In 2011 most in the biking community were caught by surprise when the Washington Department of Revenue issued an Excise Tax Advisory stating bike races and events were subject to retail sales tax as "amusement and recreation service
This meant race promoters were tasked with collecting sales tax, sometimes as high as 9.8%,
from participants—another cost to consider when organizing an event. While this wasn’t an issue for Evergreen events, which were non-profit fundraisers, it did impact most for-profit event promoters.
The solution lay in HB 1550, a bill requested by the Dept of Revenue which defined a specific list of activities considered “retail sale
” rather than the vague "amusement and recreation
." To ensure that healthy recreational gatherings like bicycle events were not subject to sales tax, Evergreen began working with our legislators and was influential in ensuring that the bill was passed and that cycling activities were not listed as “retail sales.”
HB 1550 was signed by the Governor in May and we’re pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2016, event promoters will no longer be required to collect sales tax for races or events in Washington state.
You can see the full bill here.
Evergreen is very satisfied with the outcome, another success for our advocacy efforts. We would like to thank Representative Carlyle for sponsoring the bill
and we look forward to tax-free events and races in Washington’s MTB future. @EvergreenBryan