Chapter 4.04
GAMBLING TAX Revised 3/18

Sections:

4.04.010    Definitions.

4.04.020    Tax Levied.

4.04.030    Exemptions From Tax.

4.04.040    Procedure for Payment. Revised 3/18

4.04.050    Administration and Collection. Revised 3/18

4.04.060    Terms of Acceptance of Payment. Revised 3/18

4.04.070    Penalties and Interest Charges for Late Payment.

4.04.080    Filing Required Before Operation of Taxable Activity. Revised 3/18

4.04.090    Filing – New Declaration Necessary After License Expiration, Suspension or Revocation.

4.04.100    Records of Activity Required. Revised 3/18

4.04.110    Overpayments and Underpayments – Refunds and Penalties. Revised 3/18

4.04.120    Failure of Taxpayer to File Return – Finance Department Authorized to Set Tax Due. Revised 3/18

4.04.130    Tax Separate From License Fee.

4.04.140    Rules and Regulations – Finance Department to Adopt, Publish and Enforce. Revised 3/18

4.04.150    Tax Due Constitutes Debt.

4.04.160    Three-Year Limit on Recovery.

4.04.170    Violations – Penalty. Revised 3/18

4.04.180    Severability.

Cross-reference:    Chapter 9.46 RCW

4.04.010 Definitions.

For the purpose of this Chapter, the words and terms used shall have the same meaning each has under Chapter 218, Laws of 1973, 1st Extraordinary Session and RCW Chapter 9.46, each as amended, and under the rules of the Washington State Gambling Commission, WAC Chapter 230, unless otherwise specifically provided or as the context in which they are used clearly indicates that they be given some other meaning. (Prior Code § 9.08.010)

4.04.020 Tax Levied.

There is levied upon all persons, associations and organizations conducting or operating within Pierce County any of the activities listed in this Section, a tax in the following amounts to be paid to the County:

A.    Bingo and raffles in the amount of 5 percent of the gross revenue received therefrom less the amount paid for or as prizes;

B.    Pulltabs in the amount of 5 percent of the gross receipts directly from the operation of the pulltabs themselves. Beginning January 1, 1998, pulltabs shall be taxed in the amount of 2 percent of the gross receipts directly from the operation of the pulltabs themselves;

C.    Punchboards in the amount of 3 percent of the gross receipts from punchboard activities. Beginning January 1, 1998, punchboards shall be taxed in the amount of 2 percent of the gross receipts from punchboard activities;

D.    Card playing in the amount of 20 percent of the gross receipts received as fees charged persons for the privilege of playing in card games. Beginning January 1, 1998, card playing shall be taxed in the amount of 10 percent of the gross receipts received as fees charged persons for the privilege of playing in card games;

E.    Amusement games only to the extent of an amount sufficient to pay the actual costs of enforcement of the provisions of this Chapter, and in no event shall such taxation exceed 2 percent of the gross revenue therefrom, less the amount paid for or as prizes.

(Ord. 2000-15 § 1, 2000; Ord. 96-113S2 § 1, 1997; Ord. 92-91 § 2, 1992; Prior Code § 9.08.020)

4.04.030 Exemptions From Tax.

No tax shall be imposed under the authority of this Chapter on bingo, raffles or amusement games when such activities, or any combination thereof, are conducted by any bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization as defined in RCW 9.46.020(3), and which organization has no paid operating or management personnel and has gross income from such activities not exceeding $5,000.00 per year less the amount paid for or as prizes. (Prior Code § 9.08.025)

4.04.040 Procedure for Payment. Revised 3/18

The taxes imposed under this Chapter shall be due and payable monthly and shall be fully paid to the Pierce County Finance Department on or before the last day of the month next succeeding the end of the monthly period in which the tax accrued, and shall be delinquent after that date. The Finance Department shall not be required to accept partial payment of taxes imposed under this Chapter. The taxpayer shall, on or before the last day of said month, make out a return on such forms and setting forth such information as the Finance Department may require showing the amount of the tax for which he is liable for the preceding monthly period, sign and transmit the same to the Finance Department together with a remittance for such amount, provided:

A.    Whenever any person, association or organization taxable under this Chapter conducting or operating a taxable activity on a regular basis terminates the business, sells out or otherwise disposes of its business, any tax due under this Chapter shall become due and payable and such taxpayer shall within ten days thereafter make a return and pay the tax due.

B.    Whenever it appears to the Finance Department that the collection of taxes from any person, association or organization may be in jeopardy, the Finance Department after not less than ten days notice to the taxpayer, is authorized to require that the taxpayer remit taxes and returns at such shorter intervals than monthly as the Finance Department shall deem appropriate under the circumstances.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2012-18 § 1 (part), 2012; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.030)

4.04.050 Administration and Collection. Revised 3/18

Administration and collection of the various taxes imposed by this Chapter shall be the responsibility of the Finance Department. The taxpayer shall be required to swear and affirm by signature that the information given in the return is true, accurate and complete under penalty of perjury. The Finance Department is authorized but not required to mail to taxpayers forms for returns. Failure of the taxpayer to receive such a form shall not excuse the taxpayer from making the return and timely paying all taxes due.

The Finance Department shall make forms available to the public in reasonable numbers in the Finance office during regular business hours. Along with the tax remittance and return form for each month ending a calendar quarter year, each taxpayer shall submit to the Finance Department a copy of his quarterly report to the Washington State Gambling Commission required by Chapter 230-08 WAC as now or hereafter amended.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.040)

4.04.060 Terms of Acceptance of Payment. Revised 3/18

Taxes payable under this Chapter shall be remitted to the Finance Department on or before the time required by bank draft, certified check, cashier's check, personal check, money order or in cash. If payment is made by a draft or check the tax shall not be deemed paid until the draft or check is accepted in the usual course of business. Nor shall the acceptance of any sum of the Finance Department be an acquittance or discharge of the tax unless the amount paid is the full amount due. The return and copy of the quarterly report to the Washington State Gambling Commission shall be filed with the Finance Department after notation of that office upon the return of the amount actually received. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.050)

4.04.070 Penalties and Interest Charges for Late Payment.

A.    Delinquent taxes under this Chapter are subject to penalties as follows:

1.    A penalty of 10 percent of the full monthly amount due shall be assessed on the first day of the month following the date said taxes are due;

2.    A penalty of 25 percent of the full monthly amount due shall be assessed on the first day of the next succeeding month following the date said taxes are due.

B.    In addition to the penalty set out in subsection A. of this Section, delinquent taxes under this Chapter are subject to interest at the rate of one percent per month on the full amount of tax unpaid from the date of delinquency until paid. Failure to make payment in full of all tax amounts and penalties within 60 days following the day the tax amount initially became due shall be both a civil and a criminal violation of this Section.

(Ord. 2012-18 § 1 (part), 2012; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.060)

4.04.080 Filing Required Before Operation of Taxable Activity. Revised 3/18

In order that the County may identify those persons who are subject to taxation under this Chapter, each person, association or organization shall file with the Finance Department a sworn declaration of intent to conduct an activity taxable under this Chapter upon a form to be prescribed by the Finance Department together with a copy of the license issued therefor by the Washington State Gambling Commission. The filing shall be made not later than 15 days prior to conducting or operating the taxable activity. No fee shall be charged for such filing which is not for the purpose of regulation of this activity but for the purposes of administration of this taxing Chapter only. Failure to timely file shall not excuse any person, association or organization from tax liability. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.070)

4.04.090 Filing – New Declaration Necessary After License Expiration, Suspension or Revocation.

A new declaration of intent to conduct or operate any of the activities taxable under this Chapter shall be required prior to the recommencement of the activity following the expiration, suspension or revocation of any license previously issued by the Washington State Gambling Commission in the same manner as described in Section 4.04.080. (Prior Code § 9.08.080)

4.04.100 Records of Activity Required. Revised 3/18

Each person, association or organization engaging in an activity taxable under this Chapter shall maintain records respecting that activity which truly, completely and accurately disclose all information necessary to determine the taxpayer's tax liability under this Chapter during each base tax period. Such records shall be kept and maintained for a period of not less than three years. In addition, all information and items required by the Washington State Gambling Commission under Chapter 230-08 WAC and the United States Internal Revenue Service respecting taxation shall be kept and maintained for the period required by those agencies. All books, records and other items required to be kept and maintained under this Section shall be subject to and immediately made available for inspection and audit during normal business hours with or without notice at the place where such records are kept on demand by the Finance Department, the Prosecuting Attorney or the Auditor or their designees for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this taxing Chapter. Failure of a taxpayer to keep books and records as required by this Section shall be a bar to contesting the assessment of taxes as estimated by the Finance Department. Where a taxpayer does not keep all of the books, records or items required to be kept or maintained under this Section in this jurisdiction so that the above state officials or their designees may examine them conveniently, the taxpayer shall either:

A.    Produce all of the required books, records or items within this jurisdiction for such inspection within five days following a request of the above officials that he do so; or

B.    Bear the actual cost of inspection by the above officials or their designees at the location where such books, records or items are located, provided that a taxpayer choosing to bear these costs shall pay in advance to the above-stated officials or their designees the estimated costs thereof, including, but not limited to, round trip fare by the most rapid means, lodging, meals and incidental expenses; the actual amount due or to be refunded for expenses shall be determined following said examination of the records.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.090)

4.04.110 Overpayments and Underpayments – Refunds and Penalties. Revised 3/18

If upon application by a taxpayer for a refund or for an audit of his records or upon any examination of the returns or records of any taxpayer it is determined by the Finance Department that within three years immediately preceding receipt by the Finance Department of the application by the taxpayer for a refund or an audit in the absence of such an application within the three years immediately preceding the commencement by the Finance Department of such examination:

A.    A tax or other fee has been paid in excess of that properly due, the total excess paid over all amounts due to the County within such period of three years shall be credited to the taxpayers's account or shall be refunded to the taxpayer at the taxpayer's option. No refund or credit shall be allowed with respect to the Finance Department for more than three years before the date of such application for examination.

B.    A tax or other fee has been paid which is less than that properly due or no tax or other fee has been paid, the Finance Department shall mail a statement by certified mail to the taxpayer showing the balance due including the tax amount of the penalty, assessments and fees, and it shall be a separate additional violation of this Chapter if a taxpayer fails to make a payment in full within ten calendar days of such mailing.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.100)

4.04.120 Failure of Taxpayer to File Return – Finance Department Authorized to Set Tax Due. Revised 3/18

If any taxpayer fails, neglects or refuses to make and file his return as and when required under this Chapter, the Finance Department is authorized to determine the amount of tax payable together with any penalty and/or interest assessed under the provisions of this Chapter and by certified mail to notify such taxpayer of the amount so determined, which amount shall thereupon become the tax penalty and/or interest and shall become immediately due and payable. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.110)

4.04.130 Tax Separate From License Fee.

The tax levied in this Chapter shall be additional to any license fee or tax imposed or levied under any law or any other resolution of the County except as otherwise expressly provided in this Chapter. (Prior Code § 9.08.120)

4.04.140 Rules and Regulations – Finance Department to Adopt, Publish and Enforce. Revised 3/18

The Finance Department shall have the power and it shall be its duty from time to time to adopt, publish and enforce rules and regulations not inconsistent with this Chapter or with superior law for the purposes of carrying out the provisions hereof and it shall be unlawful to violate or fail to comply with any such rule or regulations. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.130)

4.04.150 Tax Due Constitutes Debt.

Any tax due and unpaid under this Chapter and all penalties or fees shall constitute a debt to Pierce County, a legal subdivision of the State of Washington, and may be collected by court proceedings the same as any other debt in like amount which shall be in addition to all other existing remedies. (Prior Code § 9.08.140)

4.04.160 Three-Year Limit on Recovery.

The right of recovery by the County from the taxpayer for any tax provided under this Chapter shall be outlawed after the expiration of three calendar years from the date said tax became due. The right of recovery against the County because of overpayment of tax by any taxpayer shall be outlawed after the expiration of three calendar years from the date such payment was made. (Prior Code § 9.08.150)

4.04.170 Violations – Penalty. Revised 3/18

Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this Chapter or any lawful rule or regulation adopted by the Finance Department pursuant thereto and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine in a sum not to exceed $300.00 or by imprisonment in the Pierce County Jail for a term not exceeding 90 days or by both such fine and imprisonment. Any taxpayer who engages in or carries on any gambling activities subject to a tax under this Chapter without having complied with the provisions of this Chapter shall be guilty of a violation of this Chapter for each day in which the gambling activity is carried on. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 84-16 § 1 (part), 1984; prior Code § 9.08.160)

4.04.180 Severability.

If any provision of this Chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Chapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. 89-155 § 6, 1989)