Chapter 5.99
TOURISM PROMOTION AREA

Sections:

5.99.010    Definitions.

5.99.020    Establishment of tourism promotion area.

5.99.040    Tourism promotion charge.

5.99.050    Use of tourism promotion charge revenues.

5.99.060    Establishment of Yakima hotel and motel commission.

5.99.070    Modification or disestablishment of the tourism promotion area.

5.99.080    Administration/collection of tourism promotion charges.

5.99.090    Inspection of records.

5.99.100    Contract with state for administration.

5.99.110    Violation—Penalties.

5.99.120    Severability.

5.99.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms, unless the context otherwise dictates, shall have the following meanings:

“Agreement” means the interlocal cooperation agreement between the city of Yakima, the city of Union Gap, the city of Selah and Yakima County for the establishment of a Yakima County tourism promotion area by the city of Yakima as authorized by RCW 35.101.040(2).

“Annual budget” means the Yakima County tourism promotion area budget for a fiscal year, as adopted or amended by the city council of the city of Yakima, after the receipt of a recommendation from the Yakima hotel and motel commission, identifying all estimated revenue from tourism promotion charges for the fiscal year, and providing for all proposed uses of tourism promotion charge revenue for the purpose of providing tourism promotion in Yakima County for the ensuing fiscal year.

“Lodging business” means business located within the Yakima County tourism promotion area that furnishes lodging taxable by the state under RCW Chapter 82.08 and that is classified as a hotel or motel with forty or more lodging units. Reasonable vehicle parks and campgrounds are not included.

“Operator” means the operator of a lodging business, whether in the capacity of owner, general manager, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, designee, or any other similar capacity.

The “promotion of tourism and convention business” means activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism and convention business, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists to the city of Yakima and the unincorporated areas of Yakima County.

“Tourism promotion charge” means the charge imposed by the city of Yakima on the furnishing of lodging by a lodging business within the Yakima County tourism promotion area for the purpose of providing for funding of the promotion of convention and tourism business, under the authority of RCW 35.101.050, in Yakima County.

“Yakima County tourism promotion area” means the tourism promotion area with boundaries that include the city of Yakima and the unincorporated areas of Yakima County and which was established by the ordinance of the city council of the city of Yakima pursuant to the authority of RCW Chapter 35.101 as authorized by the resolutions of the city council of the city of Yakima and the county commissioners of Yakima County adopting the terms of the agreement.

“Yakima hotel and motel commission” means the Yakima hotel and motel commission, established by the city of Yakima, whose members are appointed by the county commissioners of Yakima County and the city council of the city of Yakima to provide recommendations to the city council of the city of Yakima on proposed uses and projects of the Yakima County tourism promotion area. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.020 Establishment of tourism promotion area.

There is hereby established a Yakima County tourism promotion area having boundaries which include the city of Yakima and the unincorporated area of Yakima County; provided, however, no area within Yakima County which is within the boundaries of any incorporated city or town shall be included within the boundaries of the tourism promotion area unless the city or town has entered into an agreement prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.040 Tourism promotion charge.

Effective October 1, 2011, there shall be imposed a tourism promotion charge on the furnishing of lodging by a lodging business located in the Yakima County tourism promotion area in the amount of two dollars per room per day.

Added to the tourism promotion charge specified in the above paragraph, there shall be imposed a second, additional tourism promotion charge of two dollars per night of lodging stay furnished by a lodging business located within the Yakima County tourism promotion area, until such time that RCW 35.101.057 shall expire or is repealed, or as modified by ordinance.

The tourism promotion charges imposed under this chapter are not a tax on the “sale of lodging” for the purposes of calculating the lodging tax limit specified in RCW 82.14.410. (Ord. 2021-011 § 1, 2021; Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.050 Use of tourism promotion charge revenues.

The revenues from the tourism promotion charges imposed by the city of Yakima within the Yakima County tourism promotion area shall be used for the following purposes only:

A.    The funding of all activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism promotion and convention business within the Yakima County tourism promotion area as specified in the Yakima County tourism promotion area budget;

B.    The marketing of convention business that benefits local tourism and results in increased convention business within the Yakima County tourism promotion area;

C.    The marketing of Yakima County to the travel industry in order to benefit local tourism and result in overnight stays within the Yakima County tourism promotion area; and

D.    The marketing of Yakima County to recruit major sporting events in order to promote local tourism resulting in overnight stays within the Yakima County tourism promotion area. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.060 Establishment of Yakima hotel and motel commission.

A.    The city council of the city of Yakima, pursuant to the authority of RCW 35.101.1301(1), hereby establishes a seven-member Yakima hotel and motel commission to advise the city council of the city of Yakima on the expenditure of tourism promotion charge revenues by the Yakima County tourism promotion area to fund tourism promotion in Yakima County, which shall be composed of five voting members and two nonvoting members who shall be appointed in the manner set forth in this section.

B.    Voting members of the Yakima hotel and motel commission shall be selected by the city council of the city of Yakima in the manner set forth in subsections C and D of this section, from a list of nominees prepared by the Yakima Valley lodging association. All nominees for voting membership on the Yakima hotel and motel commission must be operators of lodging businesses within the Yakima County tourism promotion area or employed by the operator of such a lodging business.

C.    The city council of the city of Yakima shall appoint five voting members to represent the city of Yakima, with the voting members appointed by the city of Yakima representing qualified lodging businesses that are located within the city limits of the city of Yakima or within the unincorporated areas of the county tourism promotion area.

D.    One nonvoting member of the commission shall be appointed from the members of the county commissioners of Yakima County and one nonvoting member shall be appointed from the members of the city council of the city of Yakima. Nonvoting members of the Yakima hotel and motel commission may participate in all discussions regarding proposed activities and programs by the Yakima County tourism promotion area for the promotion and marketing of tourism in Yakima County but shall not have voting rights.

E.    The initial voting members of the Yakima hotel and motel commission shall serve staggered terms, with one member serving a one-year term, two members serving two-year terms, and two members serving three-year terms. The length of the term for each individual member of the initial Yakima hotel and motel commission shall be chosen by lot at the first meeting of the commission. Thereafter, all voting members subsequently appointed to the Yakima hotel and motel commission shall serve for three-year terms.

F.    All of the revenues from tourism promotion charges collected by the city council of the city of Yakima from lodging businesses within the jurisdiction of the unincorporated area of Yakima County and the city of Yakima shall be allocated by the city council of the city of Yakima in accordance with the annual budget for the Yakima County tourism promotion area. The Yakima hotel and motel commission shall make a recommendation to the city council of the city of Yakima on all annual budgets; however, the city council of the city of Yakima shall have the ultimate authority to set and approve all annual budgets. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.070 Modification or disestablishment of the tourism promotion area.

A.    The city council of the city of Yakima, by appropriate action, may modify the provisions of this chapter or provide for the disestablishment of the Yakima County tourism promotion area, after adopting a resolution of intention to such effect. Such resolution of intention shall describe the change or changes proposed, or indicate that it is the intention to disestablish the Yakima County tourism promotion area, and shall state the time and place of a public hearing to be held by the city council of the city of Yakima to consider the proposed action.

B.    If the operators of lodging businesses which paid over forty percent of the tourism promotion charges imposed within the Yakima County tourism promotion area during the preceding calendar year file a petition with the city council of the city of Yakima or the Yakima hotel and motel commission requesting that the city council of the city of Yakima adopt a resolution of intention to modify or disestablish the Yakima County tourism promotion area, the city council of the city of Yakima shall adopt such resolution and act upon it as required by law. Signatures on such petition shall be those of a duly authorized representative of the operators of lodging businesses in the Yakima County tourism promotion area; provided, however, the effective date of any modification or withdrawal shall be coordinated with the Washington State Department of Revenue in conjunction with its responsibility to administer the tourism promotion charges imposed pursuant to this chapter.

C.    In the event a resolution under subsection A or B of this section proposes disestablishment of the Yakima County tourism promotion area, the city council of the city of Yakima by ordinance shall disestablish the Yakima County tourism promotion area; unless at such hearing protest against disestablishment is made by the operators of lodging businesses paying over fifty percent of the tourism promotion charges in the Yakima County tourism promotion area. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.080 Administration/collection of tourism promotion charges.

The tourism promotion charges imposed under this chapter shall be administered by the Washington State Department of Revenue and shall be collected by lodging businesses from persons taxable by the state under RCW Chapter 82.08. The provisions of RCW Chapter 82.32 apply to the tourism promotion charges imposed under this chapter.

The tourism promotion charges collected by the Washington State Department of Revenue shall be deposited by the Department in the local tourism promotion account created and maintained by the State Treasurer. All receipts from the tourism promotion charges imposed hereunder must be deposited into this account. Expenditures from the account may only be used for tourism promotion resulting in overnight stays in the tourism promotion area lodging businesses. The State Treasurer shall distribute the money in the account on a monthly basis to the city of Yakima. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.090 Inspection of records.

All lodging businesses subject to the collection of the tourism promotion charges, as set forth in this chapter, and the city council of the city of Yakima consent to the inspection of such records as are deemed necessary by the Washington State Department of Revenue pursuant to applicable statutes, rules or regulations. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.100 Contract with state for administration.

The mayor of the city of Yakima, or a majority of the city council of the city of Yakima, is authorized to enter into contract(s), at other than an open meeting, with the Washington State Department of Revenue for the administration of the charge imposed pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.110 Violation—Penalties.

Any person, firm or corporation who fails or refuses to collect the charge as required under the terms of this chapter with the intent to violate the provisions of this chapter or to gain some advantage or benefit, either directly or indirectly, and any guest who refuses to pay any charge due under this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than ninety days, or by a fine in the amount fixed by the court of not more than one thousand dollars or by both such imprisonment and fine; provided, however, the penalty provided for under the terms of this section shall be in addition to any other provisions provided for by law. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).

5.99.120 Severability.

If any part or provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, it is the intent of the city council of the city of Yakima that the remainder of this chapter, or its application of the provisions to other persons or circumstances, is not affected. (Ord. 2011-21 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2010-37 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 2004-17 § 1 (part), 2004).