91-1196 - Illegal Drug Stamp

 

BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION

________________________________

XXXXX :

Petitioner : FINDINGS OF FACT,

: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,

v. : AND FINAL DECISION

:

XXXXX ) Appeal No. 91-1196

UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, :

: Account No. XXXXX

Respondent :

_____________________________

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. Present and representing the Petitioner was XXXXX, attorney at law. Present and representing the Respondent was XXXXX Assistant Utah Attorney General.

Based upon the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, the Tax 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. On XXXXX, Petitioner was arrested in XXXXX, Utah by officers of the XXXXX.

4. At the time of his arrest, Petitioner was found in possession of XXXXX grams of marijuana.

5. The drug stamps required by the Utah Illegal Drug Stamp Tax Act (Utah Code Ann. 59-19-1 et seq.) were not affixed to the marijuana in Petitioner's possession on XXXXX, nor had any drug stamps been purchased with respect to that marijuana.

6. On XXXXX, Respondent assessed Petitioner with illegal drug stamp tax of $$$$$ plus penalty in the same amount. Petitioner received written notice of the foregoing assessment on approximately XXXXX. Through his attorney, Petitioner filed a timely appeal of the assessment. At the time of the hearing in this matter, Respondent amended its assessment by reducing the tax to $$$$$ and likewise reducing the penalty to $$$$$, based upon Petitioner's possession of XXXXX grams of marijuana.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

A tax of $3.50 per gram of marijuana is imposed pursuant to the Illegal Drug Stamp Tax Act. (Utah Code Ann. 59-19-103.)

A dealer may not possess any marijuana or controlled substance upon which a tax is imposed by the Illegal Drug Stamp Act unless the applicable tax has been paid, as evidenced by a stamp or other official indicia. (Utah Code Ann. 59-19-1004(2).) "Dealer" means a 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).)

Failure to affix the stamp required by the Illegal Drug Stamp Act shall result in the assessment of the tax due plus a 100% civil penalty. (Utah Code Ann. 59-19-106.)

DECISION AND ORDER

Under Utah's Illegal Drug Stamp Tax Act, dealers in possession of marijuana must purchase and affix drug tax stamps to the marijuana. Failure to do so renders the dealer liable for the amount of the tax plus a penalty in an amount equal to the tax. In this case, Petitioner has been assessed drug stamp tax and penalty totalling $$$$$ arising from his possession of XXXXX grams of marijuana.

Petitioner challenges the assessment on the grounds the quantity of marijuana upon which the assessment was made exceeds the quantity in his possession. The Petitioner has submitted no evidence to support his contention, while the Respondent has provided testimony from XXXXX, Criminologist with the XXXXX, substantiating that the marijuana in question did in fact weigh XXXXX grams. The Commission accepts XXXXX testimony as accurate.

Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that Petitioner possessed XXXXX grams of marijuana on XXXXX without having purchased or affixed the drug stamps required by Utah's Illegal Drug Stamp Tax Act. The Commission therefore affirms Respondent's assessment of tax of $$$$$ and penalty in an equal amount, for a total assessment against Petitioner of $$$$$. It is so ordered.

DATED this 17th day of March, 1992.

BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.

R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew

Chairman Commissioner

Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes

Commissioner Commissioner