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Stanton Utility Tax

3.24.010 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as "the utility user tax ordinance." (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.020 Tax imposed.

There is established and imposed, on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, a utility user tax in the manner and at the rates set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

3.24.030 Purpose of this chapter.

This chapter is enacted to raise revenue for the general governmental purposes of the city. All of the proceeds from the tax imposed by this chapter shall be placed in the city's general fund and used for the usual current expenses of the city. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.040 Definitions.

The following words and phrases whenever used in this chapter shall be construed as defined in this section:

"City" means the city of Stanton.

"Month" means a calendar month.

"Nonutility supplier" means:

1. A service supplier, other than an electrical corporation serving within the city, which generates electrical energy in capacities of at least fifty kilowatts for its own use or for sale to others; or

2. A gas supplier, other than a gas corporation, that sells or supplies gas to users within the city.

"Person" means any domestic or foreign corporation, firm, association, syndicate, joint stock company, partnership of any kind, joint venture, club, Massachusetts business or common law trust, society or individual, and shall include a municipal corporation.

"Service supplier" means any entity required to collect or self-impose and remit a tax as imposed by this chapter.

"Service user" means a person required to pay a tax imposed by this chapter.

"Tax administrator" means the city manager or his written designee.

"Telephone corporation," "electrical corporation," "water corporation" and "gas corporation" shall have the same meanings as defined in Sections 234, 222, 241 and 218, respectively, of the Public Utilities Code of the state of California. "Electrical corporation" shall be construed to include any municipality or franchised agency engaged in the selling or supplying of electrical power or water to a service user.

"Telephone services" means services which provide the privilege of telephone communication with substantially all persons having telephone stations which are part of such telephone system. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.050 Constitutional exemptions.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as imposing a tax upon any person when imposition of such a tax upon that person would be in violation of California statute, the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the state of California. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.060 Other exemptions.

A. The city council may, by resolution, establish one or more classes of persons or one or more classes of utility service otherwise subject to payment of a tax imposed by this chapter and provide that such classes of persons or service shall be exempt, in whole or in part, from such tax.

B. The tax administrator shall prepare a list of the persons exempt from the provisions of this chapter by virtue of this section and furnish a copy thereof to each service supplier. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.070 Telephone user tax.

A. There is imposed on every person, other than a telephone corporation, electrical corporation, water corporation or gas corporation, a tax for use of intrastate, interstate and international telephone services in the city and using any teletypewriter exchange services in the city or mobile or cellular telephone communications when the owner or lessee of the telephone has a billing address in the city. The tax imposed by this section shall be at the rate of five percent of the charges made for such services and shall be paid by the person paying for such services. Said tax shall apply to all charges billed to a telephone account having a situs in the city, irrespective of whether a particular telephone service originates and/or terminates within the city.

B. As used in this section, the term "charges" shall not include charges for services paid for by inserting coins in coin-operated telephones except that, where such coin-operated service is furnished for a guaranteed amount, the amounts paid under such guarantee plus any fixed monthly or other periodic charge shall be included in the base for computing the amount of tax due; nor shall the term "charges" include charges for any type of service or equipment furnished by a service supplier subject to public utility regulation during any period in which the same or similar services or equipment are also available for sale or lease from persons other than a service supplier subject to public utility regulation; nor shall the words "telephone communication services" include land mobile services or maritime mobile services as defined in Section 2.1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations as said section existed on January 1, 1970.

C. The tax imposed by this section shall be collected from the service user by the person providing the telephone services, or the person receiving payment for such services. The amount of the tax collected in one month shall be remitted to the tax administrator on or before the last day of the following month, unless the due date occurs on a weekend or a holiday, in which case the due date is the first business day following. Taxes shall be deemed remitted on the date received by the tax administrator, or on the date postmarked if remitted by first class United States mail with postage fully prepaid. With prior written approval of the tax administrator, remittance of tax may be predicated on a formula based upon the payment pattern of the supplier's customers, or at the option of the person required to collect and remit the tax, an estimated amount of tax collected, measured by the tax bill in the previous month.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, the tax imposed under this section shall not be imposed upon any person for using telephone communication services to the extent that the amounts paid for such services are exempt from or not subject to the tax imposed under Section 4251 of the Internal Revenue Code. (Ord. 770 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.080 Electricity user tax.

A. There is imposed a tax on every person, other than a telephone corporation, electrical corporation, water corporation or gas corporation, using electrical energy in the city. The tax imposed by this section shall be at the rate of five percent of the charges made for such energy and shall be paid by the person paying for such energy. The tax applicable to electrical energy provided by a nonutility supplier shall be determined by applying the tax rate to the equivalent charge the service user would have incurred if the energy used had been provided by the electrical corporation furnishing the city. Rate schedules for this purpose shall be available from the city. Nonutility suppliers shall install, maintain and use an appropriate utility-type metering system which will enable compliance with this section. "Charges," as used in this section, shall include charges made for metered energy and charges for service, including customer charges, service charges, standby charges, charges for temporary services, demand charges, annual and monthly charges, and any other charge authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

B. As used in this section, the term "using electrical energy" shall not be construed to mean the storage of such energy by a person in a battery owned or possessed by him for use in an automobile or other machinery or device apart from the premises upon which the energy was received; provided, however, that the term shall include the receiving of such energy for the purpose of the mere receiving of such energy by an electric public utility or governmental agency at a point within the city for resale; nor shall the term include the use of such energy in the production or distribution of water by a public utility or a governmental agency; nor shall the term include the use of electrical energy used in the conduct of business by a telephone corporation, electrical corporation, water corporation or gas corporation.

C. The tax imposed in this section shall be collected from the service user by the person supplying such energy. The amount of tax collected in one month shall be remitted to the tax administrator on or before the last day of the following month, unless the due date occurs on a weekend or a holiday, in which case the due date is the first business day following. Taxes shall be deemed remitted on the date received by the tax administrator, or on the date postmarked if remitted by first class United States mail with postage fully prepaid. With prior written approval of the tax administrator, remittance of tax may be predicated on a formula based upon the payment pattern of the supplier's customers. (Ord. 770 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.090 Gas user tax.

A. There is imposed a tax upon every person, other than a telephone corporation, electrical corporation, water corporation or gas corporation, using, in the city, gas which is delivered through mains or pipes. The tax imposed by this section shall be at the rate of five percent of the charges made for such gas and charges for service, including customer charges, service charges, annual and monthly charges and any other charge authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

B. There shall be excluded from the base on which the tax imposed in this section is computed:

1. Charges made for gas which is to be resold and delivered through mains or pipes;

2. Charges made for gas sold for use in the generation of electrical energy or for the production or distribution of water by a public utility or governmental agency;

3. Charges made for gas used in the propulsion of a motor vehicle, as that phrase is defined in the Vehicle Code of the state of California, utilizing natural gas; and

4. Charges made for gas used by a nonutility supplier to generate electrical energy for its own use, or for sale or others, provided the electricity so generated is subject to the tax in accordance with this section.

C. The tax imposed in this section shall be collected from the service user by the person selling the gas. The amount of tax collected in one month shall be remitted to the tax administrator on or before the last day of the following month, unless the due date occurs on a weekend or a holiday, in which case the due date is the first business day following. Taxes shall be deemed remitted on the date received by the tax administrator, or on the date postmarked if remitted by first class United States mail with postage fully prepaid. With prior written approval of the tax administrator, remittance of tax may be predicated on a formula based upon the payment pattern of the supplier's customers. (Ord. 770 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.100 Service users receiving direct purchase of fuel or electricity.

A. Any service user subject to the tax imposed by Sections 3.24.080 and 3.24.090 of this chapter, who produces electricity or gas for self-use or who receives electricity or gas directly from a nonutility supplier, shall report said fact to the tax administrator and remit the tax due directly to the city within thirty days of such use.

B. The tax administrator may require said service to identify its nonutility supplier and provide, subject to audit, filed tax returns or other satisfactory evidence documenting the quantity of electricity or gas used and the price thereof. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.110 Water users tax.

A. There is imposed a tax upon every person, other than a telephone corporation, electrical corporation, water corporation or gas corporation, in the city using water which is delivered through mains or pipes. The tax imposed by this section shall be at the rate of five percent of the charges made for such water and shall be paid by the person paying for such water.

B. There shall be excluded from the base on which the tax imposed in this section is computed, charges made for water which is to be resold and delivered through mains or pipes, and charges made by a municipal water department, public utility or a city or municipal water district for water used and consumed by such department, utility or district.

C. The tax imposed in this section shall be collected from the service user by the person supplying the water. The amount of tax collected in one month shall be remitted to the tax administrator on or before the last day of the following month. (Ord. 770 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.120 Interest and penalty.

A. Taxes collected from a service user which are not remitted to the tax administrator on or before the due dates provided in this chapter are delinquent and are subject to penalties and interest.

B. Any person who fails to remit taxes collected in the time required by this chapter shall pay a penalty of five percent of the amount of the tax, and if not remitted within two working days after the date of delinquency, shall pay a total penalty of twenty percent of the amount of tax owed. Such penalty shall attach to the amount of tax due and shall be paid by the person required to collect and remit the tax.

C. When fraud or gross negligence in reporting and remitting tax collections is discovered, the tax administrator shall have power to impose additional penalties of twenty percent of taxes owed upon persons required to collect and remit taxes under the provisions of this chapter.

D. Any person required to remit to the tax administrator delinquent taxes as required in this section shall pay interest at the rate of one and one half percent per month, or portion thereof, on the amount of tax owed exclusive of penalties, from the date on which the tax first became delinquent until paid.

E. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections B and D of this section, no penalty or interest shall be applied if delinquencies are the result of natural disasters or other phenomena beyond the control of the person charged with collecting and remitting the tax, provided the person being delinquent notifies the tax administrator as soon as normal communications permit. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.130 Actions to collect.

Any tax required to be paid by a service user under the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a debt owed by the service user to the city. Any such tax collected from a service user which has not been remitted to the tax administrator shall be deemed a debt owed to the city by the person required to collect and remit the tax. Any person owing money to the city under the provisions of this chapter shall be liable in an action brought in the name of the city for the recovery of such amount. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.140 Duty to collect--Procedures.

The duty to collect and remit the taxes imposed by this chapter shall be performed as follows:

A. The tax shall be collected insofar as practicable at the same time as, and along with, the collection of charges made in accordance with the regular billing practices of the service supplier. Except in those cases where a service user pays the full amount of said charges but does not pay any portion of a tax imposed by this chapter, or where a service user has notified a service supplier that he is refusing to pay a tax imposed by this chapter which said service supplier is required to collect, if the amount paid by a service user is less than the full amount of the charge and tax which has accrued for the billing period, such amount and any subsequent payments by a service user shall be applied to the utility charge first. Any remaining balance shall be applied to taxes due.

B. The duty to collect tax from a service user shall commence with the beginning of the first full regular billing period applicable to the service user where charges are subject to the provisions of this chapter. Where a person receives more than one billing, one or more being for different periods than another, the duty to collect shall arise separately for each billing period. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.150 Additional powers and duties of tax administrator.

A. The tax administrator shall have the power and duty, and is directed, to enforce each and all of the provisions of this chapter.

B. The tax administrator shall have the power to adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with provisions of this chapter for the purpose of carrying out and enforcing the payment, collection and remittance of the taxes herein imposed. A copy of such rules and regulations shall be on file in the tax administrator's office.

C. The tax administrator may make administrative agreements to vary the strict requirements of this chapter so that collection of any tax imposed here may be made in conformance with the billing procedures of a particular service supplier so long as said agreements result in collection of the tax in conformance with the general purpose and scope of this chapter. A copy of each such agreement shall be on file in the tax administrator's office.

D. The tax administrator shall determine the eligibility of any person who asserts a right to exemption from the tax imposed by this chapter. The tax administrator shall provide the service supplier with the name of any person who the tax administrator determines is exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter, together with the address and account number to which service is supplied to any such exempt person. The tax administrator shall notify the service supplier of the termination of any person's right to exemption hereunder, or the change of any address to which service is supplied to any exempt person. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.160 Assessment--Administrative remedy.

A. The tax administrator may assess the service user for taxes not paid to the service supplier.

B. Whenever the tax administrator determines that a service user has deliberately withheld the amount of tax owed by such users from the amounts remitted to a person required to collect the tax, or that a service user has refused to pay the amount of tax to such person, or whenever the tax administrator deems it in the best interest of the city, he may relieve such person of the obligation to collect taxes due under this chapter from certain named service users for specified billing periods.

C. The service supplier shall provide the city with amounts refused, along with the names, addresses and reasons of the service users refusing to pay the tax imposed under provisions of this chapter. Whenever the service user has failed to pay the amount of tax for a period of two or more billing periods, the tax administrator may relieve the service supplier of the obligation to collect taxes due.

D. The tax administrator shall notify the service user that he has assumed responsibility to collect the taxes due for the stated periods and demand payment of such taxes. The notice shall be served on the service user by handing it to him personally or by deposit of the notice in the United States mail, postage prepaid thereon, addressed to the service user at the address to which billing was made by the person required to collect the tax, or, should the service user have changed his address, to his last known address. If a service user fails to remit the tax to the tax administrator within fifteen days from the date of the service of the notice upon him, which shall be the date of mailing if service is not accomplished in person, a penalty of twenty-five percent of the amount of the tax set forth in the notice shall be imposed, but not less than five dollars. The penalty shall become part of the tax required to be paid in this chapter. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.170 Records.

It shall be the duty of every person required to collect and remit to the city any tax imposed by this chapter to keep and preserve, for a period of three years, all records as may be necessary to determine the amount of such tax as he may have been liable for the collection of and remittance to the tax administrator, which records the tax administrator shall have the right to inspect at all reasonable times. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.180 Refunds.

A. Whenever the amount of any tax has been overpaid or paid more than once or has been erroneously or illegally collected or received by the tax administrator under this chapter, it may be refunded as provided in this section.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, a service supplier may, with prior written approval from the tax administrator, claim a refund or take as credit against taxes collected and remitted the amount overpaid, paid more than once, or erroneously or illegally collected or received when it is established that the service user from whom the tax has been collected did not owe the tax; provided, however, that neither a refund nor a credit shall be allowed unless the amount of the tax so collected has either been refunded to the service user or credited to charges subsequently payable by the service user to the person required to collect and remit. A service supplier that has collected any amount of tax in excess of the amount of tax imposed by this chapter and actually due from a service user, may refund such amount to the service user and may, with prior written approval of the tax administrator, claim credit for such overpayment against the amount of tax which is due upon any other monthly returns, provided such credit is claimed in a return dated no later than three years from the date of overpayment.

C. No refund shall be paid under the provisions of this section unless the claimant establishes his right thereto by written records showing entitlement thereto.

D. Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, whenever a service supplier, pursuant to an order of the California Public Utilities Commission or a court of competent jurisdiction, makes a refund to service users of charges for past utility services, the taxes paid pursuant to this chapter on the amount of such refunded charges shall also be refunded to service users, and the service supplier may, with prior written approval of the tax administrator, take a credit for such refunded taxes against the amount of tax which is due upon the next monthly returns. In the event this chapter is repealed, the amounts of any refundable taxes will be borne by the city. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.190 Effective date--Commencement of tax.

The ordinance codified in this chapter shall become effective the 1st day of June, 1993. The tax imposed under this chapter shall apply to services furnished from the beginning of the first regular billing period commencing on or after June 1, 1993, or as soon thereafter as the respective utilities are physically and mechanically able to impose the charges. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.200 Severability.

If any section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter or any part thereof. The city council declares that it would have adopted this chapter and each section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, sentences, clauses, phrases or portions thereof be declared invalid. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

3.24.210 Termination or suspension of utility user tax.

The service supplier shall, upon notification, terminate or suspend any utility user tax commencing with the first full billing period which occurs after the effective day of such action by the city council. (Ord. 740 1 (part), 1993)

 

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