Chapter 3.15


3.15.010    Imposition of additional real estate excise tax.

3.15.020    Lien.

3.15.030    Seller’s obligation.

3.15.040    Collection.

3.15.050    Date payable.

3.15.060    Disbursal of tax proceeds.

3.15.070    Excessive and improper payments.

3.15.010 Imposition of additional real estate excise tax.

A. There is hereby imposed, pursuant to RCW 82.46.035, a tax on each sale of real property within the corporate limits of the city at a rate of one-quarter of one percent of the selling price of the real property.

B. The excise tax so imposed is in addition to the excise tax imposed by Chapter 3.14 BMC.

C. The additional excise tax shall be collected from those persons who are taxable by the state of Washington under Chapter 82.45 RCW upon the occurrence of any taxable event within the corporate limits of the city.

D. The excise tax shall comply with all applicable rules, regulations, laws and court decisions regarding real estate excise taxes as imposed by the state of Washington under Chapter 82.45 RCW. (Ord. 2065 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2031 § 1, 1991)

3.15.020 Lien.

The real estate excise tax and interest or penalties thereon shall constitute a specific lien upon each piece of property sold from time of sale until the tax is paid, which lien may be enforced in the manner prescribed for the foreclosure of mortgages. (Ord. 2031 § 2, 1991)

3.15.030 Seller’s obligation.

The excise tax shall be the obligation of the seller of the real property and may be enforced through an action of debt against the seller or in the manner prescribed for the foreclosure of mortgages. Resort to one course of enforcement is not an election not to pursue the other. (Ord. 2031 § 3, 1991)

3.15.040 Collection.

The taxes shall be paid to and collected by the county treasurer. The treasurer shall act as an agent for the city. The treasurer shall cause a stamp evidencing satisfaction of the lien to be affixed to the instrument of sale or conveyance prior to its recordation, or to the real estate excise tax affidavit in the case of used mobile home sales. A receipt issued by the treasurer for the payment of the tax shall be evidence of the satisfaction of the lien imposed by BMC 3.15.020 and may be recorded in the manner prescribed for recording satisfactions of mortgages. No instrument of sale or conveyance evidencing a sale subject to the tax may be accepted by the county auditor for filing or recording until the tax is paid and the stamp affixed thereto; in case the tax is not due on the transfer, the instrument shall not be accepted until a suitable notation of this fact is made on the instrument of the treasurer. (Ord. 2031 § 4, 1991)

3.15.050 Date payable.

The tax imposed hereunder shall become due and payable immediately at the time of sale and, if not so paid within 30 days thereafter, shall bear interest at the rate of one percent per month from the time of sale until the date of payment. (Ord. 2031 § 5, 1991)

3.15.060 Disbursal of tax proceeds.

A. The county treasurer shall deposit one percent of the proceeds of the excise tax imposed under BMC 3.15.010(A) into the Whatcom County current expense fund to defray the costs of collection.

B. The remaining proceeds of the excise tax shall be remitted to the city on a monthly basis and shall be placed in a municipal capital facilities for growth management fund. These capital facilities funds shall be accumulated from year to year, and may be expended at such times as the city council shall direct, to be used by the city for purposes of making capital improvements for the public benefit, including those capital improvements listed in RCW 35.43.040. (Ord. 2065 § 2, 1992; Ord. 2031 § 6, 1991)

3.15.070 Excessive and improper payments.

If, upon written application by a taxpayer to the county treasurer for a refund, it appears a tax has been paid in excess of the amount actually due or upon a sale or other transfer declared to be exempt, such excess amount or improper payment shall be refunded by the county treasurer to the taxpayer; provided, that no refund shall be made unless the state has first authorized the refund of an excessive amount or an improper amount paid, unless such improper amount was paid as a result of a miscalculation. Any refund made shall be withheld from the next monthly distribution to the city. (Ord. 2031 § 7, 1991)