Chapter 3.14


3.14.010    Short title.

3.14.020    Definitions.

3.14.030    Imposed—Method of payment.

3.14.040    Exemptions.

3.14.050    Operator’s duties.

3.14.060    Registration—Display of registration certificate.

3.14.070    Reporting and remitting tax collected.

3.14.075    Uncollectible accounts—Relief of operator from liability.

3.14.080    Enforcement.

3.14.085    Penalties.

3.14.090    Failure to collect or report tax—Determination of amount by tax administrator.

3.14.110    Records.

3.14.120    Refunds.

3.14.140    Violations—Infractions.

3.14.010 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as “Uniform Transient Occupancy Tax Regulations of the City of Folsom.” (Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.020 Definitions.

Except where the context otherwise requires, the definitions given in this section govern the construction of this chapter:

“Hotel” means any structure, or any portion of any structure, which is occupied or intended or designed for occupancy by transients for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes and includes any hotel, inn, tourist home or house, motel, studio hotel, bachelor hotel, lodging house, rooming house, apartment house, dormitory, public or private club, mobile home or house trailer at a fixed location, bed and breakfast inn, marina and boatel or other similar structure or portion thereof.

“Occupancy” means the use or possession, or the right to the use or possession of any room or rooms or portion thereof, in any hotel for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes.

“Operator” means the person who is proprietor of the hotel, whether in the capacity of owner, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, or any other capacity. Where the operator performs his functions through a managing agent of any type or character other than an employee, the managing agent shall also be deemed an operator for the purposes of this chapter and shall have the same duties and liabilities as his principal. Compliance with the provisions of this chapter by either the principal or the managing agent shall, however, be considered to be compliance by both.

“Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, social club, fraternal organization, joint stock company, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, trustee, syndicate, or any other group or combination acting as a unit.

“Rent” means the consideration charged, whether or not received, for the occupancy of space in a hotel valued in money, whether to be received in money, goods, labor or otherwise, including all receipts, cash, credits and property and services of any kind or nature, without any deduction therefrom whatsoever.

“Tax administrator” means the director of finance.

“Transient” means any person who exercises occupancy or is entitled to occupancy by reason of concession, permit, right of access, license or other agreement for a period of 30 consecutive calendar days or less, counting portions of calendar days as full days. Any such person so occupying space in a hotel shall be deemed to be a transient until the period of 30 days has expired unless there is an agreement in writing between the operator and the occupant providing for a longer period of occupancy. In determining whether a person is a transient, uninterrupted periods of time extending both prior and subsequent to the effective date of this chapter may be considered. (Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.030 Imposed—Method of payment.

For the privilege of occupancy in any hotel, each transient is subject to and shall pay a tax in the amount of 8 percent of the rent charged by the operator. Such tax constitutes a debt owed by the transient to the city which is extinguished only by payment to the operator or to the city. The transient shall pay the tax to the operator of the hotel at the time the rent is paid. If the rent is paid in installments, a proportionate share of the tax shall be paid with each installment. The unpaid tax shall be due upon the transient’s ceasing to occupy space in the hotel. If for any reason the tax due is not paid to the operator of the hotel, the tax administrator may require that such tax shall be paid directly to the tax administrator. (Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.040 Exemptions.

No tax shall be imposed upon:

A.    Any person as to whom, or any occupancy as to which it is beyond the power of the city to impose the tax herein provided;

B.    Any federal or state officer or employee when on official business;

C.    Any officer or employee of a foreign government who is exempt by reason of express provision of federal law or international treaty.

D.    Any person who occupies a campsite in a unit of the state park system.

No exemption shall be granted except upon a claim therefor made at the time rent is collected and under penalty of perjury upon a form prescribed by the tax administrator. (Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.050 Operator’s duties.

Each operator shall collect the tax imposed by this chapter to the same extent and at the same time as the rent is collected from every transient. The amount of tax shall be separately stated from the amount of the rent charged, and each transient shall receive a receipt for payment from the operator. No operator of a hotel shall advertise or state in any manner, whether directly or indirectly, that the tax or any part thereof will be assumed or absorbed by the operator, or that it will not be added to the rent, or that, if added, any part will be refunded in the manner hereinafter provided. (Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.060 Registration—Display of registration certificate.

Within 30 days after the effective date of this chapter, or within 30 days after commencing business, whichever is later, each operator of any hotel renting occupancy to transients shall register such hotel with the tax administrator and obtain from him a “transient occupancy registration certificate” to be at all times posted in a conspicuous place on the premises. Such certificate shall, among other things, state the following:

A.    The name of the operator;

B.    The address of the hotel;

C.    The date upon which the certificate was issued;

D.    This transient occupancy registration certificate signifies that the person named on the face hereof has fulfilled the requirements of the uniform transient occupancy tax regulations by registering with the tax administrator for the purpose of collecting from transients the transient occupancy tax and remitting such tax to the tax administrator. This certificate does not authorize any person to conduct any unlawful business or to conduct any lawful business in an unlawful manner nor to operate a hotel without strictly complying with all local applicable laws, including but not limited to those requiring a permit from any board, commission, department or office of this city. This certificate does not constitute a permit. (Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.070 Reporting and remitting tax collected.

Each operator shall, within 60 days following the close of each calendar quarter, or at the close of any shorter reporting period which may be established by the tax administrator, make a return to the tax administrator, on forms provided by him, of the total rents charged and received and the amount of tax collected for transient occupancies. At the time the return is filed, the full amount of the tax collected shall be remitted to the tax administrator. The tax administrator may establish shorter reporting periods for any certificate holder if he deems it necessary in order to insure collection of the tax and he may require further information in the return. Returns and payments are due immediately upon cessation of business for any reason. All taxes collected by operators pursuant to this chapter shall be held in trust for the account of the city until payment thereof is made to the tax administrator. (Ord. 867 § 2(1) (part), 1997: Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.075 Uncollectible accounts—Relief of operator from liability.

An operator is relieved from liability for the remission to the city of the tax imposed under this chapter insofar as the measure of the tax is represented by accounts which have been found to be worthless and charged off for income tax purposes. If the operator has previously remitted the tax, he may, pursuant to procedures prescribed by the tax administrator, take as a deduction the amount of tax previously remitted for the worthless and charged off account. If any such accounts are thereafter in whole or in part collected by the operator, the amount so collected shall be included in the first return filed after such collection and the tax on such amount paid with the return. (Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.080 Enforcement.

A.    This title shall be enforced pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 1.08 through 1.10, inclusive, of this code.

B.    The finance director acting as the tax administrator shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 867 § 2(1) (part), 1997: Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.085 Penalties.

A.    Any tax required to be paid by any transient under the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a debt owed by the transient to the city. Any such tax collected by an operator which has not been paid to the city shall be deemed a debt owed by the operator to the city. A violation of this chapter shall be an administrative violation as defined in Section 1.08.020.

B.    Each of the sanctions for administrative violations identified in Section 1.09.013 shall be available for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. In addition to the administrative remedies set forth therein, the city council may direct the city attorney to commence a civil action in the name of the city for the recovery of such amount.

C.    In lieu of the monetary sanctions imposed pursuant to Section 1.09.012, a violation of a provision of this chapter shall be subject to the following penalties:

1.    Original Delinquency. Any operator who fails to remit any tax imposed by this chapter within the time required shall pay a penalty of 10 percent of the amount of the tax in addition to the amount of the tax.

2.    Continued Delinquency. Any operator who fails to remit any delinquent remittance on or before a period of 30 days following the date on which the remittance first became delinquent shall pay a second delinquency penalty of 10 percent of the amount of the tax in addition to the amount of the tax and the 10-percent penalty first imposed.

3.    Fraud. If the tax administrator determines that the nonpayment of any remittance due under this chapter is due to fraud, a penalty of 25 percent of the amount of the tax shall be added thereto in addition to the penalties stated in subsections A and B of this section.

4.    Interest. In addition to the penalties imposed, any operator who fails to remit any tax imposed by this chapter shall pay interest at the rate of 1-1/2 percent per month or fraction thereof on the amount of the tax, exclusive of penalties, from the date on which the remittance first became delinquent until paid.

5.    Penalties Merged with Tax. Every penalty imposed and such interest as accrues under the provisions of this section shall become a part of the tax herein required to be paid. (Ord. 867 § 2(2), 1997)

3.14.090 Failure to collect or report tax—Determination of amount by tax administrator.

A.    If any operator shall fail or refuse to collect the tax imposed by this chapter, or to make, within the time provided in this chapter, any report and remittance of such tax or any portion thereof required by this chapter, the tax administrator shall proceed in such manner as he may deem best to obtain facts and information on which to base his estimate of the tax due.

B.    As soon as the tax administrator shall procure such facts and information as he is able to obtain upon which to base the assessment of any tax imposed by this chapter and payable by any operator who has failed or refused to collect the same and/or to make such report and remittance, he shall proceed to determine and assess against such operator the tax, interest and penalties provided for by this chapter. In case such determination is made, the tax administrator shall give a notice of the amount so assessed by serving it personally or by depositing it in the United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the operator so assessed at his last known place of address. This notice shall serve as a Notice to Correct as that term is defined in Section 1.08.020(J). The time allowed to pay or otherwise contest the amount set forth in the notice shall be 10 calendar days from the date of the notice. The notice shall also advise the operator of its right to appeal the determination pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 1.09.030.

C.    If the operator objects to the determination of the amount of the tax assessed, the operator shall follow those appeal procedures established in Sections 1.09.030 and 1.09.032. If application by the operator for a hearing is not made within the time prescribed, the tax, interest and penalties, if any, determined by the tax administrator shall become final and conclusive and immediately due and payable. If such application is made, the further appeal rights of the operator shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of Chapter 1.09. (Ord. 867 § 2(1) (part), 1997: Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.110 Records.

It shall be the duty of every operator liable for the collection and payment to the city of any tax imposed by this chapter to keep and preserve for a period of 3 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 payment to the city, which records the tax administrator shall have the right to inspect at all reasonable times. (Ord. 564 § 1, 1986)

3.14.120 Refunds.

A.    Whenever the amount of any tax, interest and penalty has been overpaid or paid more than once or has been erroneously or illegally collected or received by the city under this chapter it may be refunded as provided in subsections B and C of this section provided a claim in writing therefor, stating under penalty of perjury the specific grounds upon which the claim is founded, is filed with the tax administrator within 3 years of the date of payment. The claim shall be on forms furnished by the tax administrator.

B.    An operator may 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 in a manner prescribed by the tax administrator that the person from whom the tax has been collected was not a transient; 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 transient or credited to rent subsequently payable by the transient to the operator.

C.    A transient may obtain a refund of taxes overpaid or paid more than once or erroneously or illegally collected or received by the city by filing a claim in the manner provided on subsection A of this section, but only when the tax was paid by the transient directly to the tax administrator, or when the transient having paid the tax to the operator, established to the satisfaction of the tax administrator that the transient has been unable to obtain a refund from the operator who collected the tax.

D.    No refund shall be paid under the provisions of this section unless the claimant establishes his right thereto by written records showing entitlement thereto. (Ord. 574 § 1, 1986)

3.14.140 Violations—Infractions.

A.    Unless provided otherwise, any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be punishable therefor by: (i) a fine not exceeding $100 for a first violation; (ii) a fine not exceeding $200 for a second violation of this chapter within one year; (iii) a fine not exceeding $500 for each additional violation of this chapter within 1 year.

B.    Any operator or other person who fails or refuses to register as required herein, or to furnish any return required to be made, or who fails or refuses to furnish a supplemental return or other data required by the tax administrator, or who renders a false or fraudulent return or claim, is guilty of an infraction and is punishable as aforesaid.

C.    Any person required to make, render, sign or verify any report or claim who makes any false or fraudulent report or claim with intent to defeat or evade the determination of any amount due required by this chapter to be made, is guilty of an infraction and is punishable as aforesaid. (Ord. 574 § 1, 1986)