June 27, 1994
Hon. Walter A. Sholar
Bullitt County Attorney
P. O. Box 6539
Shepherdsville, Kentucky 40165
Re: Whether Fiscal Court May Establish Sanitation District Which Does Not Have Taxing Authority.
Dear Mr. Sholar:
By letter of May 25, 1994, you asked, in substance, whether the fiscal court may create a KRS 220 sanitation district that does not have taxing authority.
In our view the answer is no. Discussion follows.
A KRS chapter 220 "sanitation district" may be created by the secretary of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet acting as "commissioner of sanitation districts" in accordance with KRS 220.020.
KRS 220.360 invests the board of directors of a sanitation district with certain authority to impose taxes in connection with such a district.
KRS 220.035 enumerates certain specific powers a fiscal court may exercise in connection with a sanitation district. Those powers do not provide authority for a fiscal court to restrict the taxing authority invested in the board of directors of a sanitation district by KRS 220.360.
It is well recognized that a county (and of course, a fiscal court), as a subordinate unit of government, can do that which it is statutorily empowered to do, and cannot do that which it is not authorized to do. The legislature has expressly listed the authority of a fiscal court in connection with a sanitation district (KRS 220.035).
As was pointed out in Bloemer v. Turner, 281 Ky. 832, 137 S.W.2d 387, 390 (1939):
Logic and experience developed the maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius,-- 'The enumeration of particular things excludes the idea of something else not mentioned.' This is a primary rule of statutory construction. Hughes v. Wallace, Ky., 118 S.W. 324; 25 R.C.L. 982.
In keeping with such rule, we believe a fiscal court has no power to restrict the authority of a sanitation district board to impose taxes the board is expressly authorized to impose (KRS 220.360). As the powers of a fiscal court in connection with a sanitation district have been expressly listed in KRS 220.035, and as such powers do not include the power to restrict the taxing authority of a sanitation district board, a fiscal court, in our view, does not have such authority. Bloemer, above; KRS 220.035.
Gerard R. Gerhard
Assistant Attorney General