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43.06.460  <<  43.06.465 >>   43.06.466

RCW 43.06.465

Cigarette tax agreement with Puyallup Tribe of Indians.

(1) The governor may enter into a cigarette tax agreement with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians concerning the sale of cigarettes, subject to the limitations in this section. The legislature intends to address the uniqueness of the Puyallup Indian reservation and its selling environment through pricing and compliance strategies, rather than through the imposition of equivalent taxes. It is the legislature's intent (a) that an increase in prices through a flat tax will reduce much of the competitive advantage that has historically existed due to the discrepancy in the difference between state and tribal taxes, and (b) that the tribal retailers can remain in business under the changed circumstances. The governor may delegate the authority to negotiate a cigarette tax agreement with the Puyallup Tribe to the department of revenue. The department of revenue shall consult with the liquor control board during the negotiations.

     (2) Any agreement must require the tribe to impose a tax of eleven dollars and seventy-five cents on each carton of cigarettes, with ten packs a carton and twenty cigarettes per pack being the industry standard. This tax shall be prorated for cartons and packs that are nonstandard. This tribal tax is in lieu of the combined state and local sales and use taxes, and state cigarette taxes, and as such these state taxes are not imposed during the term of the agreement on any transaction governed by the agreement. The tribal tax shall increase or decrease by the same dollar amount as any increase or decrease in the state cigarette tax.

     (3) The agreement must include a provision requiring the tribe to transmit thirty percent of the tribal tax revenue on all cigarette sales to the state. The funds shall be transmitted to the state treasurer on a quarterly basis for deposit by the state treasurer into the general fund. The remaining tribal tax revenue must be used for essential government services, as that term is defined in RCW 43.06.455.

     (4) The agreement is limited to retail sales in which Indian retailers make delivery and physical transfer of possession of the cigarettes from the seller to the buyer within Indian country, and are not in regard to transactions by non-Indian retailers. In addition, agreements shall provide that retailers shall not sell or give, or permit to be sold or given, cigarettes to any person under the age of eighteen years.

     (5)(a) The agreement must include a provision to price and sell the cigarettes so that the retail selling price is not less than the price paid by the retailer for the cigarettes.

     (b) The tribal tax is in addition to the retail selling price.

     (c) The agreement must include a provision to assure the price paid to the retailer includes the tribal tax, as evidenced by the tribe's cigarette stamp.

     (d) If the tribe is acting as a wholesaler to tribal retailers, the retail selling price must not be less than the price the tribe paid for such cigarettes plus the tribal tax, as evidenced by the tribe's cigarette stamp.

     (6)(a) The agreement must include provisions regarding enforcement and compliance by the tribe in regard to enrolled tribal members who sell cigarettes and shall describe the individual and joint responsibilities of the tribe, the department of revenue, and the liquor control board.

     (b) The agreement must include provisions for tax administration and compliance, such as transport and notice requirements, inspection procedures, stamping requirements, recordkeeping, and audit requirements.

     (c) The agreement must include provisions for sharing of information among the tribe, the department of revenue, and the liquor control board.

     (7) The agreement must provide that all cigarettes possessed or sold by a tribal retailer shall bear a tribal cigarette stamp obtained by wholesalers from a bank or other suitable stamp vendor and applied to the cigarettes. Tribal stamps must have serial numbers or some other discrete identification so that each stamp can be traced to its source.

     (8) The agreement must provide that retailers shall purchase cigarettes only from wholesalers or manufacturers licensed to do business in the state of Washington.

     (9) The agreement must be for a renewable period of no more than eight years.

     (10) The agreement must include provisions to resolve disputes using a nonjudicial process, such as mediation, and shall include a dispute resolution protocol. The protocol shall include a procedure for notifying the other party that a violation has occurred, a procedure for establishing whether a violation has in fact occurred, an opportunity to correct such violation, and a provision providing for termination of the agreement should the violation fail to be resolved through this process, such termination subject to mediation should the terms of the agreement so allow. An agreement must provide for termination of the agreement if resolution of a dispute does not occur within twenty-four months from the time notification of a violation has occurred. Intervening violations do not extend this time period.

     (11) The agreement may not include any provisions that impact the state's share of the master settlement agreement, and as such this agreement does not authorize negotiation regarding a redistribution of the state's proceeds under the master settlement agreement.

     (12) Information received by the state or open to state review under the terms of an agreement is subject to RCW 82.32.330.

     (13) It is the intent of the legislature that the liquor control board and the department of revenue continue the division of duties and shared authority under chapter 82.24 RCW.

     (14) For purposes of this section:

     (a) "Indian country" has the same meaning as in chapter 82.24 RCW.

     (b) "Indian retailer" or "retailer" means (i) a retailer wholly owned and operated by an Indian tribe or (ii) a business wholly owned and operated by an enrolled tribal member and licensed by the tribe.

     (c) "Indian tribe" or "tribe" means the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, which is a federally recognized Indian tribe located within the geographical boundaries of the state of Washington.

[2005 c 11 § 2.]

Notes:

     Findings -- Intent -- 2005 c 11: "In 2001, the legislature enacted Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill No. 5372, which authorized the governor to enter into cigarette contracts with fourteen Indian tribes. In subsequent sessions, the legislature increased to twenty-one the number of tribes with whom the governor may negotiate under the terms of RCW 43.06.460. The legislature finds that this effort has been effective, as measured by the success of the existing agreements.

     The legislature further finds the agreements resolved decades of conflict between the state and tribes over the sale of contraband cigarettes to non-Indians; benefited the tribes through tribal tax revenues; benefited the state because cigarettes are stamped and taxed; enhanced public health because access to low-priced cigarettes is reduced; improved law and order; and reduced the competitive advantage gained through the sale of tax-free cigarettes.

     The 2001 legislation and its later amendments did not encompass the Puyallup Tribe of Indians within its scope due to the very different nature of the cigarette trade on the Puyallup Indian reservation. The legislature therefore intends to address the special circumstances on the Puyallup Indian reservation by recognizing the substantial distinctions and enacting legislation authorizing a cigarette tax agreement with the tribe that differs from the contracts entered into under RCW 43.06.460. Section 2 of this act provides the governor authority to enter into an agreement and sets forth the general framework for the agreement." [2005 c 11 § 1.]

     Explanatory statement -- Effective date -- 2005 c 11: "(1) On January 5, 2005, it was announced that a cigarette tax agreement had been reached between the state of Washington and the Puyallup Indian Tribe. Before being signed by the governor, the legislature must provide authorization to the governor to sign such an agreement. Because the state and the Puyallup Indian Tribe have reached an agreement in principle, time for implementation is of the essence.

     (2) This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [April 5, 2005]." [2005 c 11 § 6.]