xt7n028pg71t https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7n028pg71t/data/mets.xml Washington United States Works Progress Administration 1937 Other contributors include: Robert C. Lowe (Robert Chapin) and Helen R. Sherfey under the supervision of A. Ross Eckler; 16 pages, 27 cm; This bulletin is one of a series presenting state constitutional provisions affecting public welfare; Includes bibliographical references; UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number Y 3. W 89/2:36/W 27 books English Washington D.C.: Works Progress Administration Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Analysis of Constitutional Provisions Affecting Public Welfare in the State of Washington text Analysis of Constitutional Provisions Affecting Public Welfare in the State of Washington 1937 2015 true xt7n028pg71t section xt7n028pg71t   ° I
• MAY 1, 1957


This bulletin is one of a series presenting
° State constitutional provisions affecting public wel-
fare, prepared to supplement the State by State digests
• of public welfare laws so as to provide in abstract
form the basis for the public welfare services of the
several States.
The provisions quoted are those concerned
directly with public welfare administration and such
• others as may substantially affect a public welfare
program, even though only indirectly related. It would
be impossible to consider within the limits of this
S study every remotely connected constitutional provi-
sion. The indirectly related provisions included,
therefore, have been restricted to those concerning
° finance, legislation, and the methods of constitutional
0 amendment.
An attempt has been made, by a careful selec-
tion of the most recent cases decided by the highest
courts of the States, to indicate wherever possible how
° these provisions have been construed. These cases are
included in footnotes appended to the constitutional
provisions shown.
It is hoped that these abstracts will be
useful to those interested in public welfare questions
’ in indicating how State and local public welfare admin-
istration may be affected by constitutional powers and

• Incidence of Responsibility for Welfare Program .................. 1
Financial Powers and Limitations ................................. 2
Taxation and Assessments .................................... 2
Exemptions .................................................. 5
· Borrowing and Use of Credit ................................. 5
Other Income ................................................ 10
Appropriations and Expenditures ............................. 10
Provisions Affecting Legislation ................................. 11
• Constitutional Amendment or Revision ............................. 15

• I. Incidence of Responsibility for Welfare Program
A. Educational, reformatory and penal institutions; those for
• the benefit of blind, deaf, dumb, or otherwise defective youth; for the
insane and idiotic; and such other institutions as the public good may
require, shall be fostered and supported by the state, subject to such
regulations as may be provided by law.z * * *
B. The legislature shall provide by law for the maintenance
, of a Soldiers' Home for honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors,
marines and members of the state militia disabled while in the line of
duty and who are bona fide citizens of the state.3
V C. No county, city, town or other municipal corporation shall `
hereafter give any money, or property, or loan its money, or credit to
• or in aid of any individual, association, company or corporation, except
_ For the necessary support of the poor and inf`inm,° * * *.
· D. It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample pro-
vision for the education of all children residing within its borders,
` without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or
g sex.5
1Con.st1tut1on (1889), as published in the washington Legislative Manual (1935), by
authority; with all amendments to May 1, 1937.
*The provisions of this constitution are mandatory, unless by express words they
are declared to be otherw1se.• Art. I, Sec. 29.
2Const1tut1on, Art. XIII, Sec. 1.
’ A statute provided that the expenses of indigent persons dangerously insane con-
fined in the State hospital should be paid by the State, and that the expenses of
those indigent persons not dangerously insane so confined should be paid by the coun-
ties from which such persons were committed. The act was held constitutional on the
ground, among others, that this section granted to the Legislature discretion to
classify such persons and to declare the maintenance of the dangerously insane persons
a concern of the State, and the treatment of the harmless insane a responsibility or
• the community from wh1ch they were committed. State vs. Pierce County, 132 wash.
155, 251 Pac. 801 (1925).
3Const1tut1on, Art. X, Sec. 3.
4Const1tut1on, Art. VIII, Sec. 7.
when by statute the county commissioners are vested with the entire and exclusive
superlntendence of the poor within their respective counties, 1t is their absolute
duty to provide for poor persons actually and in good faith in need of help regardless
of whether or not they come under the classi flcation of paupers. Sweet Clinic, In-
° corporated vs. Lewis County, 154 wash. 418, 282 Pac. 852 (1929).
5Const1tut1on, Art. IX, Sec. 1.
· 1

2 Washington
II. Financial Powers and Limitations `
A. Taxation and Assessments
(1) state
(a) The power of taxation shall never be suspended,
surrendered or contracted away. All taxes shall be uniform upon the same
class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying •
the tax and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only.6
The word "property" as used herein shall mean and include everything,
. . . . . •
whether tangible or intangible, sub_]ect to ownership. All real estate
shall constitute one class: Provided, That the legislature may tax mines
and mineral resources and lands devoted to reforestation by either a yield
tax or an ad valorem tax at such rate as it may fix, orby both.7 "* * "·‘
(b) Whenever the expenses of any fiscal year shall
. . . . •
exceed the income, the Legislature may provide for levying a tax for the
ensuing fiscal year, sufficient, with other sources of income, to pay the
deficiency, as well as the estimated expenses of the ensuing fiscal year.8
6Taxes levled for the rellef of State—w1de unemployment and poverty are for a publlc
purpose wlthln the meaning of thls section. State ex rel. Hamilton vs. Martin, 175 ’
wash. 249, 25 P. (2d) 1 (1955).
The levy of a tax to retlre bonds lssued for the purpose of paylng compensation
to world war veterans was held to be for a publlc purpose. State ex rel. Hart vs.
Clausen, 115 wash. 570, 194 Pac. 795 (1921).
7Constltut1on, Art. VII. Sec. 1, adopted 1950.
The provlso ln thls sectlon llfts out of the slngle class of real estate all
mlnes, mineral resources, and reforestation lands, and allows for their treatment as •
a dlstlnct subclass. It glves the teglsiature the fullest power of taxation with
reference to them. The Legislature may adopt elther or both of two possible methods,
which includes elther a tax upon yleld, or upon value, at such rate—ex¢5·ressed in
terms of vezluotior or percentage—·—as lt may fix. Thus, the Reforestatlon Act, levying
an ad valorem tax on reforestation lands, and assessing for purposes of the tax all
such lands lylng west of the Cascade Mountains at the value of $1 per acre and all
such lands lylng east of the Cascade Mountains at the value of 50 cents per acre, was
held wlthln the LegIslature•s power as llmlted by thls section. State ex rel. Mason .
County Logging Company vs. wlley, 177 wash. 85, 51 P. (2d) 559 (1954).
Income, being ••sub_1ect to ownersh1p,•* ls lncluded wlthln the deflnltlon of "prop-
erty* In thls sectlon. An lncome tax ls, therefore, a property tax, and a system of
rates that become greater as the amount of taxable lncome lncreases violates the
requlrement of this sectlon that •*a11 taxes shall be unlform upon the same class of
property.* Culllton vs. Chase, 174 wash.585, 25 P. (2d) B1 (1955).
An lnherltance tax ls not a tax on property, but ls a charge upon the rlght of
transmlsslon of property. Itmay be graduated and ln an amount as large as the State •
sees flt to lmpose. Culllton vs. Chase, 174 wash. 565, 25 P. (2d) 81 (1955).
A poll or capltatlon tax ls not a tax upon property. Slnce the Constitution
does not prohlblt the levy of a poll tax, and as that lnstrument ls not a grant of
power but a Ilmltatlon on the power inherent ln the State, such a tax ls a valld
revenue measure. Nlpges vs. Thornton, 119 wash. 464, 206 Pac. 17 (1922).
An occupation tax ls not a property tax, but a tax upon the prlvllege of engaging
In business wlthln the State. It 1s not, therefore, subject to the unlformlty rule
of this section. State ex rel. Stlner vs. Yelle, 174 wash. 402, 25 P. (2d) 91 (1955). •
See Clty of Tacoma vs. Tax Commlsslon, 177 wash. 604, 55 P. (2d) 899 (1954).
See p. 5, footnote 12.
BConstltut1on, Art. VII, Sec. 8.
Thls sectlon applies only to matters of State revenue and expenses and not to
those of countles. Mason vs. Purdy, 11 wash. 591, 40 Pac. 150 (1895).

Washington 3
II. Financial Powers and Limitations—Continued
A. Taxation and Assessments-Continued
(l) State—Continued
(c) The rolling stock and other movable property be-
longing to any railroad company or corporation in this state, shall be
• considered personal property, and shall be liable to taxation * * *
in the same manner as the personal property of individualsg * *  
• (d) No county, nor the inhabitants thereof, nor the
property therein, shall be released or discharged from its or their pro-
portionate· share of taxes to be levied for state purposes, nor shall com-
mutation for such taxes be authorized in any form whatever.1O
(2) Counties and Other Local Unitsu
. (a) The Legislature shall have no power to impose
. taxes upon counties, cities, towns or other municipal corporations, or
r upon the inhabitants or property thereof, for county, city, town, or other
municipal purposes, but may, by general laws, vest in the corporate au-
thorities thereof, the power to assess and collect taxes for such pur-
• poses.12
n · —9Const1tut1on, Art. XII, Sec. 1*7.
1OCbnst1tut1on, Art. XI, Sec. 9.
11Art. XI, Sec. 4 of the Constitution relates to the establlshment of county and town-
· sh1p government and organization, and provides that the system of county government
to be established by the Legislature shall be uniform, and that the mode of trans-
acting and managing the affairs of same shall be prescribed by general laws.
In the performance of its general duties and purposes, the State calls upon and
utilizes 1ts constituent political agencies and for such purposes confers upon them
such powers and imposes such duties as lt deems necessary. These local subdivisions
are created by the State, not only for the purpose of having them admlnlster their
own local and lnternal affairs, but also for the purpose of having them carry out
• the pollcies of the State at large, and assist 1n the accomplishment of the general
purposes of the State. State ex rel. Board of County Commlssloners, etc., vs. Clausen,
95 Wash. 214, 165 Pac. *744 (1917).
12Const1tut1on. Art. XI. Sec. 12.
Power is given to any county to make and enforce w1th1n lts limits all such
local police, sanitary, and other regulations as are not in conflict with general
laws. Art. XI, Sec. 11.
_ County governing bodies must have express authority, either under the Consti-
• tutlon or an act of the Legislature, to levy taxes. They have no right to levy
taxes for county purposes ata rate exceeding the limitation f1X€d by the Legislature,
nor for purposes not allowed by the Constitution. State ex rel. School Dlstrlct 57,
etc., vs. Clark County, 1'7'7 Wash. 514, 51 P- (2d) 897 (1934)-
Constitutional sections providing that the power to assess and collect taxes
may be vested 1n the authorities of counties, municipal corporations, BCC., do not
grant to these political units the power of taxation. This power 1s derived only
from the State by legislative enactment andno lmpllcatlons are lndulged in to expand
' the power granted. State ex rel. Tacoma School D1str1ct No. 10 vs. Kelly, 176 Wash.
689, 50 P. (2d) 658 (1954). See p. 4. Dar. (b).
Delegation of the taxing power for local purposes to the counties and other
municipal corporations ls subject to the restriction that such taxes may be levied
only for public purposes. State ex rel. Tax Commission vs. Redd, 166 Wash. 152,
6 P. (2d) 619 (1952).

 j •
( 4 Washington
II. Financial Powers and Limitations—Continued
. . O
A. Taxation and Assessments—Cont1nued
(2) Counties and Other Local Units——Continued
(b) The legislature may vest the corporate authori-
ties of' cities, towns and villages with power to make local improvements
by special assessment, or by special taxation of' property benefited.15 •
For all corporate purposes, all municipal corporations may be vested with
authority to assess and collect taxes and such taxes shall be uniform in
respect to persons and property within thejurisdiction of' the body levy- *
ing the same. 14 .
It 1s a duty mandatory upon the county to provide for its 1nd1gent poor. A
county, however, may not make a present tax levy to create a speclal fund for the
purpose of anticipating, future expendltures for indigent rellef. The necessity for
relief varies from tlme to tlme, and such care and support should be provided as
emergencies arlse. Palmqulst vs. Taylor, 177 wash. 506, 31 P. (2d) 894 (1954). •
Th1s sectlon was held not vlolated by an act requiring that the expenses of
1nd1gent persons dangerously Insane conflned 1n the State hospital should be borne
by the State, and that the expenses of those lndlgent persons not dangerously Insane
s1m11arly confined should be paid by the several counties from which such persons
were committed. State vs. Pierce County, 152 wash. 155, 251 Pac. 801 (1925).
The establlshment and maintenance of public schools 1s not merely a county
purpose, but rather a State purpose wlth local beneflts accruing to the county;
therefore, a statute imposing a tax upon the counties for such purpose does not v1- O
olate thls section of the Constltutlon. Newman vs. Schlarb, 184 wash. 147, 50 P.
(zo) so (1955). ·
A statute requiring the countles to levy a tax for a State purpose may vary 1n
rate between the countles. So long as the rate ls uniform w1th1n each county levylng
the tax, the uniformity requlrement 1s met. Newman vs. Schlarb, 184 Wash. 147, 50 P.
(2d) 58 (1955). See p. 2, par. (a).
In vlew of this section, nelther the Legislature nor its agency, the State Tax
Commlsslon, may assess or reassess the property within a county for county purposes. •
State ex rel. Tax Commisslon vs. Redd, 166 wash. 152, 6 P. (2d) 619 (1952).
Where a city had levied a tax for local purposes ln excess of the statutory
authorlty, a later curatlve statute was held not to be the imposition of a tax by
the Leglslature In v1olat1on of this section, but merely a ratlflcatlon of a levy
already imposed by the city. Owlngs vs. Clty of Olympia, ae wash. 289, 152 Pac.
1019 (1915).
13Th1s sectlon does not prohibit the Leglslature from creating other corporate author- •
ities, such as a dlking d1str1ct, wlth power to make local improvements by special
assessment upon the property benefited. Foster vs. Commissioners of Cowlltz County,
100 wash. 502, 171 Pac. 539 (1918).
14Const1tut1on, Art. VII, Sec. 9.
Power ls glven to any city, town, or townshlp to make and enforce within 1ts
llmlts ill such local pol1ce,san1tary, and other regulat1ons as are not 1n conflict
with general laws. Art. XI, Sec. 11.
Thls section has no appllcatlon to countles. Bllger vs. State, 65 wash. 457, •
116 Pac. 19 (1911).
hunlcipalltles may levy taxes for corporate purposes only. Maintenance and
operating costs, and those objects which are germane to the welfare of the munlci-
pallty are proper corporate purposes. Denman vs. City of Tacoma, 170 Wash. 406.
16 P. (2d) 595 (1952).
where 1 clty was operating an electric light plant 1n competltlon with other
companies, an ordinance prescrlbing an excise tax upon such companies but exempting
the city from payment was held a reasonable classlflcatlon of occupatlons and valld °
under thls section on the ground that the tax was levled In proportlon to the pecul-
1ar privileges enjoyed by the companies, and the c1ty•s exemption from the tax was
only an Incident and not the purpose of the ordinance. Puget Sound Power & Light
Company vs. City of Seattle, 172 Wash. 668, 21 P. (2d) 727 (1955), affirmed 291 ·
U. s. s19, 54 Sup. ct. 542, 78 L. Ed. 1025 (1934).

Washington 5
II. Financial Powers and Limitations—Continued
B. Exemptions
* * * Such property as the legislature may by general
laws provide shall be exempt from taxation.15 Property of the United
States and of' the state, counties, school districts and other municipal
• corporations, and credits secured by property actually taxed in this
state, not exceeding in value the value of such property, shall be exempt
from taxation. The legislature shall have power, by appropriate legisla-
_ ’ tion, to exempt personal property to the amount of three hundred ($300.00)
dollars for each head of a family liable to assessment and taxation under
the provisions of the laws of this state of which the individual is the
actual bona fide owner.16
C. Borrowing and Use of Credit
(1) state
(a) The state may to meet casual deficits or failures
in revenues, or for expenses not provided for, contract debts, but such
debts, direct and contingent, singly or in the aggregate, shall not at
• any time exceed four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000), and the moneys
arising from the loans creating such debts shall be applied to the purpose
· · for which they were obtained or to repay the debts so contracted, and to
no other purpose whatever.17 ‘
15Under a statute exempting from taxation public schoolhouses "and the grounds at-
• tached." county bulldlngs "wlth the ground on which such buildings are erected,•
and all ¤hosp1tals for the care of the slcx whether supported in whole or ln part
by charlty,•• it was held that the land adjoining a hospital and owned by it was
subject to taxation, since lt was not expressly exempted by the statute. The court
stated that statutes exempting persons or property from taxation are to be strictly
construed, and exemptions are not to be extended by judicial construction to property
other than that which is expressly designated by law. Thurston County vs. Sisters
of Charlty of House of Providence, 14 wash. 264, 44 Pac. 252 (leoa).
° 16Const1tut1on, Art. VII, Sec. 1.
A statute lmposing a tax upon the privilege of engaging ln business ln the State
was held applicable to municipalities engaged in the operation of street railways,
electric llght plants, water systems, etc., on the ground that the act was an excise
tax and not a tax upon the property of municipal corporations which the Constitution
declares to be exempt; therefore, the act d1d not vlolate the exemption prov1s1on of
this section relative to municipal property. City of Tacoma vs. Tax Commission,
• 17*7 Wash. 504, as P. (2d) soo (1954). Compare Puget Sound Power 3, Light Company
vs. City of Seattle, (p. 4, footnote 14).
Irrigation districts are not ••mun1c1pal corporat1ons•• within the meaning of
this section providing that the property of ¤other municipal corporat1ons•· shall be
exempt from taxation. Inland Empire Land Company vs. Douglas County, 149 wash. 255,
270 Pac. 812 (1928)-
The exemption from taxation of personal property permits the exemption of $$00
only from the actual value of the property, not from the value placed on the property
• for purposes of assessment. State ex rel. State Board of Tax Commissioners vs.
Cameron. 90 wash. 407, 156 Pac. 537 (1916)-
17Const1tut10n, Art. VIII, Sec. 1.
A statute authorized a bond lssue for the erection of State capitol buildings.
the principal and interest on such bonds to be payable solely from revenues there-
after received from the lease and sale of lands granted by the Federal Government

6 Washington
II. Financial Powers and Limitations—Continued I
C. Borrowing and Use of Credit-Continued
(1) State—Continued
(b) In addition tothe above limited power to contract
debts the state may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrec-
tion,18 or to defend the state in war, but the money arising from the •
contracting of such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which it
was raised and to no other purpose whatever.19
(c) Except the debt specified in sections one and two
of this article [p. 5, par. (a), and par. (b) above:|,_no debt shall here-
after be contracted by, or on behalf of this state, unless such debt
shall be authorized by law for some single work or obj ect to be distinctly
specified therein, which law shall provide ways and means, exclusive of
loans, for the payment of the interest on such debt as it falls due, and ·
also to pay and discharge the principal of such debt within twenty years
from the time of the contracting thereof. No such law shall take effect
until it shall, at a general election, have been submitted to the people
and have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at
such election, and all moneys raised by authority of such law shall be •
applied only to the specific object therein stated, or to the payment of ·
to the State for the purpose of erecting such buildings. The act was held not to
create a State debt within the meaning of the Constitution since the general reve-
nues and property of the State were not pledged to the payment of the bonds. State
ex rel. State Capitol Committee vs. Clausen. 134 wash. 196, 235 Pac. 364 (1925). •
See State ex rel. State Capitol Commission vs. Lister, 91 wash. 9, 156 Pac.
B58 (1916). D. 7, footnote 20.
An act authorlzing the lssuance and sale of funding bonds, the proceeds of which
were to be used to discharge outstanding indebtedness of the State, was held to be
in conflict with this section on the ground that after the sale of the bonds and
before the proceeds were applied to the purpose named, however brief the period
intervening, the State indebtedness would be increased beyond the constitutional
limit. State ex rel. Jones vs. McGraw, 12 wash. 541, 41 Pac. s95 (1s95). Compare •
Dearling vs. Funk, p. 9, footnote 25.
See footnote 19, below.
18An emergency act authorizing the creation of a State debt and the issuance of bonds
to the amount of $10,000,000, for the purpose of approprlatlng money to relieve State-
wide poverty and unemployment, was held valid without the approval of the voters
where lt was found that ¤d1scontent, social unrest and incipient 1nsurrect1on¤ex-
lsted and acts of insurrection were occurring. The court declared that: ¤It 1s
far better to cure insurrection or incipient insurrection by promoting prosperlty •
than by the use of bullets. ¤•= =•= =•= The greatest menace to the well-being and
safety of the state is to have * ¤•= =•= citizens suffering with their fam1l1es
>•< =•< * because work 1s unobtalnable. An appropriation >•= =•= * to relieve this
suffering is no more a*char1table• appropriation than an appropriation made to sup-
press an uprising, repel an invasion, or to combat a pestilence. * =•= * It cannot
· be doubted that the indebtedness and tax appropriated to its payment, being for the
relief of State—w1de unemployment and poverty, are for a public purpose.·• State
ex rel. Hamilton vs. Martin. 173 wash. 249, 23 P. (2d) 1 (1933). .
19Const1tut1on, Art. VIII, Sec. 2,
There 1s no limitation lmposed upon the amount of debt that may be contracted
for the purposes contemplated by this section. State ex rel. Hart vs. Clausen, 117
wash. 260, 201 Pac. 30 (1921). ·

Washington 7
II. Financial Powers and Limitations—Continued
Q .
C. Borrowing and Use of Credit-Continued
(1) state-continued
the debt thereby created, and such law shall be published in at least one
newspaper in each county, if one be published therein, throughout the
• state, for three months next preceding the election at which it is sub-
mitted to the peop1e.2°
• (d) The credit of the state shall not, in any manner
be given or loaned to, or in aid of`, any individual, association, company
or corporation.21
_ (e) The state shall not in any manner loan its credit,
nor shall it subscribe to, or be interested in the stock of` any company,
• association or corporation.22
(2) Counties
_ (a) No county, city, town or other municipal corpora-
tion shall hereafter give any money, or property, or loan its money, or
° zoccmstltutlen, Art. VIII, see. s.
An act creating a veterans compensation fund,and providing for the issuance of
· $11,000,000 of bonds and a general tax levy to retire same, wlthout a vote of the
people, the money to be used for making payments to veterans as compensation for
services rendered, was held constitutional on the theory that if there is a moral
and honorable claim on the public treasury of the State, though no obligation which
could attain recognition in a court of law or equity, a basis for the exercise of
' • the taxing power ls furnished. State ex rel. Hart vs. Clausen, 113 wash. 570, 194
Pac. 795 (1921).
In a later case involving the same act, the question presented was the validity
of aproviso ln the act authorizing the issuance of additional bonds, 1f the $11,000,000
lnltlally authorized proved insufficient to provide adequately for the purposes of
the act. The court stated that the act was valid in that lt was for a public purpose;
that Sec. 1 of Art. VIII had nothing to do with the question involved, (see p. 5,
par. (a)); that the creation of the debt was valid under this sectlon as being for
• the defense of the State in time of war; and that the board created under the act
to ascertain the deficiency and issue the additional needed bonds was not vested
wlth legislative powers in contravention of Sec. 1 of Art. II (see p. 11, A,par.
(1)). State ex rel. Hart vs. Clausen, 117 wash. 260, 201 Pac. so (1921).
See p. 6. par. (b), for the section relating to debts for the defense of the
State ln time of war.
An act authorized the issuance of bonds for the erection of State capltol bulld-
lngs, the prlnclpal of the debt to be paid from revenues thereafter received from
• the lease and sale of lands granted by the Federal Government to the State for such
. purposes, and the interest on such bonds to be paid by an annual State tax levled in
the same manner as other taxes were levied. It was held, without reference to the
principal of the debt, that the State pledged ltself to the payment of the lnterest
on the bonds, and the act, not having been submitted to a vote of the people, was
unconstitutional under this section. State ex rel. State Capitol Commission vs.
Llster, 91 wash. 9, 156 Pac. 858 (1916). See p. 5, footnote 1*7.
21Const1tut1on, Art. VIII, Sec. 5.
0 See footnote 20, &DOV€-
Bonds lssued by a county for the purpose of building a courthouse and sold
to the State were held valid. State ex rel. Clallam County vs. Clausen, 82 wash.
1557, 143 Pac. 876 (1914).
· 62Const1tut1on, Art. XII, Sec. 9.

 · •
8 Washington
II. Financial Powers and Limitations——Continued
C. Borrowing and Use of Credit——Continued
(2) Counties——Continued
credit to or in aid of any individual, association, company or corpora-’
tion, except for the necessary support of the poor and infirm, or become •
directly or indirectly theowner of any stock in or bonds of any associa-
tion, company or corporation.25 •
(b) No county, city, town, school district or other .
municipal corporation,shallfor any purpose become indebted hianymanner
to an amount exceeding one and one—half per centum of the taxable prop-
erty in such county, city, town, school district or other municipal cor-
poration,withoutthe assent of three-fifths ofthevoters therein, voting •
at an election toloeheld for that purpose,24 nor in cases requiring such
assent shall the total indebtedness at any time exceed. five per centum
on the value of the taxable property therein, to be ascertained by the
last assessment for state, and county purposes previous to the incurring
of such indebtedness; * * * Provided,Thatno part oftheindebtedness •
allowed in this section, shall be incurred for any purpose other than
Constitution, Art. VIII, Sec. 7.
An act author1z1ng any county to construct a bridge, and lssue bonds therefor,
jointly with an adjoining county ln another State was upheld over the contentlon
that the act amounted to a giving of county money *to or in aid of a corporat1on¤ O
ln violation of th1s section. The court stated that this section allows financial
ald to enterprlses whose functions are wholly public. such as the F9d€P3l or State
Governments or some branch thereof, and prohibits only such aid to purely private
or quasi-public enterprises. But the ground upon which the declslon rested was that
the county was not aiding another county to construct a bridge, but that lt was
jointly involved 1n the·undertak1ng and that the county would retain an interest ln
the bridge proportionate to its contribution thereto. Rands vs. Clarke County, 79
wash. 152. 139 Pac. 1090 (1914). O
A district, lncorporated for the purpose of constructing a dlklng lmprovement,
exercises a purely public functlon, and therefore a county was held authorized to
lend 1ts ald to such a corporatlon wlthout violatlng this section. Foster vs. Com-
mlssioners of Cowlltz County. 100 wash. 502, 171 Pac. 539 (1918).
An act authorizing appropriations by any county to pay for the expenses and
prizes awarded by an agricultural fair association, incorporated for the purpose of
holdlng an exhibition of livestock, cereals, and agricultural and dairy products pro-
duced ln such county, was held unconstitutional under this section as a gift to a •
private corporation.notwithstanding its worthy educational purposes. Johns vs. ,‘
wadsworth. 80 wash. 352, 141 Pac. 892 (1914). x
See D- 1. par. C. and footnote 4.
24Under this section the Legislature may not fix Ché number ofvotes necessary to val-
‘ ldate a bond lssue at less than a three—f1fths majority, but may require a greater
majority. Robb vs. City of Tacoma, 175 Wash. 580, 28 P. (2d) 327 (1933).
Slmllarly, theLeg1slature may require the assent of the voters to the creation ·
of an indebtedness even within the llmlt of 1.5 percent of the taxable property.
The rlght ofthe Leglslature to grant the power to lncur indebtedness for a speclfic
purpose carrles with it the rlght to prescrlbe how the power may be exercised for
that specific purpose, provided lt does not exceed the llmlt set by this section.
State ex rel. Craig vs. Town of Newport, 7O Wash. 288, 128 Pac. 637 (1912). .

Washington 9
II. Financial Powers and Limitations-—Continued
C. Borrowing and Use of Credit——Continued
(2) Counties-—Continued
strictly county, city, town, school district, or other municipal pur-
poses.25 * * *
• (3) Other Local Units
See page 7, paragraph (a); page 8, paragraph (b) and
• footnotes 23 and 24; and footnote 25, below.
nstltutlon, Art. VIII, Sec. 6.
This section further permits c1t1es and towns to create a larger Indebtedness,
· upon the assent of the voters, for the supplying of munlclpally owned water, arti-
ficial light, and sewer works.
Th1s sectlon creates two separate classes of limitations: the first prohibits
the city authorities from Incurrlng lndebtedness, without the assent of the voters,
• In excess of 1.5 percent, of the c1ty·s taxable property; the second prohibits the
city authorities with the assent of the voters from exceedlng the 5—percent l1m1—
tation. where the city undertakes to Incur a debt within the class requiring the
approval of the three-fifths popular vote, and it can be shown that the intent of
the voters was to create this class of Indebtedness, such a debt will be valld pro-
vided that the amount thereof, toget