Chapter 3.50


3.50.010    Tax levied.

3.50.020    Definitions.

3.50.030    Certificate of registration.

3.50.040    Exemptions.

3.50.050    Printing of admission charges.

3.50.060    Collection and remittance of taxes.

3.50.070    Transient business – Remittance.

3.50.080    Inspection of records.

3.50.090    Violators/violations.

3.50.100    Violation – Penalty.

3.50.010 Tax levied.

Except as provided in CMC 3.50.040, there is hereby levied and imposed a tax upon every admission charge in any place within the City. The amount of said tax shall be $0.01 on $0.40 or fraction thereof paid for the admission charge. (Ord. 5-99 § 1; Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.020 Definitions.

As used within this chapter, the following words and terms have the following definitions:

(1) “Admission charge” means, in addition to the usual and ordinary meaning, a monetary charge for an event open to the public, including, but not limited to the following:

(a) A charge made for season tickets or subscriptions;

(b) A cover charge, or a charge made for use of seats and tables reserved or otherwise, and other similar accommodations;

(c) A charge made for food and refreshment in any place where free entertainment, recreation, or amusement is provided;

(d) A charge made for rental or use of equipment or facilities for purposes of recreation or amusement; if the rental of the equipment or facilities is necessary to the enjoyment of a privilege for which a general admission is charged, the combined charges shall be considered as the admission charge;

(e) A charge made for admission to any theater, movie theater, cabaret, tavern, dance hall, circus, amphitheater, private club, auditorium, observation tower, stadium, athletic pavilion or field, baseball or athletic park, golf course, or any similar place, and includes equipment to which persons are admitted for purposes of recreation such as merry-go-rounds, ferris wheels, roller coaster, go-carts, and other amusement rides, whether such rides are restricted to tracks or not;

(f) Automobile parking charge if the amount of the charge is determined according to the number of passengers in the automobile;

(g) A sum of money referred to as a “donation” or similar payment which must be paid before entrance is allowed;

(h) The amount of an increase in the price of refreshments, service or merchandise in a place if no fixed admission charge or cover charge is imposed, but the price charged for refreshments, service or merchandise is higher during the time entertainment or dancing is provided than at other times.

(2) “Movie theater” means any building or structure used to provide entertainment through projection of motion pictures.

(3) “Nonprofit organization” means any organization registered under Chapter 24.03 RCW.

(4) “Nonprofit tax-exempt organization” means any organization, corporation or association exempt from Federal taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(5) “Person” means any individual, receiver, assignee, firm, copartnership, joint venture, corporation, company, joint stock association, society or any group of individuals acting as a unit whether mutual, cooperative or fraternal.

(6) “Place” includes, but is not limited to, any theaters, cabaret, tavern, dance hall, amphitheater, private club, auditorium, observation tower, stadium, athletic pavilion or field, baseball or athletic park, golf course, or any similar place, and includes equipment to which persons are admitted for purposes of recreation such as merry-go-rounds, ferris wheels, roller coasters, go carts, amusement rides and observation towers within the City limits.

(7) “Secondary or elementary school” means any public or private primary, middle school, junior high school, high school.

(8) “Special events activity” is any activity conducted within the City for which a special events permit is required.

(9) “Subscription” means in addition to its usual and ordinary meaning, annual membership dues or fees in an organization whose principal purpose is to present theatrical or musical performance for its members.

(10) “Successor” means any person who shall directly or indirectly purchase or succeed to a business in any manner whatsoever; any person obligated to fulfill the terms of a contract shall be deemed a successor to any contractor defaulting in the performance of any contract as to which such person or persons is surety and guarantor.

(11) “Transient” means temporary, short-lived, nonpermanent or nonlasting. (Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.030 Certificate of registration.

Every person, firm, association or corporation, prior to conducting or operating any event, or place for entrance, to which an admission charge is made shall complete a certificate of registration which shall continue valid until December 31st of the same year in which it was issued. The application for certificate of registration, or duplicate copy of it, shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the ticket office or box office where tickets of admission are sold. Whenever registration is made for the purpose of operating or conducting a temporary or transitory event by persons who are not the owners, lessees or custodians of the building, lots or place where the activity is to be conducted, both the person conducting the event and the owner, lessee or custodian of the location of the event shall register for this event. Such owner, lessee or custodian, shall be held jointly liable for collection and remittance of the said tax. The owner, lessee and/or custodian shall be responsible for the remittance of the entire admission tax unless the tax is paid by the conductor of the event. (Ord. 5-99 § 2; Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.040 Exemptions.

The activities of elementary and secondary schools, churches, religious organizations and nonprofit organizations activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter. City of Covington sponsored and co-sponsored events shall also be exempt from the provisions of this chapter. For-profit organizations participating as part of an activity sponsored by a bona fide nonprofit organization, shall not be exempt from this chapter, unless the nonprofit organization retains 10 percent of the gross proceeds from the for-profit operations and the event at which admission charges are collected does not exceed seven days in any one calendar year. (Ord. 5-99 § 3; Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.050 Printing of admission charges.

(1) The established price of admission, any nonCity tax, City tax, and the total price at which each admission ticket or card is sold, shall be conspicuously and indelibly printed or written on the face or back of that part of the ticket which is to be retained by the management of the place to which the admission is gained. This requirement may be waived in regard to temporary or transient events, which due to time make it impossible to print up admission tickets. This waiver must be reviewed and authorized by the City Clerk’s office prior to authorizing the event.

(2) Except as otherwise provided herein, it is unlawful for any person to sell an admission ticket or card without having the admission price and tax levied printed on the ticket. Penalties include, but are not limited to, suspension or loss of certificate of registration. (Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.060 Collection and remittance of taxes.

Any person, including any municipal or quasi-municipal corporation, who receives any payment for any admission charge on which a tax is levied under this chapter shall collect the amount of the tax from the person making the admission payment and shall remit the same to the City as provided in this section. The tax required to be collected under this chapter shall be deemed to be held in trust by the person required to collect the same until remitted to the clerk as herein provided.

(1) Liability for Tax Not Collected. Any person required to collect the tax imposed under this chapter who fails to collect same, or who collects the same but fails to remit the same to the clerk in the manner prescribed by this chapter, shall be liable to the City for the amount of such tax and shall, unless remittance is made as herein required, be guilty of a violation of this chapter whether such failure is the result of his own act or the result of the acts or conditions beyond the person’s control.

(2) Remittance to the City. The tax imposed under this chapter shall be collected at the time the admission charge is paid and shall be reported and remitted by the person receiving the tax to the City in monthly returns as provided in subsection (3) of this section.

(3) Return Required. Any person receiving any payment for such admission shall make out a return upon such form and setting forth such information as the City may require, showing the amount of the tax upon admission for which he is liable for the preceding month, and shall sign and transmit the same to the City with remittance for the amount; provided, that the City may in its discretion require verified annual returns from any person receiving admission payments setting forth such additional information as he may deem necessary to determine correctly the amount of tax collected and payable. Returns are due by the fifteenth day following the end of the preceding month. Returns filed more than 10 days late are subject to a 10 percent late penalty and interest at 12 percent per annum. (Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.070 Transient business – Remittance.

Whenever any theater, circus, show, exhibition, entertainment, amusement or special events activity makes an admission charge which is subject to the tax herein levied, and the charge is of a temporary or transitory nature, the City may require the return and remittance of the admission tax immediately upon its collection, at the conclusion of the series of performances or exhibitions or at such other times as the City shall determine. Temporary or transient events shall be required to post a deposit for admission tax of $500.00 for every day the event or activity is scheduled, unless waived by the City Manager. (Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.080 Inspection of records.

The books, records, and accounts of any person, pertaining to the amount of any admission charges, admission tax, interest or penalty payable shall be at all reasonable times subject to examination and audit by the City Clerk, Finance Director, and/or State Auditor in accordance with and to the extent authorized by applicable law. All such records shall be retained and be available for such inspection for a period of at least six years. (Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.090 Violators/violations.

Any person who directly or indirectly performs or omits to perform any act in violation of this chapter including reporting and posting requirements or aids or abets the same, whether present or absent, and every person who directly or indirectly counsels, encourages, hires, commands, induces or otherwise procures another to commit such violation is, and shall be a principal under the terms of this chapter, subject to penalty, and may be proceeded against as such. (Ord. 80-98 § 1)

3.50.100 Violation – Penalty.

(1) Violation a Misdemeanor. Each violation of or failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter constitutes a separate offense and is a misdemeanor.

(2) Collection of Tax by Civil Action. Any fee or tax due and unpaid and delinquent under the provisions of this chapter and all penalties thereon, may be collected by civil action, which remedies shall be in addition to any and all other existing remedies. (Ord. 80-98 § 1)