AGO 87-2.

Case Date:April 17, 1987
Court:Colorado
 
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Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1987. AGO 87-2. April 17, 1987Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODWARD Attorney General Opinion No. 87-2 AG Alpha No. RL LO AGAPW Sherry Harrington Director Colorado Lottery 700 Broadway, Suite 930 Denver, CO 80220 RE: Authority of a political subdivision to impose sales tax on state lottery ticketsDear Ms. Harrington: I am writing in response to the request of your office for a formal legal opinion concerning a city's imposition of a tax on the sales of lottery tickets. QUESTION PRESENTED AND CONCLUSION May a political subdivision impose a sales tax on the sale of lottery tickets issued by the State Lottery Division? No. ANALYSIS You have asked whether the City of Arvada or other political subdivisions may impose a tax on the sales of lottery tickets. Generally, a municipal corporation or political subdivision may not impose a tax on a state agency. City of Tempe v. Arizona Board of Regents, 11 Ariz. App. 24, 461 P.2d 503 (1969); Consumers Public Power District v. City of Lincoln, 168 Neb. 183, 95 N.W.2d 357 (1959); cf. Borough of Wilkinsburg v. School District, 365 Pa. 254, 71 A.2d 138 (1950). SeeCity of Boulder v. Regents of University of Colorado, 179 Colo. 420, 501 P.2d 420 (1972). The powers and duties assigned to state agencies must be exercised without control by municipalities or political subdivisions, Board of Regents of Universities v. City of Tempe, 88 Ariz. 299, 356 P.2d 399, 406 (1960), and local taxation could impede the success of a state function. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority v. Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes of Delaware County, 13 Pa. Commw. 207, 319 A.2d 10 (1974). Raising funds to defray state expenses is certainly a state function. Colo. Const. art. V., sec. 31; art. X, sec. 2. The primary purpose of the state lottery is to raise revenues for the conservation trust fund, the Division of Parks and Recreation, and the capital construction fund. Colo. Const. art XVIII. secs. 1 and 7; section 24-35-210(4), C.R.S. (1982 & 1986 Supp.). The Lottery Division determines the manner in which lottery sales revenues are to be collected, section 24-35-208(2)(i), C.R.S. (1982), and retains responsibility for payment of prizes until the prize is actually paid, section 24-35-212(2) and (3), C.R.S. (1982); 1...

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