Page 6 - ESS Summer 2023
P. 6

From the Editor

                                   By: Ben Petersen, PLS

                                                                     May 2023 Auditor Recording Fee For A Record of Survey Map
                                                                  Auditor                      RCW 36.18010  $        5.00
                                                                  Heritage Center              RCW 36.18.010  $        3.00
        “Do you think it will rain dear”?                         Historical document Preservation  RCW 36.22.170  $        5.00
                                                                  Local Government Archives Account  RCW 40.14.024  $        1.00
                                                                  Washington State Archives    RCW 36.22.175  $        2.00
            appy May Day! No, I didn’t dance naked around a maypole with a   Urban Residentail Building Capacity  RCW 36.22  $        2.50
        Hwreath of flowers on my head. Hell, nobody wants to see that. I am   State Library Fund  RCW 36.22  $        2.00
        however pleased as all heck (see how nice that was) to feel some warm-  Affordable Housing For All  RCW 36.22.178  $      10.00
        er rain and even some brief glimpses of sunshine, during what feels like   Homeless Housing and Assistance  RCW36.22.179  $      65.00
        the longest winter I can remember. Could spring finally be here?  May-  Local Homeless Housing and Assistance Use  RCW 36.22.1791  $        8.00
                                                                                               RCW 36.22.176
                                                                  Eviction Prevention and Housing Assistance
        be. I like the warmth but let’s be careful what we wish for. Please God,   County Fee for filing an ROS*  RCW 58.09.100  $      20.00
        don’t smite us again with anymore triple digit days like you did two   DNR Fee for Recording a Survey Map  RCW 58.24.070  $      64.00
        years ago. I promise we’ve been good and the trees are still trying to
        recover. Take your wrath out like normal on those heathen cactus-lovers       Total for the first sheet of an ROS*  $    287.50
        in Phoenix or Palm Springs.
                                                                  * The county fee authorized by RCW 58.09.100, set by county commisioners, for recording a
                                                                  Record of Survey varies. Most counties add $20.00 for a total fee to record a Record of Survey.
          In between the budding tulips and daisies, however, there comes   Spokane County's fee is only $5.00. There may be some counties that charge $25.00 because
        a warning: Here we go again! Yes, yet another hike in the survey re-  they incorectly use RCW 36.18.010 that allows a $25.00 fee for Plats not surveys.
        cording fee, this time to assuage our legislator’s collective guilt over
        some admittedly offensive plat covenants that became extinct with a   Record of Survey filing fee effective July 1, 2023
        Supreme Court ruling in 1948. But hey, it only adds another hundred   May 2023 Auditor Recording Fee for an ROS  RCW 36.18010  $    287.50
        bucks. What’s $100 when you’re buying a million dollar home? Well, at   DNR Fee Increase effective July 1, 2023  RCW 58.09.100  $      36.00
        least that’s how the justification goes. But what about the young, first-     Total for the first sheet of an ROS*  $    323.50
        time home buyers, burdened with college loans, struggling to get into
        a home and just squeaking by on their loan approvals, such recording   Record of Survey filing fee effective on Jan. 1, 2024
        fees can make it much harder to afford a home.            July 2023 Auditor Recording Fee for an ROS  RCW 36.18010  $    323.50
                                                                  Housing Discrimination/Covenant Ownership 2SHB 1474  $    100.00
          No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in
        session -  Mark Twain                                                         Total for the first sheet of an ROS*  $    423.50
          Facing little pushback and seeing how under-the-radar recording   Do those kind of numbers give you pause? Are you less likely to file a
        fees really are, legislators have been increasingly emboldened to use   survey because of such fees? Are you more likely to interpret a retrace-
        recording fee add-ons to fund their pet projects. It’s became the gift   ment survey of a platted lot as exempt from recording to help out your
        that just keeps on giving and believe me they’re not done yet. Using   client? Let’s face it, despite what the Board will tell you, there’s some
        this funding method they get to boldly boast (some chest pounding,   wiggle room in the law that’s already being exploited. Are some clients,
        please) that they didn’t raise your taxes.             trying to do the “right thing” before building or rebuilding a fence, more
                                                               likely to tell you they don’t need their survey recorded? Could that be
          Recording fee increases don’t even need to correlate to homes, deeds   the difference between them going ahead with a survey or taking their
        or surveys. No nexus needed. Take for example, the $2 fee to fund the   chances? What about amending a minor scrivener error on your sur-
        State Library Fund. Washington State now has the highest recording   vey? That filing fee is coming out of your own pocket. After all it’s your
        fees in the country. For context, the survey recording fee in King County   mistake. Are you now less inclined to file that amendment? Feel free to
        began at $10. It was deliberately kept low to “encourage” survey record-  send me your comments.
        ing and similarly a home buyer in the 1985 paid just $5 to record the
        first page of a document.                                I also have to wonder, what if we had put up a little more resistance
                                                               back when we should have, before things got out of hand? Could we
          Survey recording fees, currently $287.50 are now headed into the   have changed the trajectory? Could we have made the politicians pause
        stratosphere with another $100 starting New Year’s Day 2024.  But wait   if we had gotten together with say the realtors? Hell, even AELC who
        there’s more! Yes, don’t forget the added $36 to the DNR to help fund   LSAW pays to keep an eye on legislation didn’t have recording fees on
        the Public Land Survey Office. That kicks in this July 1st. So in a little   their watch list. From an engineer’s mentality they are viewed as noth-
        over six months were looking at $423.50 to file a Record of Survey map.   ing-I-can-do-about-it permit fees that the client pays. So who cares?
        That’s the dollar point where you start your boundary survey estimate
        from. Before you’ve even done anything.                  Sigh. Enjoy this issue of your Evergreen State Surveyor. n

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