In Storedahl Properties, LLC v. Clark County, a property owner argued that Clark County’s clean water charge that was being levied against property owners in the county was a property tax that was issued without proper authority was therefore unconstitutional. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that the charge was a regulatory fee that was not bound by the constitutionality requirements of property taxes.
The clean water charge assesed by Clark County arose out of the requirements placed upon the County by the Washington State Department of Ecology. Ecology required the County to engage in various activities to reduce storm water runoff within the County. Clark County passed the costs of Ecology’s requirements onto its residents in the form of the clean water charge.