Ann Harris Bennett
Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar

Coin-operated Machine Permits

Title 13, Subtitle D, Chapter 2153 of the Occupations Code under Texas Law provides for the taxation of any person engaged in a business dealing with coin-operated amusement machines.

Section. 2153.002 of the statute defines a taxable coin-operated machine as "any kind of machine or device operated by or with a coin or other United States currency, metal slug, token, electronic card, or check, including a music or skill/pleasure coin-operated machine."

Note: This does not include coin-operated amusement machines designed exclusively for children.

Section. 2153.004 states that machines which are exempt from taxation include:

All public establishments which have coin-operated machines on their premises must obtain a permit for each machine from the Harris County Tax Office every year. Each individual machine must have the permit affixed.

Cost for the permit is as follows:

If Purchased ForFee Due
April 1 to December 31$11.25
July 1 to December 31$7.50
October 1 to December 31$3.75

Harris County utilizes a Compliance Officer to inspect establishments in the county for compliance with the permit law. Whenever a machine is found not to be in compliance, it is locked by the Compliance Officer and cannot be used until the owner pays an "unlock fee"of $5.00, and also purchases a permit for the machine at a cost of $15.00, regardless of which quarter of the year the unlock fee is paid.

If a permit is removed or torn from a machine, the owner should obtain a police report of the incident and contact the Harris County Tax Office for a replacement permit. A copy of the police report is mandatory in order to obtain a replacement permit. The fee for a replacement permit is $5.00.

Coin-operated machine permits can be purchased at any Property Tax Services window at the Downtown location: 1001 Preston, First Floor Houston, Texas, 77002

Permits can also be purchased by mail. However, it is advisable to contact the Harris County Tax Office at 713-274-8150 first, to ensure that you send the proper documentation with your correspondence.

All mail should be addressed to:

Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar
Attn: Coin-Operated Machines
P.O. Box 4663
Houston, TX 77210-4663

Coin-Operated Machine Permit Application form