BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioner, : FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
: AND FINAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 90-1574
COLLECTION DIVISION OF THE :
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF UTAH, ) Serial No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal hearing on XXXXX. Alan Hennebold, Presiding Officer, heard the matter for and on behalf of the Commission. XXXXX, Petitioner, represented himself. XXXXX, Assistant Utah Attorney General, represented Respondent Collection Division.
Based upon the evidence presented at the hearing, the Commission hereby makes its:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The tax in question is illegal drug stamp tax.
2. The period in question is XXXXX.
3. Petitioner was arrested on XXXXX and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, one count of possession of cocaine without tax stamps affixed, one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, and one count of distribution of a controlled substance.
4. Pursuant to a plea bargain, Petitioner pled guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of cocaine without tax stamps affixed. His guilty pleas were accepted by the court.
5. On XXXXX, Respondent assessed Petitioner with illegal drug stamp tax and penalty totalling $$$$$, based upon his possession of XXXXX grams of XXXXX and XXXXX grams of XXXXX.
6. On XXXXX, Respondent amended its assessment against Petitioner by reducing the amount of the assessment of tax and penalty to $$$$$, based upon Petitioner's possession of XXXXX grams of cocaine.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The Utah Illegal Drug Stamp Tax Act imposes a tax of $$$$$ per gram on certain controlled substances, including XXXXX. (Utah Code Ann. §59-19-102(1).)
A dealer may not possess any controlled substance upon which a tax is imposed by Title 59, Chapter 19, Utah Code Ann., unless the tax has been paid on the controlled substance as evidenced by a stamp or other official indicia. (Utah Code Ann. §59-19-1004(2).)
"Dealer" means any person who, in violation of Utah law, manufactures, produces, ships, transports, or imports into Utah or in any manner acquires or possesses more than 42 1/2 grams of marijuana or seven or more grams of any controlled substance. (Utah Code Ann. §59-19-102(2).)
Any dealer violating the provisions of the Illegal Drug Stamp Tax Act is subject to a penalty of 100% of the tax, in addition to the tax itself. (Utah Code Ann. §59-19-106.)
DECISION AND ORDER
Petitioner's appeal of his drug stamp tax assessment comes before the Commission after the companion criminal case has been concluded. In that criminal proceeding, Petitioner entered a guilty plea to criminal violation of the Illegal Drug Tax Stamp Act, in particular, possession of XXXXX without tax stamps affixed. In entering his guilty plea to that charge, Petitioner necessarily admitted his unlawful possession of at least XXXXX grams of XXXXX, without having purchased and affixed the required drug stamps.
Under the principle of collateral estoppel, Petitioner's guilty plea and admissions in the criminal court are binding upon him in this tax proceeding before the Commission. The Commission therefore affirms Respondent's assessment of tax and penalty in this matter, as set forth in its amended assessment dated XXXXX. It is so ordered.
Dated this 22 day of April, 1993.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes