Cowlitz County is the recipient of certain sales and use taxes, commonly known as rural county public facility funds. These funds may be used only for the purposes authorized by R.C.W. 82.14.370: namely, to finance public facilitiesserving economic development purposes in rural counties. The public facility must be listed as an item in the County's capital facilities plan or the capital facilities plan of a city or town located in Cowlitz County.
The statute defines public facilities as: bridges, roads, domestic and industrial water facilities, sanitary sewer facilities, earth stabilization, storm sewer facilities, railroad, electricity, natural gas, buildings, structures, telecommunications infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, or commercial infrastructure, and port facilities in the state of Washington. Economic development is defined as those purposes that facilitate the creation or retention of businesses and jobs in Cowlitz County.
Cowlitz County began identifying projects that meet the criteria of State law and the program intent of the Board of Commissioners in 1998. The Board of Commissioners has awarded over $18 million in Rural Public Facility funding to further the economic development in Cowlitz County.