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Below are rule and interpretive statement actions. For information regarding how these rules and interpretive statements may affect you, email us or call 1-800-647-7706. Also, see more information regarding the Department's rule making process, including rule making currently in progress and how to participate.


Pursuant to RCW 34.05.330, you have the right to petition the Department to adopt, amend, or repeal any administrative rule. Obtain a copy of the petition online, or call call 1-800-647-7706. The petition process is governed by the Office of Financial Management (chapter 82-05 WAC).


NOTE:
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Rules:
WAC - Washington Administrative Code

Interpretive Statements:
ETA - Excise Tax Advisory
PTA - Property Tax Advisory
IAG - Interim Audit Guideline

December 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

February 2009

January 2009


December 2009

ETA 3158.2009 Eligility for the B&O Tax Exemption for Wholesale Sales Between New Car Dealers When Making a Purchase Under an Asset Purchase Agreement

This Excise Tax Advisory explains how the B&O tax exemption provided by RCW 82.04.422(2) for wholesale sales of new motor vehicles between new car dealers applies when the sale is made under the terms of an “Asset Purchase Agreement” (APA).

WAC 458-61A-302 Disposition of proceeds and affidavit batch transmittal

WAC 458-61A-302 Disposition of proceeds and affidavit batch transmittal explains how the counties, the Department of Revenue, and the State Treasurer process the taxes and administrative fees received under Chapter 458-61A WAC Real Estate Excise Tax (REET).

The Department is amending WAC 458-61A-302 to recognize provisions of HB 2170 (chapter 486, Laws of 2005).  This legislation removed the dedication of the state portion of the REET “for the support of common schools.”  Additional editing changes to existing language in the rule have been made.

WAC 458-20-126 Sales of motor vehicle fuel, special fuels, and nonpollutant fuel

RCW 82.08.0255(1)(c) and 82.12.0256(1)(c) provide a retail sales and use tax exemption for motor vehicle and special fuels  purchased by counties and public transportation benefit areas (PTBAs) for use in passenger-only ferry vessels.  The exemption as it applies to county-owned ferries is addressed in current subsection (3)(a), with subsection (3)(d) addressing the exemption as it applies to PTBAs.  The discussion regarding county-owned ferries clearly identifies the statutory requirement that the exemption is limited to fuels used in passenger-only ferries, while the discussion for fuel used by a PTBA does not.  The Department proposes to amend the rule to correct this oversight.  The amendment combines the discussion of the exemption as it applies to fuel purchased for both county-owned and PTBA-owned passenger-only ferries in a single subsection (3)(a).

WAC 458-20-12401 Special stadium sales and use tax

WAC 458-20-12401 (Rule 12401) Special stadium sales and use tax.  This rule explains the special stadium sales and use taxes imposed by RCW 82.14.360, which is currently only assessed in King County.  The tax is assessed on sales of food and beverages by restaurants, taverns, and bars. The tax applies only to those food and beverage sales that are already subject to the retail sales tax.  Rule 12401 has been amended to:

  • Remove language from the opening paragraph providing the citation to the 1995 amendment to RCW 82.14.360, which imposes the tax.  This information was removed because it is no longer needed;
  • Add “movie theaters” to the list of facilities that often sell food and beverages for immediate consumption.  The term is added to the examples of facilities provided in subsection (2)(a)’s definition of “restaurant.”  This addition does not reflect a change in the Department’s interpretation of the law.  It incorporates information now provided in Det. 98-098E, 17 WTD 55 (1998); and
  • Update language in subsection (4)(a), which is an example pertaining to bakery sales, to incorporate terminology consistent with Washington law that adopted provisions of the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement.  This update does not change the tax consequences of the example.

WAC 458-20-10201 Application process and eligibility requirements for reseller permits; and

WAC 458-20-10202 Brief adjudicative proceedsings for matters related to reseller permits

Effective January 1, 2010, reseller permits will replace resale certificates as the means to substantiate wholesale purchases.  Chapter 563, Laws of 2009.  Section 404 of this legislation authorizes the Department of Revenue (Department) to accept applications for reseller permits, issue reseller permits, adopt rules, and take any other action before January 1, 2010, necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the legislation.  The Department is adopting these rules on an emergency basis to explain the application process and eligibility requirements for businesses to receive Department-issued reseller permits. 

The adopted rules:

  • WAC 458-20-10201 – Application process and eligibility requirements for reseller permits; and
  • WAC 458-20-10202 – Brief adjudicative proceedings for matters related to reseller permits

WAC 458-20-102 Reseller Permits

WAC 458-20-102A Resale Certificates

WAC 458-20-102 (Rule 102) currently explains the resale certificate and conditions under which a buyer may furnish a resale certificate to a seller.  Effective January 1, 2010, reseller permits will replace resale certificates as the means to substantiate wholesale sales.  Chapter 563, Laws of 2009. 

The Department of Revenue (Department) is amending Rule 102 to explain the reseller permit and conditions under which a buyer may furnish a reseller permit to a seller.   The information provided in the current Rule 102 is being incorporated into a new Rule 102A because this information will be needed for wholesale transactions occurring before January 1, 2010 until the normal limitation periods for assessments and refunds run. 

ETA 3005r1.2009 Intervening Use

ETA 3036r1.2009 Extermination and Pest Control Services

ETA 3040r1.2009 Chemicals Used in Processing by the Pulp Industry

ETA 3052r1.2009 Retail Sales Tax: Road Construction

ETA 3068r1.2009 Taxability of Highway Construction Contract Projects Administered by Washington State Department of Transportation

ETA 3084r1.2009 Retail Sales Tax - Charges for Towing Damaged or Inoperable Vehicles for Repair

ETA 3093r1.2009 Prepaid Telephone Debit Cards

ETA 3096r1.2009 Fund-raising Activities of Public Schools, Associated Student Body Groups and Parent Teacher Associations

ETA 3097r1.2009 Deferred Sales Tax

ETA 3100r1.2009 Staffing Companies

ETA 3128r1.2009 Repair Work on Goods Damaged in Transit Ordered by the Shipper, the Carrier, or the Owner

ETA 3153r1.2009 Road Construction - Contractors Applying Sand, Gravel and Rock Retail Sales Tax - Use Tax

Effective January 1, 2010, reseller permits will replace resale certificates as the means to substantiate wholesale purchases.  Chapter 563, Laws of 2009. 

The Department has updated the following ETAs for the sole purpose of recognizing that resale certificates are no longer valid after December 31, 2009, and that reseller permits should be used instead.

ETA 3005r1.2009       Intervening Use
ETA 3036r1.2009       Extermination and Pest Control Services
ETA 3040r1.2009       Chemicals Used in Processing by the Pulp Industry
ETA 3052r1.2009       Retail Sales Tax:  Road Construction
ETA 3068r1.2009       Taxability of Highway Construction Contract Projects Administered by Washington State Department of Transportation
ETA 3084r1.2009       Retail Sales Tax - Charges for Towing Damaged or Inoperable Vehicles for Repair
ETA 3093r1.2009       Prepaid Telephone Debit Cards
ETA 3096r1.2009       Fund-raising Activities of Public Schools, Associated Student Body Groups and Parent Teacher Associations
ETA 3097r1.2009       Deferred Sales Tax
ETA 3100r1.2009       Staffing Companies
ETA 3128r1.2009       Repair Work on Goods Damaged in Transit Ordered by the Shipper, the Carrier, or the Owner
ETA 3153r1.2009       Road Construction - Contractors Applying Sand, Gravel and Rock Retail Sales Tax - Use Tax

ETA 3160.2009 Packers of Horticultural Products and the Taxability of Storage Income

Many packers of horticultural products are organized as agricultural cooperative marketing associations that pack, market, and sell horticultural products for the growers.  These packers typically perform a variety of activities for growers, including the storage of the horticultural products in cold storage.  This ETA discusses how the business and occupation (B&O) tax deduction available to persons receiving, washing, sorting, and packing horticultural products applies in these cases.  

WAC 458-20-247 Trade-ins, selling price, sellers' tax measures

The statutory definitions of “selling price” (RCW 82.08.010) and “value of article used” (RCW 82.12.010) exclude “separately stated trade-in property of like kind” for purposes of the retail sales and use taxes. WAC 458-20-247 (Rule 247) explains how and when this exclusion applies, and the recordkeeping requirements needed to document the transactions.

The Department amended Rule 247 to:

  • Update language in the rule to more closely follow the current statutory definitions of “selling price” and “value of article used”; and
  • Update citations to other statutes and rules.

Editing changes were also made for clarity.

WAC 458-16-260 Nonprofit day care centers, libraries, orphanages, homes for sick or infirm, hospitals, outpatient dialysis facilities

WAC 458-16-260 Nonprofit day care centers, libraries, orphanages, homes for sick or infirm, hospitals, outpatient dialysis facilities explains the property tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals and other nonprofit facilities, authorized in RCW 84.36.040.     

The Department has amended this rule to clarify what property owned or used by a nonprofit hospital qualifies for property tax exemption.  The amended rule provides a clear basis for determining when nonprofit hospital property is exempt.  Rather than focusing solely on whether the property is used for in-patient care, the amended rule focuses on whether the property is fully integrated into a licensed hospital unit.   

 WAC 458-30-262 Agricultural land valuation-Interest rate-Property tax component

WAC 458-30-262 provides county assessors with the rate of interest and property tax component used in valuing farm and agricultural land classified under chapter 84.34 RCW (the Open Space Program).  Each county has its own property tax component. The rule is being amended to update the interest rate and property tax component that local taxing officials will use when valuing classified farm and agricultural land during assessment year 2010.

WAC 458-30-590 Rate of inflation-Publication-Interest rate-Calculation

Special benefit assessments for certain local improvements to farm and agricultural or timber land classified under chapter 84.34 RCW (Open Space Program) may be deferred by the land owner.  If a land owner chose to defer these assessments, and the land is subsequently removed or withdrawn from classification, the deferred special benefit assessments become due and payable with interest.  WAC 458-30-590 provides the rate of inflation used in calculating the interest that is added to the deferred amount of special benefit assessments. 

This rule is being amended to provide the rate of inflation to be used for calculating interest on land removed or withdrawn during the 2010 calendar year.

WAC 458-18-220 Refunds - Rate of Interest

WAC 458-18-220 provides the rate of interest that is to be included when property taxes are refunded.  The rates are shown in chronological order with reference to the year in which the property taxes were paid.  The rule is being amended to provide the rate of interest for treasury bill auction year 2009, which is the rate to be used for computing interest when refunding property taxes paid in 2010.

WAC 458-40-540 Forestland values

WAC 458-40-540 contains the forest land values, which must be adjusted annually by a statutory formula contained in RCW 84.33.140(3).  This rule has been amended to provide county assessors with forest land values for the 2010 assessment year. 

WAC 458-40-660 Timber excise tax-Stumpage value tables-Stumpage value adjustments

WAC 458-40-660 contains the stumpage values used by harvesters of timber to calculate the timber excise tax.  This rule is being revised to provide the stumpage values to be used during the first half of 2010. 

     

     

September 2009

WAC 458-16-280 Art, scientific, and historical collections

WAC 458-16-282 Musical, dance, artistic, dramatic and literary associations

WAC 458-19-070 Procedure to adjust consolidated levy rate for taxing districts when the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit is exceeded

WAC 458-19-075 Constitutional one percent limit calculation

WAC 458-30-230 Application for open space classification

WAC 458-30-232 Application for timber land classification

WAC 458-30-295 Removal of classification

WAC 458-30-300 Additional tax--Withdrawal or removal from classification

WAC 458-30-700 Designated forest land--Removal--Change in status--Compensating tax

The Department is amending these rules to reflect the current content of the underlying statutes. 

  • WACs 458-16-280 and 458-16-282, which describe the property tax exemptions for art, scientific, and historical collections and for musical, dance, artistic, dramatic, and literary associations, are being amended to incorporate changes in the authorizing statute.  The changes to RCW 84.36.060 allow the exempt property to be used by entities not entitled to receive a property tax exemption. 
  • WACs 458-19-070 and 458-19-075, which outline the process used in prorationing property tax levies under RCW 84.52.043 and 84.52.010, are being updated to include new property tax levies and the correct order for prorationing property tax levies. 
  • Recent changes to RCW 84.34.037 and 84.34.041 require the amendment of WACs 458-30-230 and 458-30-232 because there is a new procedure that may be used when classifying land as open space land under RCW 84.34.037 and timber land under RCW 84.34.041. 
  • WACs 458-30-295, 458-30-300, and 458-30-700 are being amended because of recent legislative changes to RCW 84.34.108, regarding the removal of land from classification under chapter 84.34 RCW, and to RCW 84.33.140 and RCW 84.33.145, regarding the removal of land from designation under chapter 84.33 RCW. 

WAC 458-16-270 Schools and colleges

:   WAC 458-16-270 explains the property tax exemption available to non-profit schools and colleges, and for not-for-profit foundations that support institutions of higher education, as authorized in RCW 84.36.050.  The rule has been substantially revised and updated to recognize the legislative changes that were enacted in chapter 226, Laws of 2006 (SHB 2804).  This legislation expanded the exemption for non-profit schools and colleges to include specified use of the property by parties other than the school or college.

WAC 458-20-272 Tire fee-Core deposits or credits

WAC 458-20-272 (Rule 272) explains the tire fee imposed under RCW 70.95.510, which is a $1 fee imposed on each new replacement vehicle tire sold at retail.  The $1 fee was scheduled to expire June 30, 2010.  Senate Bill (chapter 261, Laws of 2009) eliminated this statutory expiration date.

The Department has amended Rule 272 to remove the outdated language concerning the expiration date.

 

August 2009

WAC 458-20-10201 Application process and eligibility requirements for reseller permits; and

WAC 458-20-10202 Brief adjudicative proceedings for matters related to reseller permits

Effective January 1, 2010, reseller permits will replace resale certificates as the means to substantiate wholesale purchases.  Chapter 563, Laws of 2009.  Section 404 of this legislation authorizes the Department of Revenue (Department) to accept applications for reseller permits, issue reseller permits, adopt rules, and take any other action before January 1, 2010, necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the legislation.  The Department is adopting these rules on an emergency basis to explain the application process and eligibility requirements for businesses to receive Department-issued reseller permits. 
The adopted rules:

  • WAC 458-20-10201 – Application process and eligibility requirements for reseller permits; and
  • WAC 458-20-10202 – Brief adjudicative proceedings for matters related to reseller permits

 

July 2009

WAC 458-20-239 Sales to nonresidents of farm machinery or implements, and related services

WAC 458-20-239 (Rule 239)  explains the retail sales tax exemption provided by RCW 82.08.0268 for sales to nonresidents of farming machinery and implements, parts for farming machinery and implements, and related labor and services.  

 The Department has amended Rule 239 to:

  • Eliminate language in subsection (2)(b) explaining that prior to June 11, 1998, the exemption was limited to parts and did not include repair services;
  • Add the term “driver’s license” in subsection (2)(c) as an example of what constitutes acceptable proof that a buyer is a nonresident;
  • In subsection (2)(d): 1) replace the reference to identify the “Buyer’s Retail Sales Tax Exemption Certificate” with the “Farmers’ Retail Sales Tax Exemption Certificate," which is the certificate currently used to document an exempt sales claim; and (2) update the explanation of how to obtain a blank exemption certificate. 

ETA 9001 Digital Products - General Implementation

Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 2075, AN ACT Relating to the excise taxation of certain products and services provided or furnished electronically, takes effect July 26, 2009.  The law continues the existing tax treatment of digital products in some areas, creates several newly-defined classes of digital products in others, and changes how some of these products are taxed. 

The Department of Revenue (Department) has issued two new Excise Tax Advisories to provide guidance on this legislation. 

ETA 9001 summarizes the Department’s phased process for implementing ESHB 2075.  It explains that the Department intends to provide progressive guidance by issuing a series of ETAs.  It explains how a taxpayer can provide feedback on the ETAs and how to obtain a letter ruling from the Department if you are unclear if your activities fall under the new law.

ETA 9002 explains the taxation of digital songs, digital movies, digital books, and online games.

ETA 9002 Taxation of digital songs, movies, books, and online games transferred electronically

Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 2075, AN ACT Relating to the excise taxation of certain products and services provided or furnished electronically, takes effect July 26, 2009.  The law continues the existing tax treatment of digital products in some areas, creates several newly-defined classes of digital products in others, and changes how some of these products are taxed. 

The Department of Revenue (Department) has issued two new Excise Tax Advisories to provide guidance on this legislation. 

ETA 9001 summarizes the Department’s phased process for implementing ESHB 2075.  It explains that the Department intends to provide progressive guidance by issuing a series of ETAs.  It explains how a taxpayer can provide feedback on the ETAs and how to obtain a letter ruling from the Department if you are unclear if your activities fall under the new law.

ETA 9002 explains the taxation of digital songs, digital movies, digital books, and online games.

 

June 2009

WAC 458-20-270 Telephone program excise tax rates

Under RCW 43.20A.725 and 80.36.430, the Department is required to annually determine the tax rates imposed on switched access lines to fund the telephone relay service program and the Washington telephone assistance program.  The Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) and Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP) tax rates are determined by dividing the respective program budgets by the number of switched access lines reported to the Department in the prior calendar year.  The Department retains no discretion in the determination of these tax rates, the amount of which is explicitly dictated by the statutory formulas and inputs provided to the Department.

The Department is amending WAC 458-20-270 to recognize the tax rates to be used for the period of July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.  The TRS rate decreases to 11 cents per switched access line for the upcoming fiscal year.  The WTAP rate remains the same at 13 cents per switched access line for the upcoming fiscal year.  These rates were previously announced by the Department in a special notice dated April 7, 2009 and can be found at http://dor.wa.gov/Docs/Pubs/SpecialNotices/2009/sn_09_TelephoneRates.pdf

WAC 458-18A-New Limited Income Deferral Program

The chapter allowing deferral of property taxes and special assessments for homeowners with limited incomes, chapter 84.37 RCW, was enacted in a 2007 Special Session and no rules have been adopted since then to explain its administration.  The Department is adopting ten new rules, WAC 458-18A-010 through 458-18A-100, to provide that guidance.  These rules will assist taxpayers, the Department, and assessors by providing guidelines for the administration of the new deferral program. 

The Limited Income Deferral Program is distinct from the other property tax deferral programs and those distinctions are made clear in these rules. 

WAC 458-40-610 Timber excise tax-Definitions

WAC 458-40-610 provides definitions of terms used in WAC 458-40-610 through 458-40-690.  This rule has been amended to provide a definition of “forest-derived biomass.”  This definition was previously located in WAC 458-40-660.   

WAC 458-40-660 Timber excise tax-Stumpage values

WAC 458-40-660 contains the stumpage values used by harvesters of timber to calculate the timber excise tax.  This rule is being revised to provide the stumpage values to be used during the second half of 2009.   

 

May 2009

WAC 458-40-660 Timber excise tax-Stumpage value tables-Stumpage value adjustments

WAC 458-40-660 contains the stumpage values used by harvesters of timber to calculate the timber excise tax.  The Department previously adopted an emergency rule (WSR 09-03-088) after discovering a typographical error in the permanent rule providing values to be used during the 1st half of 2009.  The emergency rule’s valuation for Ponderosa Pine Species Code PP Timber Quality Code 1 in Stumpage Value Area 5 was $134, not the $135 amount reflected in the permanent rule.  The Department is adopting a 2nd emergency rule to provide the correct $134 value through June 30, 2009.  The Department is currently in the rule making process to adopt an amended permanent rule to provide valuations for the 2nd half of 2009.

The values used in this rule are used to determine tax liability for the period beginning January 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2009.  An emergency rule is needed to provide the correct valuation through June 30, 2009.   The Department is engaged in rule making to adopt an amended rule effective July 1, 2009.

ETA 3043r1 Income Low-density light and power utility deduction

The Department of Revenue has revised Excise Tax Advisory 3043.2009 Low-density light and power utility deduction (ETA 3043).  This advisory explains the public utility tax deduction provided by RCW 82.16.053 to qualifying power and light businesses.  

RCW 82.16.053 requires that the Department determine the state average electric power rate each year and inform taxpayers of this rate.  This rate is used by the power and light business to compute the amount of the deduction.  The revised ETA 3043 updates the information to provide the rate to be used for the period of July 2009 through June 2010.

 

April 2009

WAC 458-30-200 Definitions

WAC 458-30-200 provides definitions for the terms used in conjunction with land classified under the Open Space Taxation Act, codified as chapter 84.34 RCW.  The Department has amended WAC 458-30-200 on an emergency basis to clarify that:
(1)  It is not necessary to breed animals to qualify for the “farm and agricultural land” classification; and
(2)  The sale of forage through the grazing of livestock, including equines, constitutes the sale of an agricultural product for purposes of Chapter 84.34 RCW.
The changes reflected in this rule are the same as those in the emergency rule adopted on December 31, 2008 (WSR 09-02-042).

Since November 14, 2008, at the request of the Department of Revenue, assessors and treasurers have delayed the involuntary removal of property from the “farm and agricultural land” classification to allow the Department time to amend WAC 458-30-200 to address (1) the exclusion of land used for raising calves or piglets that are purchased rather than bred onsite and (2) the inconsistent classification of horse boarding operations among counties. The Department amended WAC 458-30-200 on an emergency basis on December 31, 2008 (WSR 09-02-042) to assure that counties may timely complete their classification, assessment, collection and enforcement procedures, while assuring equal treatment for similarly situated taxpayers and the preservation of farmland intended to be preserved under Washington’s Open Space Taxation Act.

Legislation in this area was also introduced during the 2009 session.   The legislature passed SHB 1733, which has been delivered to the Governor for possible signing into law.  This legislation expands the statutory definition of “farming and agricultural land” to include land put to specific equestrian-related uses.  The Department anticipates proceeding with rule making to amend the permanent WAC 458-30-200 consistent with SHB 1733, assuming the bill is signed into law.  If the bill is not signed into law, the Department will proceed with amending the permanent rule based on current law.  A second emergency rule is needed at this time to assure equal treatment for similarly situated taxpayers and the preservation of farmland intended to be preserved under Washington’s Open Space Taxation Act.

 

February 2009

ETA 3001.2009 Excise Tax Advisories Cross Reference Table

Effective February 2, 2009, the Department of Revenue cancelled all then current Excise Tax Advisories (ETA).  The ETAs that have continued validity have been reissued with new numbers.  The new series begins at 3001 followed by the year it is issued. 

ETA 3001 provides a cross reference between the old ETAs by number to the new ETA number.  

PTAs reissued effective February 2, 2009

  • PTA 1.1.2009 Specific Questions Related to Administration of Property Taxes Under I-695
  • PTA 2.1.2009 Property Tax Bulletins Cancelled
  • PTA 4.2.2009 Specific Question Pertaining to the Administration and Qualification of the Land on which a Residence is Sited for Property Classified as Farm and Agricultural Land Under Chapter 84.34 RCW (REVISED)
  • PTA 5.1.2009 Specific Question Pertaining to Land Classified as Farm and Agricultural Land Under Chapter 84.34 RCW, when the Land Qualifies for Classification because of the Commercial Agricultural Activity Produced from Perennial Plantings.
  • PTA 6.1.2009 Property Taxability of Motor Vehicles
  • PTA 7.1.2009 Sales Tax as an Element of Value
  • PTA 8.1.2009 Appraisal of Bed and Breakfast Establishments
  • PTA 9.1.2009 Assessment of Supplies
  • PTA 10.1.2009 "True Lease" or Security Agreement
  • PTA 11.2.2009 Application of the Federal Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act and the Washington Service Members' Civil Relief Act To Property Tax Administration
  • PTA 12.1.2009 Classification of Land Used for Christmas Tree Production
  • PTA 13.1.2009 Impact of Local Zoning Ordinances on Property Tax Exemptions Granted Under Chapter 84.36 RCW
  • PTA 14.2.2009 Transfer or Removal of Land Owned by a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe Classified Under Chapter 84.33 or 84.34 RCW
  • PTA 15.1.2009 Low-Income Housing Valuation

WAC 458-07-030 True and fair value-Defined-Criteria-Highest and best use-Data from property owner

WAC 458-07-030 defines the phrase “true and fair value,” and explains how an assessor should determine true and fair value when valuing property.  This rule is revised to conform to HB 1450 (Chapter 301, Laws of 2007).  HB 1450 exempts rental properties for very low-income households owned or used by nonprofit entities if the households have received financial assistance from:
• a federal program administered by a city or county government; or
• surcharges authorized by RCW 36.22.178 and 36.22.179 and any of the surcharges authorized in chapter 43.185C RCW.

HB 1450 also amended RCW 84.40.030 to specify that the highest and best use of a parcel cannot be in conflict with zoning or land use or planning laws or other governmental restrictions.  Further, for property assessments, consideration the assessor is directed/should be given to any agreement with a government agency that restricts rental income, appreciation, and liquidity, and to the impact of government restrictions on operating expenses and on ownership rights.

WAC 458-12-140 Taxing district boundaries-Designation of tax code area

WAC 458-12-140  This rule explains when the boundaries of a taxing district must be established for the purpose of levying property taxes.  It also explains the requirement that county assessors must transmit taxing district boundary information to the Property Tax Division of the Department of Revenue when there is a change in taxing district boundaries or when a new taxing district is established, and provides guidance to assessors in designating tax code areas to be used in the listing of real and personal property.

     This rule revision is to incorporate provisions of ESSB 5836 (chapter 285, Laws of 2007) and ESB 6663 (chapter 86, Laws of 2008).   ESSB 5836 changes the date that taxing district boundaries are established for property tax purposes to August 1st  for all taxing jurisdictions.  ESB 6663 revised RCW 84.09.030 to correct and clarify its provisions and to remove obsolete sections.

WAC 458-15-100 Appeals

WAC 458-15-100 describes the availability of an appeal from a determination of eligibility of special valuation.  This rule is amended to update citations and other statutory references.

WAC 458-16-560 Housing for very low-income households

WAC 458-16-560  This rule explains the exemption that may be claimed by nonprofit entities providing rental housing or lots for mobile homes within a mobile home park for occupancy by a very low-income household in accordance with RCW 84.36.560.

     This rule is revised to incorporate provisions of HB 1450 (Chapter 301, Laws of 2007).  HB 1450 amended RCW 84.36.560 by adding a federal program administered by a city or county government and document recording fee surcharges imposed for the purpose of affordable housing development or to reduce homelessness to the sources of financial assistance that rental properties for very low income households owned or used by nonprofit entities may receive and be exempt from property taxes.

ETA 3156.2009 Disaster Relief Funds Provided by FEMA and the Red Cross

This Excise Tax Advisory addresses the Washington retail sales tax treatment of purchases made under financial assistance programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the American Red Cross to assist victims of natural disasters.

ETA 3157.2009 Information Technology Services and the Preferential B&O Rate Under RCW 82.04.263

RCW 82.04.263 provides a preferential business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for persons engaged in the business of cleaning up radioactive waste and other byproducts of weapons production and nuclear research and development for the United States or its instrumentalities.  For the purposes of the preferential rate, “cleaning up radioactive waste and other byproducts of weapons production and nuclear research and development” means the activities of handling, storing, treating, immobilizing, stabilizing, or disposing of radioactive waste, radioactive tank waste and capsules, nonradioactive hazardous solid and liquid wastes, or spent nuclear fuel; spent nuclear fuel conditioning; removal of contamination in soils and ground water; decontamination and decommissioning of facilities; and activities integral and necessary to the direct performance of cleanup.

This Excise Tax Advisory (ETA) discusses how this preferential B&O tax rate applies to information technology services.

PTA 14.2.2009 Transfer or Removal of Land Owned By a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe Classified Under Chapter 84.33 or 84.34 RCW

The Department of Revenue has issued Property Tax Advisory (PTA) 14.2.2009 to replace PTA 14.1.2009. 

PTA 14.1.2009 explains that neither compensating tax nor additional tax is due when tribally owned land classified under chapter 84.33 RCW (designated forest land) or chapter 84.34 RCW (current use classification) is transferred to the United States to be held in trust for a federally recognized Indian Tribe.  The Department has issued PTA 14.2.2009 to clarify that tribally owned land removed from current use classification or as designated forest land for any reason is not subject to these taxes.

 

January 2009

WAC 458-57-105 Nature of estate tax, definitions

WAC 458-57-105 explains the nature of Washington state’s estate tax imposed by chapter 83.100 RCW.  It also provides definitions of terms that are used throughout chapter 458-57 WAC.  WAC 458-57-115 provides guidance to help taxpayers prepare their return and pay the correct amount of Washington state estate tax.  It explains the steps for determining the tax and provides examples of how the tax is calculated. 

The Department is amending these rules to clarify when an amount included in the federal taxable estate pursuant to IRC Sec. 2044 (inclusions of amounts for which a federal QTIP election was previously made) is subtracted out when calculating the Washington taxable estate.  The rules clarify that the Washington taxable estate is only reduced by the amount included in the federal taxable estate pursuant to IRC Sec 2044 when it is received from a pre-deceased spouse that died on or after May 17, 2005.

WAC 458-57-115 Valuation of property, property subject to estate tax, and how to calculate the tax

WAC 458-57-105 explains the nature of Washington state’s estate tax imposed by chapter 83.100 RCW.  It also provides definitions of terms that are used throughout chapter 458-57 WAC.  WAC 458-57-115 provides guidance to help taxpayers prepare their return and pay the correct amount of Washington state estate tax.  It explains the steps for determining the tax and provides examples of how the tax is calculated. 

The Department is amending these rules to clarify when an amount included in the federal taxable estate pursuant to IRC Sec. 2044 (inclusions of amounts for which a federal QTIP election was previously made) is subtracted out when calculating the Washington taxable estate.  The rules clarify that the Washington taxable estate is only reduced by the amount included in the federal taxable estate pursuant to IRC Sec 2044 when it is received from a pre-deceased spouse that died on or after May 17, 2005.

WAC 458-40-660 Timber excise tax - Stumpage value tables - Stumpage value adjustments

WAC 458-40-660 contains the stumpage values used by harvesters of timber to calculate the timber excise tax.  The Department has discovered a typographical error in the recently amended rule, which provides values to be used during the first half of 2009.  The valuation for Ponderosa Pine Species Code PP Timber Quality Code 1 in Stumpage Value Area 5 should be $134, not the $135 amount reflected in the recently adopted rule.  This amendment provides the correct $134 value, which is the value discussed with stakeholders during the rule-making process.

ETA's Cancelled Effective January 29, 2009