Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017
Sales and Use Tax Annotations
510.0000 SEEDS, PLANTS AND FERTILIZERS—Regulation 1588
510.0475 Aqua-Ponic Garden System. The Aqua-Ponic Garden System is described as self contained and that it will feed and water itself. The basic system incorporates a solution of pre-mixed nutrients and water that is fed to plants growing in a sterile growing media (not soil). The gravel medium in which vegetables grow is described as any pea size or large lava rock, center or lightweight aggregate.
For the sale of the nutrient to be exempt from sales and use tax, it must be "applied to land", Regulation 1588 (b). The balanced Use Tax Law does not define "land", but "land" is defined in the Civil Code as ". . . the material of the earth, whatever may be the ingredients of which it is composed, whether soil, rock, or other substance . . .". This definition is broad enough to include the gravel medium in which the vegetables grow, and into which the nutrient is inserted. The nutrient solution is "applied to land the products of which are to be used as food for human consumption," and if it contains the chemical composition necessary to meet the statutory requirements qualifying it as a " fertilizer, " sales of the nutrient are exempt from sales and use tax. 12/13/90.