Chapter 3.42
LODGING EXCISE TAX

Sections:

3.42.010    Levied.

3.42.020    Definitions.

3.42.030    Additional to city tax—To be deducted from state tax.

3.42.040    Special fund created.

3.42.050    Administration.

3.42.055    Lodging tax advisory committee.

3.42.060    Violation—Penalty.

3.42.990    Severability.

3.42.010 Levied.

There is levied a special excise tax of four percent on the sale of or charge made for the furnishing of lodging that is subject to tax under Chapter 82.08 RCW. The tax imposed under Chapter 82.08 RCW applies to the sale of or charge made for the furnishing of lodging by a hotel, rooming house, tourist court, motel or trailer camp, and the granting of any similar license to use real property, as distinguished from the renting or leasing of real property. 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 enjoy the same. (Ord. 1976 § 2, 1998).

3.42.020 Definitions.

The definitions of “selling price,” “seller,” “buyer,” “consumer,” and all other definitions as are now contained in RCW 82.08.010 and subsequent amendments thereto, are adopted as the definitions for the tax levied in this chapter. (Ord. 1976 § 3, 1998).

3.42.030 Additional to city tax—To be deducted from state tax.

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, the first two percent of the tax shall be deducted from the amount of tax the seller would otherwise be required to collect and pay to the Department of Revenue under Chapter 82.08 RCW. (Ord. 1976 § 4, 1998).

3.42.040 Special fund created.

There is created a special fund in the treasury of the city to be known as the hotel/motel tax fund and all taxes collected under this chapter shall be placed in this special fund to be used solely for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of tourist promotion, acquisition of tourist-related facilities, or operation of tourism-related facilities or to pay for any other uses as authorized in Chapter 67.28 RCW, as now or hereafter amended. (Ord. 1976 § 5, 1998).

3.42.050 Administration.

For the purpose of the tax levied in this chapter:

A.    The Department of Revenue is designated as the agent of the city for the purposes of collection and administration of the tax.

B.    The administrative provisions contained in RCW 82.08.050 through 82.08.070 and Chapter 82.32 RCW shall apply to administration and collection of the tax by the Department of Revenue.

C.    All rules and regulations adopted by the Department of Revenue for the administration of Chapter 82.08 RCW are adopted by reference.

D.    The Department of Revenue is authorized to prescribe and utilize such forms and reporting procedures as the Department may deem necessary and appropriate. (Ord. 1976 § 6, 1998).

3.42.055 Lodging tax advisory committee.

A.    LTAC Funds Available Each Year. The city shall determine how much it expects to be available for LTAC funding of proposals by estimating the amount of lodging tax it expects to receive and has on-hand, then subtracting debt obligations. The city does not make multi-year commitments for tourism promotion services; however, applicants are not limited or prohibited from making annual requests of the same nature.

B.    LTAC Membership. Each year the mayor or designee shall receive recommendations for membership in the LTAC. The mayor or designee shall then review membership of the LTAC and appoint individuals as necessary or desirable with city council concurrence. Such members shall consist of one city council member who shall be the chair of the committee, two representatives of lodging businesses required to collect the tax, and two individuals representing possible recipient entities. At any time during the year, whether or not the LTAC meets again, the mayor may replace any member who resigns, retires, or the like, creating a vacancy, again, with council concurrence.

C.    Proposals. The city clerk shall accept proposals from parties interested in competing for estimated lodging tax funds available in the following year. Such proposals shall be submitted in written form using a city provided form. Any proposals which are not eligible under the relevant RCWs or which are not selected for recommendation to the city council shall be returned by the LTAC to the city clerk who shall give timely written notice to the submitters.

D.    LTAC Meeting(s) and Recommendation(s). The LTAC shall meet at least once. If a quorum is present (three of the five members present), the LTAC shall determine by majority vote which, if any, of the proposals to recommend to the city council for funding and in what individual amounts. LTAC meetings shall be conducted under the regulations of the Open Public Meetings Act with appropriate notice, minutes posted, and written recommendations which shall become public documents. All written communications between LTAC members for LTAC purposes are also public records and have retention schedules. LTAC members, like those of other city boards, commissions and committees, must take Open Public Meetings Act training within ninety days of appointment to the LTAC.

E.    City Council Vote on LTAC Recommendation(s). Assuming that the LTAC recommends that one or more proposals be funded in certain amounts, the city council shall then vote to fund those recommendations, or not. The council may not change the amount recommended by the LTAC for any recommended proposal. The city council may, however, ask the LTAC to consider an amendment to the amount proposed and the LTAC shall meet as above.

F.    City Budget. The proposals funded by the city council shall then become part of the city’s lodging tax budget for the following year. If the estimated lodging tax amount falls short of expectations at any time during that year, the city council may amend the budget and withhold any unpaid amounts.

G.    Final Report to City on Awarded Funds. Within ninety days of the end of the project(s) which received funding under the LTAC process, the party receiving the award shall provide a report to the city clerk.

H.    Report to JLARC. Beginning in 2015, the city must report annually all lodging tax use to the JLARC using the JLARC municipal reporting website. (Ord. 2976 § 1, 2016: Ord. 2758 § 1, 2012).

3.42.060 Violation—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 punished by a fine in a sum not to exceed five hundred dollars. Each day of violation shall be considered a separate offense. (Ord. 1976 § 7, 1998).

3.42.990 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, paragraph, phrase, or word of this chapter should be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality thereof shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other section, subsection, sentence, clause, paragraph, phrase or word of this chapter. (Ord. 2758 § 2, 2012).