LIQUOR AND CANNABIS
[Filed March 27, 2020, 1:39 p.m., effective March 27, 2020, 1:39 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: WAC 314-23-022 What if a distributor licensee fails to report or pay, or reports or pays late?, the Washington state liquor and cannabis board (board/WSLCB) has adopted an emergency rule to amend WAC 314-23-022 that provides a retroactive waiver of penalties for fees that become due under RCW 66.24.055
while Proclamation 20-13 is in effect.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 314-23-022.
Under RCW 34.05.350
the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: On February 29, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-05 that confirmed the person-to-person spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington state, and proclaimed a State of Emergency for all counties throughout the state of Washington based on the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
On March 16, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-13 that imposed statewide limits on food and beverage services, and areas of congregation to limit opportunities for disease exposure and transmission in the state. Proclamation 20-13 was based on both guidance from the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the size of gatherings from two hundred fifty persons to fifty persons, and the necessity to prohibit any number of people from congregating in public venues for the purposes of entertainment, recreation, food or beverage service, theater, bowling or other similar activities.
The board administers licensing, enforcement and education services for establishments that sell alcohol for on and off premises consumption. Consistent with statute, regulation and administrative provisions, licensees under the administration of the board are subject to various taxes and fees dependent on product and license type. Licensees are required to timely report and remit those taxes and fees to the board. If the board determines that a licensee is delinquent in reporting or remitting any of the required taxes and fees, including any penalties on required taxes, the board may suspend, or deny renewal or issuance of a license.
All entities and license types under the authority of the board have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and enforcing statutes and rules related to these entities and license types affects the ability of these entities to maintain and sustain operations while effectively participating in combating the spread of COVID-19.
The board has the authority under RCW 66.24.055
to assess penalties by rule for spirits distributor licensees. This emergency rule:
|•||Provides a waiver, retroactive to February 29, 2020, of penalties for fees that become due while Governor's Proclamation 20-13 is in effect; |
|•||Supports the ability of businesses to adjust to the COVID-19 outbreak; and|
|•||Reduces economic hardships suffered by businesses during the temporary suspension of business consistent with Governor's Proclamation 20-13.|
This rule does not relieve any WSLCB licensee from its statutory obligation to remit taxes to the WSLCB.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: March 27, 2020.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 19-21-002, filed 10/2/19, effective 1/1/20)
WAC 314-23-022What if a distributor licensee fails to report or pay, or reports or pays late?
(1) Failure of a spirits distributor licensee to submit monthly reports and payment to the board as required in WAC 314-23-021(1) will be sufficient grounds for the board to suspend or revoke the liquor license.
(2) A penalty of two percent per month will be assessed on any payments postmarked or posted in the WSLCB receiving account if paying electronically after the twentieth day of the month following the month of sale. When the twentieth day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the report and payment must be postmarked or posted in the WSLCB receiving account if paying electronically no later than the next postal business day.
Absent a postmark, and if not paying electronically, the date received at the WSLCB will be used to determine if penalties are to be assessed.
(3) Electronic payments will be considered received on the date they post in the WSLCB receiving account.
(4) Subsections (1) and (2) of this section are waived, retroactive to February 29, 2020, while Governor's Proclamation 20-13 is in effect.