Zoo Wars-How Long Has Big Cat Rescue NOT Been Paying State Sales Tax?
NOTE-State of Florida offers a reward for reported violations: “Rewards for reporting tax violations are authorized by section 213.30, Florida Statutes, Compensation for information relating to a violation of the tax laws and Rule 12-18, Florida Administrative Code, Compensation for Tax Information”
Sometime ago and in several posts back, I have questioned whether Carole Baskin, ceo Big Cat Rescue (BCR/Wildlife on Easy Street/WOES), has ever paid any sales tax on the admission tickets to take a tour-Ticket sales are taxable income aside from Not for Profit donations. I also wonder if BCR/WOES has ever paid any state sales tax on any sales!!! Tickets purchased for tours and products purchased on line and thru their gift shop are taxable. Parties and special events are also taxable. It makes no difference if BCR/WOES has a NFP or not…The only item not taxed would be donations…Even sodas purchased are taxable-no matter who it’s sold to.
Going back a few years when Baskin called her facility Wildlife on Easy Street (WOES), people paid to sleep with cats in a cabin-Guess what?!? -That would constitute a cabin rental and is taxable income!!!
Exactly how many years have gone by without paying sales tax or has paid sales tax on some things but not on others (just to make it look good to have paid something) has Baskin been cheating the state of Florida by not paying sales tax?!? How long has she gotten away with this?!! Just how much of the millions that BCR has in holding, actually belongs to the state of Florida? WAIT-Does she even have a sales tax number? Far as I’m concerned her books and business needs to be monitored closely to make certain she’s paying her share!
Bad enough that Baskin has gotten away with other issues including using money collected for animal care for paying lobbyists but there can be no excuse for not giving the state of Florida money due! Or is the sale of a t-shirt, ball cap or stuffed animal now somehow part of her educational program or a donation?!? No zoo considers it’s ticket sales or gift shop sales as donations-When it’s a set price/fee, it’s NOT a donation!!!
Bigger question-Why was there no sales tax charged for on line purchases?!? (see below)
Well, inquiring minds want to know Carole -I think an audit of all your books and gift shop inventory is in order-
from the above link:
“In Florida, the state imposes a 6% sales tax, and determines the class of taxable goods; local governments are able to impose up to an additional 1.5% sales tax. Often, local governments impose this surtax to finance specific projects or programs.”
“Sales taxes are assessed on the retail sale of goods, repairs of property, rentals, leases, charges of admission, goods manufacturing, operating vending machines, and a very small set of services. Sales taxes are not charged on groceries, prescription medicine, most services, intangible property, or on many purchases made by an array of nonprofit organizations.”
“Aside from lost revenue, not collecting those sales taxes distorts consumer choice between purchases from local brick-and-mortar establishments and online or catalog sales.Revenues are also lost in the form of uncollected taxes on online sales (and other similar purchases) from out of state sellers. In 2008, collecting these taxes would have likely increased revenues by around $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion 2. Aside from lost revenue, not collecting those sales taxes distorts consumer choice between purchases from local brick-and-mortar establishments and online or catalog sales. That is, for any given level of total tax revenue, the excess burden would be lower if taxes on these sales were collected.”
Furthermore, BCR is not only exploiting the cats with tours but taking their likeness and plastering it on giftware sold in their gift shop and listed for on-line sales. Sales on-line do NOT include sales tax:
from Baskin: “We continue to be very happy with Zerve as our ticket retailer. In 2013 they sold 12,752 tickets that netted the sanctuary $435,323.00. In 2014 Zerve sold 18,553 tickets that netted the sanctuary $712,093.00. The increase was due to selling more of the higher priced tours, ticket price increases and Zerve reducing their fees.”-Will she change that statement once caught for NOT paying sales tax on those tickets?!? Most zoos have IRS 501-c-3 tax status but also pay sales tax!!! And what about the tickets sold at the door and what about before Zerve?
You just can’t make this stuff up…Baskin calls it harassment…I call it making certain that a business is operating within the law just as all other businesses do and have for years. Her books need to be reviewed for years!!!
FREE Food for the animals…FREE vet care…OLD, out-of date caging but they don’t pay for anything and leave the cats living like crap in those cages and the professional beggar claims she needs more money to add to the millions in reserve. You just can’t make this stuff up…
File your complaints with Florida state here:
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of MANY others…Stay tuned-FOLLOW-LIKE-SHARE -B