ENHANCED FOOD FISH TAX

82.27.010 TUNA, MACKEREL AND JACK FISH

Description: A 1995 amendment removes tuna, mackerel and jack fish from the definition of enhanced food fish which are subject to the fish tax.

Purpose: Unknown; presumably the exemption reflects economic conditions in the tuna industry.

Category/Year Enacted: Economic; 1995.

Primary Beneficiaries: Tuna, mackerel and jack fishermen.

Conflict With Other Programs: None evident.

Tax Savings ($000): FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
State taxes 23 23 23 23
Local taxes - - - - - - - -

If the differential rates were repealed, would the estimated revenue be realized? Yes.

82.27.020 DIFFERENTIAL FISH TAX RATES

Description: There are four fish tax rates for different species; including surtax they are: chinook, coho, and chum salmon and anadromous game fish, 5.62 percent; pink and sockeye salmon, 3.37 percent; oysters, 0.09 percent; and all other food fish and shellfish, 2.25 percent. For purposes of the fiscal impact analysis it is presumed that all species would otherwise be subject to the 5.62 percent rate.

Purpose: The differential tax rates presumably reflect market conditions for the various species.

Category/Year Enacted: Economic; 1980.

Primary Beneficiaries: Several hundred taxpayers benefit from the preferential tax rates. Due to the seasonal nature of this

Conflict With Other Programs: None evident.

industry, not every taxpayer reports activity in every quarter.

Tax Savings ($000): FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
State taxes 1,469 1,469 1,469 1,469
Local taxes - - - - - - - -

If the differential rates were repealed, would the estimated revenue be realized? Yes; however, a sixty-fold tax increase (e.g., for oysters) may be unrealistic.

82.27.030(1) FROZEN/PACKAGED IMPORTED FISH

Description: Enhanced food fish which are shipped into the state frozen or packaged for retail sale are exempt from fish tax.

Purpose: The tax is not intended to apply to fish that are processed outside the state.

Category/Year Enacted: Not intended in the tax base; 1980.

Primary Beneficiaries: Out-of-state fish processors.

Conflict With Other Programs: None evident.

Tax Savings ($000): FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
State taxes 102 102 102 102
Local taxes - - - - - - - -

If the differential rates were repealed, would the estimated revenue be realized? Yes.

82.27.030(2) COMMERCIALLY GROWN FISH

Description: Food fish that are raised from eggs and shellfish grown by an agricultural method are exempt from fish tax.

Purpose: The tax is not intended to apply to fish and shellfish that are raised by artificial means.

Category/Year Enacted: Not intended in the tax base, 1980; extended to shellfish in 1995.

Primary Beneficiaries: Commercial producers of oysters, clams and mussels.

Conflict With Other Programs: None evident.

Tax Savings ($000): FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
State taxes 123 123 130 130
Local taxes - - - - - - - -

If the differential rates were repealed, would the estimated revenue be realized? Yes.

82.27.030(3) IMPORTED FISH

Description: Food fish that are shipped from outside the state are exempt from fish tax.

Purpose: The tax is not intended to apply to fish and shellfish from out of state. It is believed that most fish shipped in from outside the state are already frozen or ready for retail sale and are therefore covered under RCW 82.27.030(1).

Category/Year Enacted: Not intended in the tax base; 1980.

Primary Beneficiaries: Out-of-state producers.

Conflict With Other Programs: None evident.

Tax Savings ($000): FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
State taxes 10 10 10 10
Local taxes - - - - - - - -

If the differential rates were repealed, would the estimated revenue be realized? Yes.

82.27.040 CREDIT, OTHER FISH TAXES

Description: Credit is allowed against fish tax for any tax previously paid on the same fish to any other taxing authority.

Purpose: To avoid double taxation of the same product.

Category/Year Enacted: Not intended in the tax base; 1980.

Primary Beneficiaries: Dozens of taxpayers claim the credit. The number varies widely among reporting periods due to the seasonal fluctuations of this industry.

Conflict With Other Programs: None evident.

Tax Savings ($000): FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
State taxes 208 208 208 208
Local taxes - - - - - - - -

If the credit were repealed, would the estimated revenue be realized? Yes.