Chapter 5.19


Article I. Tax Procedures

5.19.010    Imposition of tax.

5.19.020    Exceptions.

5.19.030    Credits.

5.19.040    Definitions.

5.19.050    Lodging tax fund.

5.19.060    Administration.

5.19.070    Adoption of rules.

5.19.080    Violator deemed principal.

5.19.090    Penalty.

5.19.100    Annual report.

Article II. Tourism Development Committee

5.19.210    Tourism development committee.

5.19.220    Membership.

5.19.230    Duties.

5.19.240    Quorum.

5.19.250    Procedure.

5.19.260    Voting.

5.19.270    Expenses.

5.19.280    Removal.

Article I. Tax Procedures

5.19.010 Imposition of tax.

There is hereby levied a lodging excise tax of one percent, collection of which shall begin as soon as possible pursuant to State Department of Revenue requirements, but not later than January 1, 2002, upon the sale of or charge made for the furnishing of lodging by a hotel, rooming house, 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. (Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.020 Exceptions.

(a) For the purposes of this chapter 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 to enjoy the same.

(b) The tax levied under this chapter shall not apply to emergency lodging provided for homeless persons for a period of less than thirty consecutive days under a shelter voucher program administered by a city, town, or county, or their respective agencies, and groups providing emergency food and shelter services. (Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.030 Credits.

The tax levied in this chapter shall be in addition to any license fee or any other tax imposed or levied under any law or any other ordinance of the city; provided, that the following credits shall apply:

(a) Tax collected under this chapter shall be credited against the amount of sales tax due to the state under RCW Chapter 82.08 on the same sale of lodging.

(b) Tax collected by the city of Kirkland under this chapter may be credited against a county tax imposed upon the same taxable event, if the applicable county ordinance or resolution so provides. (Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.040 Definitions.

The definitions of “selling price”, “seller”, “buyer”, and all other definitions applicable to this chapter shall be as defined in RCW Chapter 82.08 and RCW Chapter 67.28, and subsequent amendments thereto. (Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.050 Lodging tax fund.

(a) Pursuant to RCW Chapter 67.28, a special fund to be known as the lodging tax fund is hereby established and all taxes collected under this chapter shall be credited to this special fund.

(b) All revenue collected under this chapter shall be used solely for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of tourism promotion, acquisition of tourism-related facilities, or operation of tourism-related facilities or for other purposes as authorized in RCW Chapter 67.28, or as it is hereafter amended.

(c) The definitions in this section shall apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1) “Tourism” means economic activity resulting from tourists, which may include sales of overnight lodging, meals, tours, gifts, or souvenirs.

(2) “Tourism promotion” means activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; operating tourism promotion agencies; and funding marketing of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.

(3) “Tourism-related facility” means real or tangible personal property with a usable life of three or more years, or constructed with volunteer labor, and used to support tourism, performing arts, or to accommodate tourist activities.

(4) “Tourist” means a person who travels from a place of residence to a different town, city, county, state or country, for purposes of business, pleasure, recreation, education, arts, heritage, or culture. (Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.060 Administration.

The State Department of Revenue is designated as the agent of the city for the purposes of collection of the lodging tax and for administrative procedures applicable thereto. All rules, regulations, and procedures adopted by the State Department of Revenue for the administration of the collection of lodging tax on behalf of the city are adopted by reference. (Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.070 Adoption of rules.

The director of finance and administration shall have the power to adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the terms of this chapter for carrying out and enforcing the payment, collection and remittance of the tax herein levied such as concerning inspection of records; and a copy of the rules and regulations shall be on file and available for public examination in the director of finance and administration’s office. Failure or refusal to comply with any such rules and regulations is a violation of this chapter. (Ord. 4416 § 23, 2013: Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.080 Violator deemed principal.

Any person who directly or indirectly performs or omits to perform any act in violation of this chapter, or aids or abets the same, or directly or indirectly counsels, encourages, commands, or otherwise induces another to commit such violation is a principal under the terms of this chapter and may be proceeded against as such. (Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.090 Penalty.

It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to violate or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter. Every person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Each day of violation shall be considered a separate offense. (Ord. 4334 § 3, 2011: Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.100 Annual report.

Pursuant to RCW 67.28.8001, or as otherwise provided by RCW Chapter 67.28, the city shall submit a report to the State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development about the rate of lodging tax imposed and about revenue received and projects and activities funded with lodging tax revenue. (Ord. 3799 § 1 (part), 2001)

Article II. Tourism Development Committee

5.19.210 Tourism development committee.

A tourism development committee is hereby declared to have been established and created. The purpose of the tourism development committee (“TDC”) is to perform the functions of a lodging tax advisory committee under RCW 67.28.1817 and also to be an ongoing advisory committee to the city council, with duties as described in this chapter or as directed by the council, following procedures as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 4588 § 1, 2017: Ord. 3798 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.220 Membership.

The TDC shall be comprised of eight voting members, each appointed by the city council. The council may appoint nonvoting members to the TDC. Members of the TDC are not required to be residents of the city of Kirkland.

(a) Voting members shall be as follows:

(1) Two members shall be city council members, one of whom shall serve as chair and the other as vice-chair as determined by the council;

(2) Three members shall be representatives of businesses required to collect tax under this chapter; and

(3) Three members shall be persons involved in activities authorized to be funded by revenue received under this chapter.

(b) The term of membership shall be through March 31st of the year following appointment; provided, that a member’s term shall not expire until the appointment of a new member is effective. By statute, eligibility for appointment under subsection (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section is mutually exclusive. The council shall review the membership of the advisory committee annually and make changes as appropriate. Each year, organizations representing businesses required to collect the lodging tax, organizations involved in activities authorized to be funded by lodging tax revenue, and local agencies involved in tourism promotion may submit recommendations for membership on the TDC. (Ord. 4874 § 1, 2024; Ord. 4588 § 2, 2017: Ord. 4239 § 1, 2010: Ord. 3798 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.230 Duties.

(a) A city proposal shall be submitted to the TDC for review and comment if the city proposes an increase in the rate of the tax imposed under this chapter, the repeal of an exemption from a tax imposed under this chapter, or a change in the use of revenue received under this chapter. The TDC shall submit comments on such a proposal to the city council in a timely manner through generally applicable public comment procedures. Comments from the TDC shall include an analysis of the extent to which the proposal will accommodate activities for tourists or increase tourism, and the extent to which the proposal will affect the long-term stability of the lodging tax fund created under this chapter.

(b) The TDC should submit its comments on the proposal no more than forty-four days after its receipt of the proposal. However, failure of the TDC to submit comments shall not prevent the city from acting on the proposal once forty-five days have elapsed since the proposal was submitted to the TDC. The city is not required to submit an amended proposal to the TDC.

(c)    In addition to the foregoing, the TDC will submit a report to the city’s director of finance and administration as to whether the proposed budget for lodging tax revenue and lodging fund expenditures is consistent with long-term stability of the lodging tax fund. (Ord. 4588 § 3, 2017: Ord. 4416 § 24, 2013; Ord. 3798 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.240 Quorum.

A quorum of the TDC shall be a majority of persons currently serving as voting members of the TDC. A quorum must be present in order for a vote to be taken on a recommendation to go to the city council. (Ord. 4588 § 4, 2017: Ord. 3798 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.250 Procedure.

(a) All business of TDC shall be guided by “Robert’s Rules of Order.”

(b) The chair shall propose an agenda for meetings, shall preside at all meetings, and shall vote on matters being voted on by the TDC. The chair shall be responsible for assuring that TDC reports are presented to the city on time and shall select a member to record the decisions of the TDC that establish policies or recommendations.

(c) The TDC vice-chair shall be a member of the council designated as such by the council to act in the absence of the chair.

(d) TDC may adopt a written policy of TDC practices not inconsistent with this chapter or other direction of the city council. (Ord. 4874 § 2, 2024; Ord. 4588 § 5, 2017: Ord. 3798 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.260 Voting.

Each voting member is entitled to one vote. All matters establishing policies, recommendations or decisions shall be decided by a majority vote of voting members present. (Ord. 3798 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.270 Expenses.

The members of the TDC shall receive no compensation and are not eligible for reimbursement of expenses incidental to service on the TDC. TDC may request specific support necessary to carry out its responsibilities by a request made, in advance, to the city manager. (Ord. 4588 § 6, 2017: Ord. 3798 § 1 (part), 2001)

5.19.280 Removal.

A member of TDC may be removed during their term by the city council only for sufficient cause. Sufficient cause means:

(a) Absence for two consecutive meetings without prior excuse from the chair; or

(b) Violation of the public trust or malfeasance. (Ord. 4588 § 7, 2017: Ord. 3798 § 1 (part), 2001)