Chapter 4.40
LODGING TAX

Sections:

4.40.010    Imposition of tax.

4.40.020    City tax credit.

4.40.030    Department of revenue designated as agent.

4.40.040    Administration and collection of tax.

4.40.050    Special fund created -- Purposes enumerated.

4.40.060    Use of fund.

4.40.065    Fund administration.

4.40.070    Project application and selection process.

4.40.080    Penalties.

4.40.090    Severability.

4.40.100    Effective date of tax.

4.40.010 Imposition of tax.

There is hereby levied a special excise tax of two percent on the sale of or charge made for the furnishing of lodging by a hotel, roominghouse, tourist court, motel, trailer camp, and the granting of any similar license to use real property, as distinguished from the renting or leasing of real property; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That it shall be presumed that the occupancy of real property for a continuous period of one month or more constitutes a rental or lease of real property and not a mere license to use or enjoy the same.

(Res. 79-335 § 1, adopted November 5, 1979).

4.40.020 City tax credit.

Pursuant to RCW 67.28.180(2) (a) a credit shall be allowed against the county tax imposed herein for the full amount of tax imposed by any city in Snohomish county upon the same taxable event.

(Res. 79-335 § 1, adopted November 5, 1979).

4.40.030 Department of revenue designated as agent.

The Washington state department of revenue is hereby designated as the agent of the county of Snohomish for the purposes of collection and administration of the tax levied herein at no cost to Snohomish county.

(Res. 79-335 § 1, adopted November 5, 1979).

4.40.040 Administration and collection of tax.

All definitions, rules, forms, reporting procedures, and regulations adopted by the department of revenue for the administration of chapters 82.08 and 82.32 RCW are hereby adopted for the purposes of administration and collection of the tax levied herein. The administrative provisions contained in chapters 82.08 and 82.32 RCW shall apply with respect to the administration and collection of the tax by the department of revenue.

(Res. 79-335 § 1, adopted November 5, 1979).

4.40.050 Special fund created -- Purposes enumerated.

(1) There is hereby created a special fund to be known as the hotel-motel tax fund. All taxes levied herein shall be placed in said fund and may be used only for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of acquisition, construction, installation, addition, improvement, replacement, repair, maintenance, or operation of convention-center facilities, stadium facilities, performing arts center facilities and/or visual arts center facilities or to pay or secure the payment of all or any portion of general obligation bonds or revenue bonds, if any, issued for such purpose or purposes as specified herein, or to pay for advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting visitors and encouraging tourist expansion and until withdrawal for such use, the moneys accumulated in said fund may be invested in interest-bearing securities by the Snohomish county treasurer in any manner authorized by law.

(2) The county executive shall designate a fund manager for the hotel-motel tax fund, whose name and title shall appear on a master list of fund managers maintained in the department of finance.

(Added Res. 79-335, § 1, Nov. 5, 1979; Amended Ord. 84-138, § 1, November 19, 1984; Amended Ord. 85-054, § 1, June 24, 1985; Amended Ord. 87-062, § 1, August 12, 1987; Amended Ord. 07-138, Dec. 5, 2007, Eff date Jan. 1, 2008).

4.40.060 Use of fund.

The hotel-motel tax fund shall be used to support projects or purposes authorized under chapter 67.28 RCW. Eligibility of sponsors and projects will be defined broadly to encourage wide participation and innovative proposals.

(Added Ord. 87-062, § 2, August 12, 1987).

4.40.065 Fund administration.

Administration of the hotel-motel tax fund will rest with the county executive. The executive shall develop procedures for implementation of this chapter which are based upon the following program policies:

(1) Prior to October 1st each year, the department of finance shall provide a projection regarding the extent of appropriation capacity within the hotel-motel tax fund for the ensuing year.

(2) The hotel-motel tax fund manager shall attend meetings where project selections are made.

(3) The department of finance shall determine that there is sufficient appropriation capacity and a cash flow within the hotel-motel tax fund to meet approved payment schedules.

(4) Use of funds must be in compliance with state statutes governing the use of hotel-motel tax revenue.

(5) Each funded project must have specific goals and measurable service output to which the project sponsor can be held accountable through the contract, project monitoring and reporting processes.

(6) No county official shall make any preliminary commitment to any entity interested in obtaining funding for any project.

(7) All policies and guidelines shall apply to all proposed projects.

(8) There shall be no borrowing from the current expense fund.

(9) To assure fund integrity and proper accounting for project activity, a checklist shall be established and attached to each project contract or interlocal agreement providing review history and paper trail including:

(a) executive recommendations.

(b) council approval.

(c) adopted budget.

(d) finance department review demonstrating appropriation capacity and cash flow sufficiency.

(e) prosecuting attorney review.

(f) executed contract or interlocal agreement.

(10) At the executive’s discretion, the fund manager may manage the fund in such a way as to enable a midyear granting cycle. All provisions of this section shall apply to any midyear grant program.

(11) The executive is authorized to approve grantee requests to reprogram a maximum of 20 percent of approved funds within expenditure categories enumerated in the original contract; PROVIDED That this authorization shall not be construed as permitting: (a) assignment of new funds to a project in excess of the amount originally approved by council, or (b) funding of expenditure categories not cited in the original governing contract.

(12) The council may, when adopting the budget, authorize the recovery of costs of hotel/motel fund administration from the fund. Such recovery shall amount to no more than twelve percent of the total grant allocation for the year in which the recoverable administrative costs are incurred.

(Added Ord. 87-062, § 3, August 12, 1987; Amended Ord. 91-203, January 15, 1992; Ord. 95-004, § 14, Feb. 15, 1995, Eff date Feb. 27, 1995; Amended Ord. 98-034, § 1, June 17, 1998, Eff June 29, 1998; Ord. 06-090, November 20, 2006, Eff date Jan. 1, 2007; Ord. 07-138, Dec. 5, 2007, Eff date Jan. 1, 2008).

4.40.070 Project application and selection process.

(1) To qualify for funding from the hotel-motel tax fund, projects must demonstrate compliance with state statutes governing the use of hotel-motel tax funds and project proponents must also satisfy such additional requirements as are imposed pursuant to this chapter.

(2) The program is open to applications from any public or private entity, not otherwise disqualified, with the demonstrated capacity to accomplish the proposed project. Special conditions may be imposed upon proponents located in municipalities which have imposed their own hotel-motel taxes.

(3) At a minimum, any project application developed pursuant to this chapter shall address the following areas: eligibility, scope of work, timeline, endorsements, budget, matching share, availability, proof of non-profit status, cooperative commitments, reimbursements, contract monitoring and reporting, and a contact person.

(4) The process by which successful applications are selected shall include:

(a) A provision of technical assistance by the planning division staff to potential applicants to assist in application preparation;

(b) A mechanism for fairly evaluating projects against each other;

(c) A procedure for a staff prioritization of the qualifying projects; and

(d) A process for final project selection by the county council.

(Added Ord. 87-062, § 4, August 12, 1987).

4.40.080 Penalties.

Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted by reference herein, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300.00.

(Res. 79-335 § 1, adopted November 5, 1979).

4.40.090 Severability.

If any section, subsection, clause, phrase or word of this chapter or any provision adopted by reference herein is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remaining portions of this chapter or any provision adopted by reference herein.

(Res. 79-335 § 1, adopted November 5, 1979).

4.40.100 Effective date of tax.

The tax herein levied shall be effective on the 1st day of January, 1980, and shall be collected by the state department of revenue and distributed to Snohomish county pursuant to applicable rules and regulations of said department of revenue.

(Res. 79-335 § 1, adopted November 5, 1979).