Chapter 4.17
DRIVER FACILITY CHARGE

Sections:

4.17.010    Short title.

4.17.020    Use of funds.

4.17.030    Levy of charge.

4.17.040    Fee table.

4.17.050    Exemptions.

4.17.060    Remittance of driver facility charge collected.

4.17.070    Form of return.

4.17.080    Procedures on delinquencies.

4.17.090    Period of limitation.

4.17.100    Rules and regulations.

4.17.110    Record keeping.

4.17.120    Addition and identification of tax.

4.17.130    Finance director authorized to administer oaths.

4.17.140    Driver facility charge audits.

4.17.010 Short title.

This chapter may be cited as the “Sitka driver facility charge ordinance.” (Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.020 Use of funds.

All moneys accumulated under the terms of this chapter shall be deposited by the finance director in the airport terminal building fund of the city and borough and shall be used for the operating and capital expenditures at the airport terminal building enterprise fund. (Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.030 Levy of charge.

A consumers’ driver facility charge is levied on rental sales of motorized passenger vehicles made in the city and borough at the rate of four percent. Normally the burden of this charge rests upon the consumer. (Ord. 01-1627 § 4, 2001: Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.040 Fee table.

Seller shall add the charge levy in this chapter to the rental sales in accordance with a schedule promulgated by the administrator or his or her designee. (Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.050 Exemptions.

The following rental charges are exempt from the driver facility charge:

A.    Rental of motorized passenger vehicles for twenty-eight or more consecutive days.

(Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.060 Remittance of driver facility charge collected.

Sellers shall file returns and remit the charge collected in accordance with the following:

A.    Quarterly. Unless as otherwise provided for in this section, sellers shall on or before the last day of the month succeeding the end of each quarter year ending March 31st, June 30th, September 30th, and December 31st, prepare a return for the preceding quarter year upon forms furnished by the city and borough. Returns shall be filed personally with the finance department by five p.m. or postmarked prior to five p.m. on the last day of the month following the end of each quarter year. In the event the last day of the month falls on a legal holiday or weekend, then the return may be filed on the first business day following;

B.    Monthly. If a seller fails to file or is late in filing returns for two of the last four quarters, the finance director may require the seller to submit returns and payment each month;

C.    Sale of Business to Another Person. A seller who sells their business to another person shall make a final driver facility charge return within fifteen days after the date of selling the business. The purchaser of the business shall withhold a portion of the purchase money sufficient to pay any driver facility charges, penalties and interest that may be due until the seller displays a receipt from the city and borough showing that all charges obligations imposed by this chapter have been paid. If any purchaser of a business fails to withhold this sum, they shall be personally liable for the charges, penalties and interest owed by the seller to the city and borough;

D.    Upon Termination of Business Activities. If a seller terminates their business without the benefit of a purchaser, successor, successors or assigns, they shall make a final return and settlement of the charge obligations within fifteen days of the termination;

E.    Filings to be Continuous. A person who has filed a driver facility charge return will be presumed to be making sales in successive quarters unless they file a return showing termination or sale of their business.

(Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.070 Form of return.

On forms furnished by the city and borough the seller shall furnish the following information, sign the form and certify that it correctly stated the information purportedly set forth:

A.    Total rentals;

B.    A substantiation of sales exempt from the charge by virtue of Sitka General Code Section 4. 17.050(A);

C.    The amount of the driver facility charge due;

D.    Such other information as may be reasonably required;

E.    Driver facility charge forms and their contents shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed by the finance department except:

1.    In connection with efforts by the municipality to collect the charge, except that lists of delinquent driver facility charge payers shall not be made public until suit has been brought or the delinquency is over six months and the business owner has not controverted the claim;

2.    In response to a subpoena issued by a court of record, state agency or board;

3.    In connection with legislative inquiry specifically authorized by the assembly;

4.    In connection with municipal audits for the purposes of verifying municipal accounting practices;

5.    In compilation of statistics and studies by the finance department for public distribution, so long as information from individual businesses is not identifiable as to source.

(Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.080 Procedures on delinquencies.

A.    Penalty and Interest.

1.    If the seller does not file the proper forms and remit the driver facility charges then due on the dates designated above, a penalty equal to five percent of the delinquent tax, but in no event less than twenty-five dollars, shall be added to the charges for the first month or any part thereof, and an additional five percent shall be added to the charges due for each month or fraction thereof for delinquency until a total penalty of fifteen percent has accrued. It shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as the charges are assessed and collected.

2.    In addition to the penalty provided in subdivision 1 of this subsection, interest at the rate of twelve percent per year on the delinquent charges from the date of delinquency until paid shall accrue and be collected in the same manner as the delinquent charges are collected.

B.    Written Demand and Additional Procedures. If a seller fails to file the return or make the remittance in accordance with Sitka General Code Sections 4.17.060 or 4.17.070, the finance director shall make written demand upon the seller, mailed to their last known address, for submission of the return and/or remittance. In the event of noncompliance with the demand, the finance director may do any or all of the following procedures:

1.    Criminal Action. File a criminal complaint against the seller in the district court for violation of Sitka General Code Sections 4.17.060 or 4.17.070 with penalties upon conviction not to exceed one year in prison and five thousand dollars fine; and

2.    Civil Action. Make a driver facility charge assessment against the seller, with the assessment based upon an estimate of the gross revenue received by the seller during the period and institute civil action to recover the amount of the assessment. The estimate of gross revenue shall be derived from past returns of the seller, the general economic level of the business community and, if available, returns of comparable businesses.

(Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.090 Period of limitation.

The amount of any charges imposed under this chapter may be determined and assessed at any time within a period of three years after the tax became due and payable. The period shall begin on the date when a return is required to be filed. Where no return has been filed, then the period does not begin to run until the discovery of the delinquency occurs. No suit or other proceedings for the collection of the charges shall be begun after the expiration of the period. (Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.100 Rules and regulations.

The finance director shall from time to time cause to be promulgated rules and regulations as are necessary and advisable to provide for the application and interpretation of this chapter and to submit them to the assembly for its adoption or rejection, and to cause to be provided methods and forms for reporting and collecting the charges in accordance with this chapter and regulations. (Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.110 Record keeping.

A seller shall retain for a period of three years all of the driver facility charges returns, reports, forms, records and supporting schedules as may be required by the city and borough. (Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.120 Addition and identification of tax.

A seller shall add the amount of the driver facility charge levied in Sitka General Code Section 4.17.030 to the selling price. The charge shall be stated separately on any sales receipt or slips, rent receipts, charge tickets, invoices, statements of account, or other tangible evidence of sale. The driver facility charge(s) are exempt from the city and borough sales tax provisions. (Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.130 Finance director authorized to administer oaths.

The finance director is authorized and empowered to administer any oath necessary for the purpose of administering and enforcing the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)

4.17.140 Driver facility charge audits.

A.    Any seller who has established a driver facility charge account with the city and borough, who is required to collect and remit the driver facility charge, or who is required to submit a driver facility charge return under the provisions of Title 4, Chapter 4.17 of the Sitka General Code is subject to a discretionary driver facility charge audit at any time. The purpose of such an audit is to examine the business records of the seller in order to determine whether appropriate amounts of driver facility charges revenue have been collected by the seller and remitted to the municipality.

B.    The finance director shall be responsible for directing that driver facility charges audits take

place and for selecting the particular sellers whose business records will be audited.

C.    Driver facility charges audits of seller’s business records may be accomplished by either an employee of the city and borough of Sitka finance department or by an individual or firm under contract with the municipality.

D.    Sellers selected for a driver facility charge audit will be notified by letter and will be required to meet with, and make available for inspection and copying all pertinent business records including income tax returns that may be requested for the prior three fiscal years for examination, to the finance department employee, or contractor conducting the audit, within thirty days of notification. Under extenuating circumstances, the finance director may grant an extension of time for compliance at the director’s discretion.

E.    After completion of a driver facility charge audit, sellers subject to the audit will be notified of the results of the audit by certified letter. If the audit has resulted in an additional driver facility charge liability to the municipality, the additional driver facility charges must be remitted to the municipality within fourteen days after the receipt of the letter, or the additional driver facility charges will be considered delinquent and subject to the procedures on delinquencies outlined in Sitka General Code Section 4.17.080. If the audit has resulted in a refund due the seller, the refund will be made to the seller within fourteen days, or applied to the seller’s account, at the seller’s option.

F.    It shall be the seller’s responsibility to maintain business records in sufficient detail to substantiate all information reported on the driver facility charges returns, including rentals qualifying as exempt from the levy under the provisions of Sitka General Code Section 4.17.050. If insufficient detail exists within a seller’s business records to substantiate the rental exemption, such rents may be reclassified as taxable at the auditor’s discretion and subject to the driver facility charge collection and remittance.

G.    Any seller notified of an additional driver facility charges liability as a result of a driver facility charge audit shall have the right to appeal the additional liability to the assembly. Such an appeal must be filed with the municipal clerk within thirty days of notification by letter of the liability. If an additional liability is appealed, the accumulation of penalties and interest under the provisions of Sitka General Code Section 4.17.080 will be suspended on the date the appeal is filed with the municipal clerk; if the appeal is subsequently denied by the assembly, all such penalties and interest will be retroactive back to the original date of notification of additional liability by letter.

H.    Any seller refusing to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to any or all of the procedures on delinquencies as outlined in Sitka General Code Section 4.17.080, including the filing of a criminal complaint against the seller in district court.

(Ord. 01-1621 § 4 (part), 2001.)