Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Sales and Use Tax Annotations

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190.0000 CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS—Regulation 1521

Annotation 190.2190


190.2190 Signs.

(1) Pole Signs. Pole signs are free standing signs. The pole portion which is embedded in the ground is a structure and consists of materials. The prefabricated sign on top of the pole, which is affixed (installed) after the pole is constructed, is a fixture that is attached in such a way that it is not readily removable but which can be removed and replaced with another prefabricated sign containing a different message without dismantling or damaging the pole itself.

(2) Monument Signs. A monument sign is a free standing sign and is a structure in and of itself, except for the panel prefabricated and installed. The panel contains what is to be displayed. The entire sign, with the exception of the panel sign portion, is constructed in place. The only portion of the monument sign that is a fixture is the prefabricated panel sign containing what is to be displayed. This panel could be removed and replaced with another panel containing a different message without dismantling or damaging the rest of the monument structure.

(3) Channel-Letter Signs. Channel-letter signs consist of individual letters (generally illuminated individually) which are permanently affixed to the wall of a building. In a channel-letter sign, the transformer component is a fixture; all else are materials. Generally, channel-letter signs are not totally prefabricated letters and require more than a simple installation or attachment to the wall. Each letter is fabricated as it is being installed. In other words, a sign fixture is fabricated "in place" and, as it is fabricated, it is simultaneously installed so the end result is an improvement to the building (realty) to which it is attached.

There is no prefabricated sign (fixture) delivered to the jobsite in channel-letter sign installations. The completed illuminated sign itself is made up of components such as plywood, metal, plastic, channel letters, neon tubes, transformers, housing, conduit and wiring. In a channel-letter sign, the completed sign is the fixture, not the backing, transformers, plastic letters, etc., before installation.

(4) Letter Signs Attached to a Building. Letter signs attached to a building that are prefabricated (i.e., the letter is complete in itself like a bronze casting, and all that needs to be done is to affix it to the building) are fixtures. Each individual letter is a fixture. The fact that no word may be spelled by it does not make it a material since it is in a fully fabricated form prior to installation. 2/26/85.