Technical Assistance Advisory No. 89-003 Re: Sales Tax On County Clubs The State Tax Department recently received a letter requesting advice regarding collection of sales tax by a golf course on the following charges: greens fees, golf cart rentals, golf cart parking spaces, golf handicap processing fees and annual golf course membership fees. The West Virginia Consumers Sales and Service Tax and Use Tax Regulations, 110 C.S.R. 15, §

52 in part provide as follows: Places of Amusement 52.1 All sales and services rendered in the operation of a place of amusement or entertainment are subject to the sales and service tax, including receipts from hat-check services, toilet services, video machines, sales of popcorn, candies, cold drinks, programs, souvenirs and novelties, as well as receipts from admissions. 52.2 Places of amusement or entertainment include, but are not limited to, theaters, motion picture shows, auditoriums where lectures and concerts are given, amusement parks, fairgrounds, baseball parks, football stadiums, athletic events, swimming pools, street fairs, carnivals, dance halls, cabarets, night clubs, golf courses, skating rinks, art exhibits, gymnasiums, riding courses, and the like. Places of amusement or entertainment also include all places where the public is charged a fee for admission to see any kind of a display or hear any kind of a program or to participate in sports, such as golf, tennis, badminton, and games of skill, such as billiards. 52.3 Nonprofit, charitable and religious organizations which sponsor amusements, entertainment, athletic events, lectures, etc., are making sales within the meaning of the sales and service tax law and must collect the tax upon all sales unless the sale is of tangible personal property in an isolated transaction. If the organization is making casual and occasional sales of tangible personal property or services the purchaser who paid the tax may apply to the Tax Commissioner for a refund or credit of the tax so paid as provided in section 11­15­9b of the Code and section 110-15-9a of these regulations. 52.4 The sales and service tax applies to the receipts from the sale of admissions, by tickets or fixed-fee donations whether by a season subscription or by single ticket purchases, to places at which amusements, entertainment, sports events, seasonal and exhibition games or recreation are provided. The term "admissions" shall not include bona fide dues paid solely for the privilege of maintaining membership in a club or other organization. "Bona fide dues" within the context of this regulation mean only those amounts periodically paid by members which entitle such persons to continued membership in a club or other organization and shall not include any amounts paid for goods or specific services rendered to members by the club or other organization. Based upon the foregoing regulations, a golf course must collect sales tax on greens fees and cart rentals. No sales tax should be collected on the annual golf course membership fee if persons maintaining an annual membership must also pay greens fees to use the facility; the membership fee would be considered "bona fide dues" paid solely for the privilege of maintaining a membership in a club or other organization. However, should the annual golf course membership fee entitle the member to utilize the golf course without having to pay the greens fees, then sales tax must be charged upon the annual membership fee as that fee would constitute a season subscription for the admission to and use of the golf course. The fee for processing handicaps is also subject to sales tax as would be the rental of spaces to park privately owned golf carts if the spaces are rented for a period of less than 30 consecutive days. See, West Virginia Consumers Sales and Service Tax and Use Tax Regulations, 110 C.S.R. 15, §

69.1. ______________________________ Charles O. Lorensen State Tax Commissioner Date: March 9, 1989