City and “Gifting” Organization Face Off on Compliance

“A confrontation between the City of Tacoma’s Tax and Licensing Division and the “private gifting” organization, Creating a New Paradyme, may be coming to a head soon, according to City officials.City employees from the division determined on October 1, that Paradyme fit their definition of a business, and must obtain a business license and register to pay business and occupation, or B&O taxes. The division gave Paradyme two weeks to comply – a period expiring this weekend.Paradyme is negotiating to purchase a portion of Freighthouse Square, a Tacoma retail mall where gifting ceremonies take place. It is not clear how any enforcement action may impact the sale.Paradyme’s counsel, Kenneth Wayne, as special executive trustee, issued a seven-page administrative claim replying to the City’s requirements.The claim names the City of Tacoma, its officers, as well as Dwayne Knoll, Hank Edmond, and Duston Jensen, employees of the division. Wayne, also known as Kenneth Wayne Leaming in court records, has filed a number of suits previously naming governmental agencies.One suit for over $3 million, naming the U.S., the State of Washington and the County of Snohomish, was dismissed this summer, according to court records. Another suit against the State of Washington and the City of Seattle for over $7 million, has been recommended for dismissal, according to an October 1 Report and Recommendation by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ricardo Martinez.Jensen, the manager of the division, said the claim had been forwarded to the City’s legal department to make a determination as to what response should be made.“Effectively, if they haven’t come into compliance, some action will have to be taken on the part of the City,” Jensen said. “Legal is reviewing [the claim] to determine what action the City needs to take. I don’t think our request to get registered and licensed is anything unusual. The fee is not burdensome.”Jensen said that requests in Paradyme’s claim were “a little unusual,” and that there seemed to be some confusion over the issue of sales tax. Paradyme would be asked to collect B&O tax, not sales tax, Jensen said. He said he expected a response to be made to Paradyme’s claim – and noncompliance – sometime next week.“We have to put together the information and a response,” Jensen said. “Then put something together with the police department, then determine how to proceed.””