Skip to main content
This section is included in your selections.

For the purposes of this chapter, unless otherwise required by context, the words and phrases designated in this section are defined as follows:

A. “Business” includes all activities engaged in with the object of gain, benefit, or advantage to the taxpayer or to another person or class, directly or indirectly.

B. “Business, cable television” means the business of providing and distributing by the use of cables or other means a community antenna television system.

C. “Business, gas distribution” means the business of operating a plant or system for the production or distribution for hire or sale of gas, whether manufactured or natural.

D. “Business, light and power” means the business of operating a plant or system for the generation, production or distribution of electrical energy for hire or sale.

E. “Business, refuse collection and disposal” means the business of collecting and disposing of domestic and industrial refuse.

F. “Business, sewage collection and disposal” means the business of collecting and disposing of domestic and industrial sewage.

G. “Business, telegraph” means the business of affording telegraphic communication for hire.

H. “Business, telephone” means the business of providing access to a local telephone network, local telephone network switching service, toll service, coin telephone service, or the providing of telephonic, video, data, or similar communication or transmission for hire, via a local telephone network, toll line or channel, cable, microwave, or similar communication or transmission system. This includes interstate service, and includes toll service, originating from or received on telecommunications equipment or apparatus in this state if the charge for the service is billed to a person in this state. It further includes cooperative or farmer line telephone companies or associations operating an exchange. “Telephone business” does not include the providing of competitive telephone service, the providing of cable television service, nor the providing of broadcast services by radio or television stations. “Competitive telephone service” means the providing of telecommunications equipment or apparatus of a type which can be provided by persons that are not subject to regulation as telephone companies under RCW Title 80 and for which a separate charge is made.

I. “Cellular telephone service” is a two-way voice and data telephone/telecommunications system based in whole or substantially in part on wireless radio communications and which is not subject to regulation by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC). This includes cellular mobile service. The definition of cellular mobile service includes other wireless radio communications service such as specialized mobile radio (SMR), personal communications services (PCS), and any other evolving wireless radio communications technology which accomplishes a purpose similar to cellular mobile service.

J. “Business, water distribution” means the business of operating a plant or system for the distribution of water for hire or sale.

K. “Cash discount” means a deduction from the invoice price of goods or charge for services which is allowed if the bill is paid on or before a specified date.

L. “Engaging in business” means commencing, conducting, or continuing in business and also the exercise of corporate or franchise powers as well as liquidating a business when the liquidators thereof hold themselves out to the public as conducting such business.

M. “Income, gross” means the value proceeding or accruing from the performance of the particular public service business involved, including operations incidental thereto, but without any deduction on account of the cost of the commodity furnished or sold, the cost of materials used, labor costs, interest, discount, delivery costs, taxes, or any other expense whatsoever paid or accrued and without any deduction on account of losses.

N. “Low income citizens” for purposes of this chapter shall be established using the annual income level as established by the very low income category limit published by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for its programs for the Seattle, Bellevue, Everett-PMSA/MSA as it now exists or may hereafter be amended.

O. “Person” or “company” used interchangeably in this chapter, means any individual, receiver, administrator, executor, assignee, trustee in bankruptcy, trust, estate, firm, copartnership, joint venture, club, company, joint stock company, business trust, municipal corporation, political subdivision of the state, corporation, association, society, or any group of individuals acting as a unit, whether mutual, cooperative, social, nonprofit, or otherwise, and the United States or any instrumentality thereof.

P. “Successor” means any person who, through direct or mesne conveyance, purchases or succeeds to the business, or portion thereof, or the whole or any part of the stock of goods, wares, merchandise, or fixtures or any interest therein of a taxpayer quitting, selling out, exchanging, or otherwise disposing of the taxpayer’s business. Any person obligated to fulfill the terms of a contract is a successor to any contractor defaulting in the performance of any contract as to which such person is a surety or guarantor.

Q. “Treasurer” or “city treasurer” means the city treasurer of the city or the city treasurer’s delegate.

R. “Value proceeding or accruing” means the consideration, whether money, credits, rights, or other property expressed in terms of money, actually received or accrued. The term shall be applied, in each case, on a cash receipts or accrual basis according to which method of accounting is regularly employed in keeping the books of the taxpayer.

S. “Year, quarter” or “quarterly” means one-fourth of a full year.

T. “Year, tax” or “taxable year” means either the calendar year, or the taxpayer’s fiscal year when permission is obtained from the city treasurer to use a fiscal year in lieu of the calendar year.

U. “Business, storm and surface water management” means the business of operating a plant, facility or system used to collect, store, control, treat and/or convey surface and storm water. (Ord. 2020 § 1, 2009; Ord. 1886 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1579 § 1, 1995; Ord. 1489 § 1, 1992; Ord. 814 § 1, 1976).