Rural County Capital Fund

The Rural County Capital Fund (“RCCF”) is used by Benton County to support new capital infrastructure projects in the community that specifically contribute to job growth and economic diversification.  The RCCF is funded by a Washington State Sales Tax rebate at the rate of 0.09 percent, and is not a new or additional tax.  The funds are used either by Benton County or disbursed to local government partners in the community for qualified economic development projects that meet statutory requirements as outlined by the Washington State Legislature.

The Legislature adopted legislation in 1997 ( RCW 82.14.370) providing certain counties like Benton County the authority to impose the sales and use tax rebate for the purposes of financing “public facilities serving economic development purposes in rural counties, and finance personnel in economic development offices.”  Soon thereafter, Benton County adopted Ordinance 332 in 1998 first establishing the program and fund that would evolve into the RCCF of today.

Since 1998, the RCCF has developed in three distinct phases:

Phase 1: 1998-2002
During the early years, the County had a disbursement policy whereby cities and ports received funds for economic development and capital projects. The following eleven projects were funded for a total of $2.1 million:

 PROJECT ENTITY           DATE           COUNTY FUNDS
 Dale Ave Extension
Port of Benton Jan 28, 2000  $               150,000
 Dale Ave Extension Port of Benton Jun 10, 2002 457,995
 Water/Well Acquisition Port of Kennewick Mar 1, 2001
126,995
 Water/Well Acquisition  City of West Richland  Apr 30, 2001
126,995
 Okanogan Pl Extension City of Kennewick Jun 6, 2000 126,995
 Okanogan Pl Extension/Realign Quinault Ave City of Kennewick Aug 29,2002 126,995
 Okanogan Pl Extension/Realign Quinault Ave City of Kennewick Oct 2, 2002 189,929
 East Prosser Industrial Park (water/sewer) City of Prosser Jan 16, 2001 126,995
 North Prosser Business Park (water main) City of Prosser Oct 15, 2001 189,929
 Kennedy Rd Realignment & Interchange Loops City of Richland  Jan 16, 2001 126,995
 Continuation of Water/Well Acquisition Project City of West Richland
City of Kennewick 
Oct 14, 2002 189,929
 Expansion of Municipal Water Supply System City of West Richland Dec 1, 2001 189,929
 TOTAL  $            2,129,681


Phase 2: 2002-2016
In January 2002, the County and Cities of Kennewick, Prosser, Richland, and West Richland agreed to use the RCCF to repay a portion of the bonded debt that financed the expansion of the Benton County Jail and District Court facilities.  All RCCF funds during this time were dedicated to servicing this debt. 


Phase 3: 2016 Onward 
In 2016 it was determined that sufficient funds had been reserved to retire the Jail debt. The County and cities terminated their debt participation agreement, therefore allowing for the remaining RCCF balance to accumulate and to be put toward other economic development projects in accordance with state law.

Current Situation
With adoption of a revised RCCF policy in January 2017 by the Board of Commissioners, Benton County re-instituted a fund-sharing program much like Phase 1 described above. The County is currently accepting economic development project proposal applications from its community partners (cities and ports), and is eager to financially support these endeavors.

Depending on economic conditions, the RCCF reserve accumulates at about $300,000 per month, which is allocated among the five cities, two ports, and the County via the formula adopted by Commissioners 2016.  As of the end of 2016, each entity’s dedicated portion is as follows:

Entity    Total as of 12/31/16 
 Benton County
$             1,769,646.06 
 Port of Kennewick 876,675.64 
 Port of Benton  876,675.64 
 City of Kennewick 1,446,434.67 
 City of Richland 1,306,999.97 
 City of Prosser 876,675.64 
 City of West Richland    876,675.64 
 City of Benton City 876,675.64 
TOTAL $             8,906,458.93 

Benton County’s Office of Sustainable Development manages the RCCF and the disbursement process.  Applications from project sponsors are received and reviewed for their consistency with County policy and state law.  Applications can be received at any time and in any amount within the entity’s allocation.  This is a non-competitive process and the County does not pick winners and losers.  Three of the main things that the County looks for in a project are how it contributes to business recruitment/retention, how does it contribute to job growth/stability, and how does it contribute to sales and property tax revenue.  Partnerships and other forms of leveraging are encouraged.

Additional Information
The following documents provide more detailed information on the RCCF and how it is managed by Benton County:

Entity Bulk Allocation as of 03/31/16       Accumulated Since        Total as of 12/31/16
Benton County
1,446,552.57 323,093.49 1,769,646.06
Port of Kennewick 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
Port of Benton  553,582.15 323,093.49
876,675.64
City of Kennewick 913,359.94 533,074.73
1,446,434.67
City of Richland 825,313.05 481,686.92 1,306,999.97
City of Prosser 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
City of West Richland 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
City of Benton City 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
TOTAL  $    5,953,136.31 $    2,953,322.62 $    8,906,458.93

 

Entity Bulk Allocation as of 03/31/16       Accumulated Since        Total as of 12/31/16
Benton County
1,446,552.57 323,093.49 1,769,646.06
Port of Kennewick 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
Port of Benton  553,582.15 323,093.49
876,675.64
City of Kennewick 913,359.94 533,074.73
1,446,434.67
City of Richland 825,313.05 481,686.92 1,306,999.97
City of Prosser 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
City of West Richland 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
City of Benton City 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
TOTAL  $    5,953,136.31 $    2,953,322.62 $    8,906,458.93

 

Entity Bulk Allocation as of 03/31/16       Accumulated Since        Total as of 12/31/16
Benton County
1,446,552.57 323,093.49 1,769,646.06
Port of Kennewick 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
Port of Benton  553,582.15 323,093.49
876,675.64
City of Kennewick 913,359.94 533,074.73
1,446,434.67
City of Richland 825,313.05 481,686.92 1,306,999.97
City of Prosser 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
City of West Richland 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
City of Benton City 553,582.15 323,093.49 876,675.64
TOTAL  $    5,953,136.31 $    2,953,322.62 $    8,906,458.93

 

       
       
       

       
      Benton County    620 Market Street    Prosser, Washington 99350
      Phone: (509) 786-5710 or (509) 783-1310
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