House approves Rep. Bob McCaslin’s bill allowing nuisance abatement cost recovery for cities

In a 76-21 vote Tuesday, the House approved Rep. Bob McCaslin's bill that would allow cities to recover costs incurred while removing nuisances that threaten public health or safety. The bill was requested by the City of Spokane Valley.

When people move out of homes and leave debris behind, a property may sit empty for years. Cities then spend taxpayer funds cleaning up private properties with piles of trash, abandoned furniture, rodents or other nuisances.

McCaslin's House Bill 2519 would ensure cities could recover at least $2,000 of taxpayer dollars spent during this process, although many properties need cleanup well in excess of $2,000.

“Tens of thousands of dollars are being spent on nuisance abatement every year, so it is important we allow cities to recover some of those funds,” said McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley. “This reform would help our cities and also restore property values in neighborhoods where a nuisance property has been a problem.”

Due process is followed by cities when going to court to do abatement. Cities must: prove that a nuisance exists; obtain a court order for the abatement; conduct abatement; and then go back to court, show the costs of abatement, and get approval to recover the costs. Advance notice is provided to property owners and tenants throughout the process.

House Bill 2519 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications