sent out by the Department to many counties across the state. The annual payments are in lieu of property taxes on WDFW-owned lands and assessments for fire protection, weed control, irrigation, and other local services on both WDFW-owned and managed lands.

"What many people don't realize is that WDFW is the only state agency that pays in-lieu taxes on property it owns and manages," said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings. "The payments go hand-in-hand with our philosophy of being responsible property owners and land managers and promulgating a good neighbor policy."

Counties can either receive game violation fines and forfeitures collected within the county, or elect to receive "in lieu" taxes on WDFW property of at least 100 contiguous acres. Most counties that have significant WDFW acreage choose to receive the in lieu taxes.

In most cases, the taxes are equivalent to or more than counties would receive if the property was privately owned and held in open space classification for agriculture or forestry activities.

As of January 1, 2003, WDFW owns a total of 496,042.5 acres in wildlife areas, fishing access sites, fish hatcheries, and office space. WDFW also manages another 312,599.4 acres for other owners like the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, WDFW co-manages a few properties with the Bonneville Power Administration and Tacoma City Light.

The following table shows counties that are receiving tax and assessment payments from WDFW this month. Other counties with WDFW acreages have not billed the agency for service assessments and/or have chosen to receive game violation fines rather than in lieu taxes.

Variations in the taxes per listed acreages may indicate that not all acres are taxed and/or that not all are computed at the same rate. Assessments vary from county to county.

County WDFW -
owned acres
Managed
acres
In-lieu taxes Assessments
Adams 490.6 1,719.9 $0.00 $10,531.81
Asotin 22,616.3 8,559.0 $8,525.19 $0.00
Benton 5,808.0 0.1 $0.00 $2,793.59
Chelan 21,127.3 9,671.0 $18,716.96 $0.00
Clallam 634.2 259.7 $0.00 $897.64
Clark 2,949.7 24.3 $0.00 $7,883.40
Columbia 10,832.2 881.5 $7,555.89 $1,743.97
Cowlitz 4,269.3 1,243.1 $0.00 $923.56
Douglas 12,749.1 1,532.9 $0.00 $0.00
Ferry 6,902.2 1,202.8 $6,781.33 $705.20
Franklin 1,774.2 6,538.7 $0.00 $19,412.27
Garfield 6,934.4 121.1 $4,839.98 $553.14
Grant 39,168.2 143,204.9 $37,443.16 $23,682.06
Grays Harbor 4,821.9 334.8 $7,264.14 $0.00
Island 60.3 0.2 $0.00 $0.00
Jefferson 609.5 64.4 $0.00 $0.00
King 1,216.6 88.9 $0.00 $14,244.00
Kitsap 851.3 28.4 $0.00 $1,049.90
Kittitas 151,453.0 72,586.6 $115,798.56 $5,659.04
Klickitat 13,110.2 3,221.6 $21,416.95 $806.44
Lewis 410.0 1,134.5 $0.00 $0.00
Lincoln 19,197.6 1,307.0 $0.00 $1,902.08
Mason 832.1 103.8 $0.00 $385.00
Okanogan 61,544.2 10,201.5 $74,974.35 $8,229.68
Pacific 3,380.9 59.8 $0.00 $489.66
Pend Oreille 745.7 257.0 $3,308.65 $0.00
Pierce 3,557.2 95.9 $0.00 $8,252.93
San Juan 176.7 0.0 $0.00 $0.00
Skagit 11,406.0 1,172.9 $0.00 $25,242.87
Skamania 295.2 223.8 $0.00 $0.00
Snohomish 2,511.7 462.6 $0.00 $12,150.69
Spokane 170.6 8.8 $0.00 $929.20
Stevens 261.9 208.9 $0.00 $0.00
Thurston 1,667.9 160.7 $4,905.87 $10,665.12
Wahkiakum 247.9 57.2 $0.00 $0.00
Walla Walla 209.0 235.9 $0.00 $12.00
Whatcom 2,861.1 949.6 $0.00 $3,053.10
Whitman 2,291.0 36.6 $0.00 $0.00
Yakima 75,897.3 44,619.0 $88,792.82 $42.433.73
TOTALS 496,042.5 312,599.4 $400,323.85 $204,632.08