3.2.3 Sweeping Interest and Investment Returns into General Fund
This guidance applies only to cities and counties.
188.8.131.52 Based on the current economic environment in which they operate, local governments are actively looking for ways to generate additional unrestricted revenues, so often there are questions regarding the transfer of interest income associated with certain revenues to the general fund and/or other funds.
184.108.40.206 The answers to these questions may be “Yes: or “No”, based on the statutory language that authorized the imposition of taxes and levies or the distribution of fees and taxes by the state. These answers are also affected by the type of entity receiving the revenue.
220.127.116.11 County legislative authorities have the power to direct the investment of county funds, and when they do so, the interest earned stays with the original fund. If the legislative authority does not provide this direction RCW 36.29.020 allows a county treasurer to allocate the interest and other income earned on the investment of a county’s own funds into county general fund.
18.104.22.168 As discussed in the AGO 2010 No. 10, the three statutes listed below are examples of a specific legislative intent which overrides the general authorization granted counties in RCW 36.29.020.
- RCW 73.08.080 – Veterans’ assistance fund
- RCW 81.100.080 – High occupancy vehicle system fund
- RCW 41.16.050 – Firefighters’ pension fund
22.214.171.124 Again, the statutes listed above are not meant to provide an exhaustive list of all revenues where the allocation of interest is restricted. It is the county’s responsibility to carefully review the statutory language governing a particular revenue source to determine restrictions related to interest and other investment income.