Amusement Tax to be Enforced in Lawrence Township

CLEARFIELD – Lawrence Township is set to begin enforcing an amusement tax ordinance.

The ordinance was adopted in 1984 but was never carried out. Hope Martin, code and zoning enforcement officer for the township, announced at Tuesday’s township supervisors’ meeting that the law will begin to be enforced.

Lawrence Township’s amusement tax ordinance relates to machines within the municipality and not other types of entertainment.

The ordinance requires a permit to operate any vending machine, jukebox or “mechanical amusement device” within the borders of Lawrence Township.

The township has begun to mail letters to businesses in the township, outlining the law and the permitting process.

The first mechanical amusement device, jukebox or vending machine will require a $50 fee with $25 charged for each additional machine. The township supervisors at their Tuesday meeting said that 80 percent of the funds generated through permitting will go to the township’s fire department.

According to the ordinance, any machine that takes coins, tokens or similar items and can be operated by the general public — whether or not a prize is given — is a mechanical amusement device. A vending machine is described as one that accepts payment in exchange for merchandise.

Permits will run annually from Feb. 15. Permitted machines will have to display a sticker provided by the township.

Nonprofit, church and civic groups are exempt from the amusement tax.

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