Ruling 95-4, Sales and Use Taxes / Miscellaneous Personal Services / Locked Storage Rental Space
A condominium association (hereinafter, the "Association") offers the rental of thirty locked walk-in cages in the basement of its building to its unit owners for an additional charge. These cages are constructed out of wooden frames and steel mesh wire partitions. The measurement of each cage is six feet by seven feet. Renters are issued keys to their respective cages; however, the basement where the cages are located is locked, and renters of the locked storage cages may gain access to them only during business hours by requesting that a member of management unlock the basement area.
Whether the rental of locked storage cages measuring six feet by seven feet and constructed of wooden framing and steel mesh wire constitutes the rental of space not subject to sales and use taxes or locker rentals subject to sales and use taxes as a miscellaneous personal service under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-407(2)(i)(FF).
Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-407(2)(i)(FF) makes taxable miscellaneous personal services included in industry group 729 in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, United States Office of Management and Budget, 1987 edition ...
The service of locker rental, with the exception of cold storage, is included among such miscellaneous personal services. See SN 91(4). Thus, whether the rental of storage space in the basement of the Association's building is taxable under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-407(2)(i)(FF) depends upon whether such storage space constitutes "lockers."
The word "locker" is defined as "an enclosure that can be locked, especially one at a public place for the safekeeping of items." Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, 1984, p. 701.
The dictionary definition of locker does not include a limitation as to size. However, compartments which are commonly identified as lockers, such as locked compartments commonly found in gymnasiums, health clubs, private country clubs, public transit stations, and similar places, are generally much smaller in size than the locked storage cages which the Association rents and are generally enclosed by solid, or vented, walls and doors. They are essentially self-contained items of tangible personal property either freestanding, or affixed to walls. The storage areas which the Association rents are relatively large enclosed areas of floor space (over 40 square feet) surrounded only by wire mesh. Considering their size and the materials of which the storage areas are constructed, it is reasonable to conclude that they are not "lockers," if the word is construed, as it must be here, "according to the commonly approved usage of the language"; Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-1(a).
The rental of locked storage cages measuring six feet by seven feet and constructed of wooden frames and steel mesh wire, constitutes a nontaxable rental of space and not locker rentals subject to sales and use taxes imposed by Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-407(2)(i)(FF).
February 7, 1995