Padden measure to help neighborhoods deal with nuisances moves to House

Sen. Mike Padden’s bill to help cities and towns protect their taxpayers from the cost of nuisance abatement was passed by the Senate today by a vote of 40-9 and now heads to the House of Representatives.

“In January, Spokane Valley City Manager Mike Jackson and City Attorney Cary Driskell came to Olympia to meet with lawmakers and discuss how dealing with nuisance properties is often a difficult and costly process for cities and their taxpayers,” said Padden.

“Many of these nuisance activities can actually result in fire hazards or become public health or safety issues; an individual who causes this sort of disruption should be the one who pays to correct the problem, not the taxpayers.”

“Nuisance abatement” refers to code enforcement used to improve the quality of life and safety issues at the neighborhood level.

Senate Bill 5694 would allow cities to assess a special charge of up to $2,000 on nuisance properties for the purpose of reimbursing the city or town for abatement expenses. In these situations, the special assessment would become a lien against the property and be of equal rank with state and local tax liens.

The bill would limit the assessment only to those nuisances tied to health and safety concerns.