Chapter 6.68
ADMISSIONS TAX

Sections:

6.68.020  Definitions.

6.68.060  Tax levied.

6.68.100  Exemptions.

6.68.140  Business license required.

6.68.200  Collection and remittance of tax.

6.68.250  Collection and remittance for transitory or temporary amusements.

6.68.340  Records to be kept.

6.68.380  Delinquent payments – Penalty.

6.68.400  Remittance upon sale or disposal of business.

6.68.440  Examination of books.

6.68.500  Collection by civil action.

6.68.550  Violations – Penalties.

6.68.020 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply to the operation of this chapter:

“Admission charge,” in addition to its usual and ordinary meaning, includes:

1. A charge made for season tickets or subscriptions;

2. A cover charge or charge made for the use of seats or tables reserved or otherwise, and other similar accommodations;

3. A charge made for admission to any theater, cabaret, tavern, dance hall, private club, auditorium, observation tower, stadium, athletic pavilion or field, baseball or athletic park, golf course, or any similar place. The separate charges made for amusement rides, such as merry-go-rounds, ferris wheels, roller coasters, and other similar rides are specifically excluded from the definition if the rides are restricted to those persons who have already paid an admission charge which is taxed under this chapter;

4. A charge made for automobile parking where the amount of the charge is determined according to the number of passengers in the automobile;

5. A sum of money referred to as a “donation” which must be paid before entrance is allowed; and

6. 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.

“Clerk” means the city clerk of the city of Ellensburg.

“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.

“Place” includes, but is not limited to, theaters, dance halls, amphitheaters, auditoriums, stadiums, athletic pavilions and fields, baseball and athletic parks, circuses, side shows, swimming pools, outdoor amusement parks, and such attractions as merry-go-rounds, ferris wheels, dodge ‘ems, roller coasters, and observation towers within the city limits of the city of Ellensburg.

“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.

“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 or guarantor. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.060 Tax levied.

There is levied and imposed upon every person who pays an admission charge of more than $0.10 to any place a tax in an amount equal to $0.01 for each $0.20 or fraction thereof of the admission charge paid. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.100 Exemptions.

The tax levied by this chapter shall not apply to the following:

A. An activity of any elementary or secondary school; or

B. Any activity of any corporation, trust, society, order, institution, organization, or association exclusively engaged in or devoted to any religious, charitable, scientific, literary, educational, public or other like work, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private stockholders or individuals; provided, however, that this exemption shall not apply in the case of admissions to:

1. Any athletic game or exhibition;

2. Any carnival, rodeo, or circus in which any professional performer or operator participates for compensation;

3. Any motion picture exhibition or showing; or

4. Any stage show, musical, comedy performance or other entertainment in which any performer or operator participates for compensation, if the anticipated ticket sales exceed $2,500 per event. For purposes of this section, the calculation of anticipated ticket sales shall be made on a single performance basis, even though there may be multiple performances provided. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.140 Business license required.

Prior to conducting any activity for which an admission is charged, a business license or other license required by this title shall be acquired by the taxpayer. Nothing in this chapter exempts a person otherwise regulated or taxed under this title. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.200 Collection and remittance of tax.

A. Collection and Remittance. 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 clerk 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.

B. Liability for Tax Not Collected. Any person required to collect the tax imposed under this chapter who fails to collect the tax, or who collects the tax but fails to make the required remittance to the clerk as prescribed by this chapter, shall be liable to the city for the amount of the 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 or her own act or the result of acts or conditions beyond the person's control.

C. Remittance to the Clerk. The tax imposed under this chapter shall be collected at the time the admission charge is paid by the person seeking admission to any place and shall be reported and remitted by the person receiving the tax to the clerk in quarterly installments and remittances thereof on or before the fifteenth of the month next succeeding the end of the quarterly period in which the tax is collected or approved.

D. Remittance May Be by Check. Payment or remittance of the tax collected may be made by check, unless payment or remittance is otherwise required by the clerk, but payment by check shall not relieve the person collecting the tax from liability for payment and remittance of the tax unless the check is honored and is in the full and correct amount.

E. 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 clerk may require, showing the amount of the tax for which he or she is liable for the preceding quarterly period, and shall sign and transmit the same to the clerk with remittance for the amount; provided, that the clerk may in his or her discretion require verified annual returns from any person receiving admission payments setting forth such additional information as the clerk may deem necessary to determine correctly the amount of tax collected and payable.

F. Penalty for Late Remittance. If the return provided for in this section is not made and the tax is not collected and paid by the due date, the clerk shall proceed in the manner provided in ECC 6.68.380. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.250 Collection and remittance for transitory or temporary amusements.

Whenever a person makes an admission charge subject to the tax levied in this chapter and the activity, entertainment, amusement, or exhibit is of a temporary or transitory nature or there exists a reasonable question of financial responsibility, of which the clerk shall be the judge, the clerk may require the report and remittance of the tax immediately upon the collection of the same, at the conclusion of the performance or exhibition, or at the conclusion of the series of performances or exhibitions or at such other times as the clerk shall determine.

The failure to comply with any requirement of the clerk as to report or remittance of the tax as required shall be a violation of this chapter. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.340 Records to be kept.

It shall be the duty of every person liable for any tax imposed by this chapter to keep and preserve for a period of two years, plus the current year's, such suitable records as may be necessary to determine the amount of any tax for which the person may be liable under the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.380 Delinquent payments – Penalty.

If any person fails or refuses to make any return required by this chapter, the clerk shall proceed in such manner as he or she may deem best to obtain facts and information on which to base an estimate of any tax due. As soon as the clerk procures such facts and information, he or she shall proceed to determine and assess against such person the tax and penalties provided by this chapter and shall notify the taxpayer by mail of the total amount of such tax, penalties and interest, and the total amount shall be paid within 10 days from the date of such notice.

If any person fails or refuses to pay the tax required to be paid by this chapter within the time and in the amount specified by this chapter, the clerk shall add to any tax due interest at the rate of 10 percent for every month or fraction thereof that the tax is unpaid. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.400 Remittance upon sale or disposal of business.

Whenever any person required to pay a tax under this chapter quits business or otherwise disposes of his or her business, any tax payable under this chapter shall become immediately due and payable and such person shall immediately make a return and pay the tax due, and, if such tax is not paid by the person within 10 days from the date of such sale, exchange, or disposal, the purchaser or successor shall likewise thereupon become liable for the payment of the full amount of such tax. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.440 Examination of books.

The books and accounts of any person collecting a tax levied in this chapter shall, as to admission charges and tax collections, be at all reasonable times subject to examination and audit by the clerk. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.500 Collection by civil action.

Any tax due and unpaid and delinquent under this chapter, and all penalties therein, may be collected by civil action, which remedies shall be in addition to any and all other existing remedies. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]

6.68.550 Violations – Penalties.

Each violation of or failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter constitutes a separate offense and subjects the offender to a fine not to exceed $500.00. [Ord. 3907 § 1, 1994.]