The well-known Phoenix shooting range known as "Shooter's World" should be taxed as "an amusement", the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled today. The unanimous decision upholds the Tax Court's ruling on the state's claim for more than $500,000 in taxes/interest/penalties.
The dispute about the indoor shooting range (and, more) focused largely on whether it is subject to the same tax as a longggggg* list of amusement businesses. Shooter's World tried to use a previous Arizona Supreme Court finding that "Wilderness World" was NOT subject to the amusement tax, However, Judge Paul McMurdie writing for the majority found that the higher court was not delineating a test to judge all businesses by, and that the river-rafting excursion company was a different kettle of fish.
To be sure, Shooter’s World takes steps to ensure customer safety. Still, these safety precautions are a far cry from the guidance provided on Wilderness World’s 12-day, several-hundred-mile river expeditions. They are much more comparable to the supervision and safety measures present at any amusement park that operates rollercoasters or go-karts.
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*A.R.S. § 42-5073: "theaters, movies, operas, shows of any type or nature, exhibitions, concerts, carnivals, circuses, amusement parks, menageries, fairs, races, contests, games, billiard or pool parlors, bowling alleys, public dances, dance halls, boxing and wrestling matches, skating rinks, tennis courts, except as provided in subsection B of this section, video games, pinball machines or sports events or any other business charging admission or user fees for exhibition, amusement or entertainment, including the operation or sponsorship of events by a tourism and sports authority...."