Sales Tax Division

The Revenue Division provides customer service and collection services for business license holders and sales tax collection. They collect payments for various City tax programs, including: Sales Tax, Excise Tax, Transient Lodging Tax, fees associated with games of skill and chance, Marijuana and Alcohol Tax. Find out more about our business licensing regulations under our Business Licensing page
 
For a complete review of these regulations it is best to refer to the Bethel Municipal Code Chapter associated with each regulation. 

Sales Tax Rules and Regulations

Sales tax is collected by the seller from the buyer and the remitted to the City of Bethel to help fund the City's operations. 
The City's Sales Tax Rate is as follows: 
1. Twelve (12) percent for transient lodging (see BMC Chapter 4.14).
2. Fifteen (15) percent for alcohol sales (see BMC Chapter 5.08 ).
3. Fifteen (15) percent for marijuana sales (see BMC Chapter 5.10 ).
4. Six (6) percent for all other sales/services, including delivery charges.
 

Before operating a business in the City of Bethel you must obtain a City of Bethel Business License and obtain a Sales Tax Certificate (Sales Tax Collection - Registration Requirement BMC 4.16.090). 

 
Sales Tax Filing 
Sales tax should be filed monthly for most sellers, this monthly filling is required even if there is a zero return submitted. Submissions are accepted online, in person and by mail. The monthly filing deadline is the last day of the month which follows the collection month. As an example, the sales tax collected in February will be due to the City by March 31st. 
 
Sales Tax Questions/Interpretations
From time to time questions arise about what something means in the Sales Tax Code or why something is happening in regards to Sales Taxes. In this section you will find official interpretations to questions posed as well as notices advising of issues that affect Sales Taxes.

If you have a question, feel free to complete the Question form. Not only will we answer your question, but by gathering the questions, the City can determine if there are areas of the Sales Tax Code that confuse several businesses/citizens or if general instructions should be provided to assist the general public.
 

 

Late Filing
If a business does not comply with the submission requirements there is a $25 late filing fee applied for each month in addition to a 15% delinquent sales tax interest at the rate per annum until the filing is paid. 

 

If Payment Made:

Additional Penalty (Percentage of Tax)

Within seven (7) calendar days after delinquency date

One (1) percent

More than seven (7)  but less than thirty (30) calendar days after delinquency date

Seven (7) percent

Thirty (30) calendar days or more but less than sixty (60) calendar days

Fifteen (15) percent

Sixty (60) calendar days or more

Twenty (20) percent

  
 

Sales Tax Exemptions  

An exemption card issued by the City is required for all buyers with the exception of those making a purchase with a State, Federal, City or Tribal check, credit card or purchase order.  
The City charges $100 for retailers and wholesalers obtaining an exemption card which shall expire on December 31, the year after the issuance of the card. 
 
Senior Citizen Exemptions 4.16.160 (W) and 4.16.170
Seniors over the age of 65 years old and residing in Bethel may be issued an exemption card by the City of Bethel. The initial exemption card is issued free of charge and would provide the senior sales tax relief on their purchase of:
  • Food
  • Rent
  • Utilities (water, sewer, solid waste, electricity and heating fuel)
The application for Senior Citizen Exemption is available at our Finance Office. Seniors with their Proxy Shoppers are required to apply in person with the appropriate documents showing residency and age. The Finance Department will take a photo of each individual obtaining an exemption card and issue the card on the spot. The process takes approximately 15 minutes for each card and the card is good for five years.   
 
Proxy Shoppers 4.16.170 (K)
A senior may identify up to two proxy shoppers at the time of application if the senior citizen is physically or mentally disabled so that the applicant is physically unable to use the card. Proxy cards are non transferable and expire two years after issuance and cost $15 for the initial issuance of each card. Only those purchases on behalf of the senior citizen are exempted from the sales tax. Before a proxy card can be issued, the finance director shall require:
1. The names, addresses and legal identifications of the proxy shoppers;
2. Proof that the senior citizen is unable to personally use the card and requires a proxy;
3. Legal proof that the proxy has the authority to represent the senior citizen (for example, a court order appointing the proxy as guardian or a valid power of attorney).
 
Exemptions for Charitable Events BMC 4.16.170
If you are a non-profit or a business organizing a charitable fundraiser, then this is for you. This is a one-time, one-event exemption from the requirements of a seller to collect sales taxes which can only be utilized for charitable fundraisers up to two times a calendar year. You have to apply for the exemption at least 30 days in advance of the event and if approved, the exemption would apply to the collection of tax from the buyer on any items sold during the event. Keep in mind, this exemption would not eliminate the non-profit of business from remitting a sales tax return with the sales information to the City. The items sold would be tracked separately and reports on the Sales Tax Exemption Form.  
 
Exemptions for Nonprofits 4.16.150 & 4.16.165
If you are a nonprofit 501(c) (3) (4) or (19) operating in the City of Bethel, many of your purchases related to the operation of your organization will be considered tax exempt.  You will however need to obtain a Sales Tax Exemption Card in order to be provided the tax exemption during check out. 
 
Exemptions for Retail Operation 4.16.160 (T) and 170
A retailer exemption would apply to tangible personal property that is resold in the same or an altered form. As with the other types of exemptions, this too requires the buyer to have an Sales Tax Exemption Card in order to be provided the tax exemption during check out. 
 
Exemptions for Wholesalers 
Wholesalers sell primarily to retailers. For example, Cisco Foods which sells primarily or exclusively to large organizations or retailers but not to the average individual. Wholesalers are required to obtain an exemption card 
 
Sales Tax Exemptions General BMC 4.16.160
The City's has adopted a number of exemptions to the collection of sales tax, there are too many to cover on this summary page. Please be sure to review BMC 4.16.160 for the must current exemption laws and if you need more clarification, our sales tax division will be happy to help answer your questions. Simply email forbusinesses@cityofbethel.net

Receipts from Businesses

The following are examples of the types of businesses that must issue a receipt to a customer: 
  • Retail Sales
  • Eating Establishments
  • Movie Theaters
  • Coffee Stands
  • Grocery Stores
  • Convenience Stores
The following are examples of the types of businesses that must issue a receipt or invoice to a customer: 
  • Construction
  • Trades – Plumbing, electrical, carpet installation, etc.
  • Professional Services – Accountants, Veterinarians
The following are examples of the types of businesses that are exempt from having to issue a receipt or invoice to a customer: 
  • Home Rentals if there is lease agreement between the landlord and tenant. 
  • Vending machines
  • Insurance Sales 
  • Lawyers
  • Taxicabs/buses/limousines
If you are a business operating in the City of Bethel there are specific requirements you must follow with regard to the type of receipts you issue. Please reference BMC 4.16.140 for the full detail of requirements. There is also more information available under our business licensing summary page

Property Tax

The City of Bethel does not impose a property tax on property owned in the community. Property tax is also exempt from the sales tax provisions in Bethel Municipal Code Chapter 4.16. For questions related to taxation within the community please email forbusinesses@cityofbethel.org