The state weed law (RCW 17.10.240) gives counties two options for funding local weed boards. One is an appropriation from the county general fund and the other is through an assessment on land.
To fund the Klickitat County Noxious Weed Control Board program a land assessment was levied in 1981 with approval of the Board of County Commissioners.
The weed assessment is levied against landowners located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Klickitat County Noxious Weed Control Board as follows:
- Forest Lands (as defined in RCW 17.10.240): $1.20 per parcel and .004 cents per acre
- Non-Forest and Unincorporated Lands: $12 per parcel and 4 cents per acre
Lands used by cemeteries, churches, fire protection districts, school districts, Klickitat County Government, lands outside the incorporated areas of Klickitat County, parcels that are 0.5 acres or less with an inhabited residential dwelling, Indian lands, and federal lands are exempt from the weed assessment.
The assessment is not a tax, it is a regulatory fee for a service that is available to all landowners and it cannot be imposed selectively.
Why Should People Who Don't Have Noxious Weeds Have to Pay the Noxious Weed Assessment?
Noxious weeds are everyone's problem. Even landowners who don't currently have noxious weeds can be harmed by weeds that spread from adjacent lands. Humans and their vehicles spread noxious weeds. They hitch rides on hiking boots, clothing, tires, boats, etc. Birds and animals spread weeds, and weeds have been found as contaminates in flower seeds, and hay or straw. They can also be spread by wind and by water.
The invasive nature of these plants means that no land is immune to their spread. Everyone benefits when we control and prevent the spread of noxious weeds.