Chapter 3.20
USE TAX*

*    For statutory provisions relating to imposition of a use tax, see Rev. & Tax. Code § 6201 et seq.

Sections:

3.20.010    Definitions.

3.20.020    Imposition and rate of tax.

3.20.030    Use tax levied in same manner as state tax.

3.20.040    Adoption of state use tax law by reference – Exceptions.

3.20.050    Adoption of rules and regulations by reference.

3.20.060    Interpretation.

3.20.070    Duty to collect tax.

3.20.080    Persons liable to tax.

3.20.090    Collection of tax by retailer.

3.20.100    Separate display of tax from list or other price.

3.20.110    Personal property to which tax applies.

3.20.120    Registration of retailers.

3.20.130    Due date of taxes.

3.20.140    Returns.

3.20.150    Extension of time, waiver or compromise.

3.20.160    Schedules for payment of tax.

3.20.170    Suit for tax.

3.20.180    Resale certificate.

3.20.190    Disposition of proceeds.

3.20.200    Divulging of information forbidden.

3.20.210    False or fraudulent returns.

3.20.220    Failure to make return or furnish data.

3.20.230    Penalty for violations.

3.20.010 DEFINITIONS.

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this chapter, shall be construed as defined in this section unless it appears from the context that a different meaning is intended.

(1)    “Sales price” means that total amount for which tangible personal property is sold, valued in money, whether paid in money or otherwise, without any deduction on account of any of the following:

(A)    The cost of the property sold;

(B)    The cost of materials used, labor or service cost, interest charged, losses, or any other expenses;

(C)    The cost of transportation of the property prior to its purchase.

The total amount for which the property is sold includes all of the following:

(A)    Any services that are a part of the sale;

(B)    Any amount for which credit is given to the purchaser by the seller.

“Sales price” does not include any of the following:

(A)    Cash discounts allowed and taken on sales;

(B)    The amount charged for property returned by customers when that entire amount is refunded either in cash or credit, but this exclusion shall not apply in any instance when the customer, in order to obtain the refund, is required to purchase other property at a price greater than the amount charged for the property that is returned;

(C)    The amount charged for labor or services rendered in installing or applying the property sold;

(D)    The amount of any federal tax imposed upon or with respect to retail sales whether imposed upon the retailer or upon the consumer and regardless of whether or not the amount of federal tax is stated to customers as a separate charge, and the amount of any California state sales or use tax. (The term “gross receipts” includes the amount of any manufacturer’s or importer’s excise tax included in the price of the property sold, even though the manufacturer or importer is also the retailer thereof, and whether or not the amount of such tax is stated as a separate charge);

(E)    Transportation charges separately stated, if the transportation occurs after the purchase of the property is made.

(2)    “Use” includes the exercise of any right or power over tangible personal property incident to the ownership of that property; subject, however, to the following exceptions:

(A)    It does not include the sale of that property in the regular course of business;

(B)    It does not include the storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property, the gross receipts from the sale of or the cost of which has been subject to sales or use tax under a sales or use tax ordinance, whether enacted in accordance with, or purporting to be in accordance with Part 1.5 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code of the State of California by any other city and county, county other than Santa Cruz County, or city in this state, or enacted in accordance with the organic law of any such city;

(C)    It does not include the storage or use of tangible personal property in the transportation or transmission of persons, property or communications, or in the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity or in the manufacture, transmission or distribution of gas in intrastate, interstate or foreign commerce by public utilities which are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of the state of California;

(D)    It does not include the use or consumption of property purchased by operators of common carriers and waterborne vessels to be used or consumed in the operation of such common carriers or waterborne vessels principally outside the city.

(3)    The word “storage,” as used in this chapter, includes any keeping or retention in the city for any purpose except sale in the regular course of business or subsequent use solely outside this city of tangible personal property purchased from a retailer.

(Prior code § 2350).

3.20.020 IMPOSITION AND RATE OF TAX.

An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in the city of Santa Cruz of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on or after the effective date of the ordinance codified herein for storage, use or other consumption in the city at the rate of one percent of the sales price of the property.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, where the sales price of tangible personal property purchased for storage, use or other consumption in the city of Santa Cruz pursuant to a contract of sale actually executed in good faith prior to July 1, 1956, includes Santa Cruz city sales or use tax, the rate of tax applied shall be that rate in effect when the contract is executed.

(Prior code § 2351).

3.20.030 USE TAX LEVIED IN SAME MANNER AS STATE TAX.

The tax hereby levied, except as otherwise herein provided, is levied in the same manner, to the same extent and under the same conditions as use taxes are levied pursuant to Part 1 of Division 2 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, known as the “Sales and Use Tax Law” as amended and in force and effect on July 1, 1956.

(Prior code § 2352).

3.20.040 ADOPTION OF STATE USE TAX LAW BY REFERENCE – EXCEPTIONS.

(a)    All of the provisions of the “Sales and Use Tax Law” as amended and in force and effect on July 1, 1956, except the provisions pertaining solely to the “Sales Tax” and Sections 6008, 6009, 6011, 6201 to 6204, inclusive, 6207, 6226, 6241 to 6246, inclusive, 6355, 6403, 6453, 7052, 7056, 7057, 7101, 7102, 7151, 7152 and 7153, are hereby adopted and made a part of this code as though fully set forth herein, and all provisions of any other section of this code in conflict therewith are inapplicable to this chapter and the tax hereby imposed.

(b)    The term “sales price” shall not include the amount of any California state sales tax or use tax.

(c)    All of the provisions of the “Sales and Use Tax Law” hereby adopted providing for the adoption of rules and regulations and for hearings on the part of the State Board of Equalization shall be performed by the city council. All other provisions of the state “Sales and Use Tax Law” hereby adopted providing for the performance of official action on the part of the State Board of Equalization shall be performed by the city clerk.

(d)    The city of Santa Cruz shall be deemed substituted for the state of California whenever the state is referred to in said “Sales and Use Tax Law.”

(e)    The city attorney shall be deemed substituted for the Attorney General whenever the Attorney General is referred to in said “Sales and Use Tax Law.”

(f)    The city clerk shall be deemed substituted for the State Controller and State Board of Control whenever the State Controller or State Board of Control are referred to in said “Sales and Use Tax Law.”

(g)    The county of Santa Cruz shall be deemed substituted for the county of Sacramento whenever the county of Sacramento is referred to in said “Sales and Use Tax Law.”

(Prior code § 2353).

3.20.050 ADOPTION OF RULES AND REGULATIONS BY REFERENCE.

The rules and regulations of the State Board of Equalization pertaining to the interpretation, administration and enforcement of the “Sales and Use Tax Law,” insofar as applicable, shall apply to the interpretation of this chapter until specifically abandoned by the rules and regulations adopted by the city council pursuant to this chapter.

(Prior code § 2354).

3.20.060 INTERPRETATION.

The inclusion of any clause, portion or part of the “Sales and Use Tax Law,” Part 1, Division 2, of the Revenue and Taxation Code of the state of California, verbatim in this chapter shall not in or of itself be deemed to exclude any of the remaining provisions of said “Sales and Use Tax Law” that are made a part hereof by reference only.

(Prior code § 2355).

3.20.070 DUTY TO COLLECT TAX.

Every retailer maintaining a place of business in this city shall apply to the city clerk for authorization to collect the tax imposed by this chapter. Any retailer not maintaining a place of business in this city may apply to the city clerk for authorization to collect the tax hereby imposed. Upon receipt of any application in such form as required by him, the city clerk, in the case of a retailer maintaining a place of business in the city, shall authorize, and in the case of a retailer not maintaining a place of business in the city, may authorize the applicant to make such collections and to forward the same to the city clerk.

(Prior code § 2356).

3.20.080 PERSONS LIABLE TO TAX.

Every person storing, using or otherwise consuming in this city tangible personal property purchased from a retailer, is liable for the tax; provided, however, no tax shall be due hereunder if the tax imposed by Chapter 3.16 has been paid on the sale of such property. The liability of such person is not extinguished until the tax has been paid to the city except that a receipt from a retailer authorized pursuant to Section 3.20.070 to collect the tax, given to the purchaser pursuant to Section 3.20.090, is sufficient to relieve the purchaser from further liability for the tax to which the receipt refers.

(Prior code § 2357).

3.20.090 COLLECTION OF TAX BY RETAILER.

Every retailer who is authorized by the city clerk to collect the tax imposed by this chapter and who makes sales of tangible personal property for storage, use or other consumption in this city, not exempted under the provisions of this chapter, shall collect the tax from the purchaser at the time of making the sale, or, if the storage, use or other consumption of the tangible personal property is not then taxable hereunder, at the time the storage, use or other consumption becomes taxable. Upon collecting the tax, the retailer, on demand, shall give to the purchaser a receipt therefor in the manner and form prescribed by the city clerk. The tax so collected by the retailer shall be held in trust by him for the city and shall be paid to the city by the retailer in the manner and at the times elsewhere provided in this chapter.

(Prior code § 2358).

3.20.100 SEPARATE DISPLAY OF TAX FROM LIST OR OTHER PRICE.

The tax so collected by the retailer from the purchaser shall be displayed separately from the list price, the price advertised in the premises, the marked price or other price on the sales check or other proof of sale.

(Prior code § 2359).

3.20.110 PERSONAL PROPERTY TO WHICH TAX APPLIES.

Except as otherwise specifically exempted, the tax hereby imposed applies to all tangible personal property located in this city and purchased from a retailer; provided, however, that if the retailer in good faith takes from the purchaser a certificate that the property was purchased prior to the effective date of this chapter or was not purchased for storage, use or consumption in this city and has not been nor will be so stored, used or consumed, he shall be relieved of liability to collect and pay the tax. The certificate shall be signed by and bear the name of the purchaser, shall indicate the address of the purchaser and the place where such tangible personal property will be stored, used or consumed, the date of purchase, and shall be substantially in such form as the city clerk may prescribe.

(Prior code § 2360).

3.20.120 REGISTRATION OF RETAILERS.

Every retailer selling tangible personal property for storage, use or other consumption in the city and which retailer maintains a place of business in the city or acts through agents located in the city and which retailer is not licensed under the provisions of this chapter, shall register with the city clerk and give the name and address of such agent or agents and office or other place of business in the city.

(Prior code § 2361).

3.20.130 DUE DATE OF TAXES.

Taxes imposed by this title are due and payable to the city clerk on or before the last day of the month next succeeding each quarterly period, the first quarterly payment to be due and payable under this chapter on or before the last day of July, 1956. The city clerk may require returns and payment of the amount of taxes for quarterly periods other than calendar quarters depending upon the principal place of or the nature of the business of the seller or retailer or may require returns and payment of the amount of taxes for other than quarterly periods.

(Prior code § 2362).

3.20.140 RETURNS.

Each return filed by a retailer shall show the total sale price of the property sold by him during the reporting period in respect of which he collected the tax hereby imposed. Each return filed by a purchaser shall show the total sale price of the property purchased by him during the reporting period, in respect of which a tax is due under this chapter. All returns shall also show the amount of the taxes for the period covered by the return and such other information as the city clerk deems necessary to the proper administration of this chapter.

(Prior code § 2363).

3.20.150 EXTENSION OF TIME, WAIVER OR COMPROMISE.

The city clerk shall have the power, for good cause shown, to extend for a period of not to exceed thirty-one days the time for making any return or paying any amount required to be paid under this chapter, when requested so to do in writing, before the same becomes delinquent. The city clerk may, with the written approval of the city attorney, waive or compromise any penalty or interest that would otherwise accrue under the provisions of this chapter. The city clerk shall make and transmit to the city council quarterly a detailed report of any sums so waived or compromised with the reasons therefor.

(Prior code § 2364).

3.20.160 SCHEDULES FOR PAYMENT OF TAX.

The city council, by resolution, may adopt rules prescribing methods and schedules for the collection and payment of the tax. Such schedules may be so determined as to facilitate collection of this tax at the same time that the retailer collects the tax imposed under the California Sales and Use Tax Law so as to produce an average tax return of one percent on all purchases subject to the use tax.

(Prior code § 2365).

3.20.170 SUIT FOR TAX.

All taxes hereby levied shall be payable to the city clerk and any civil suit for the collection thereof may be filed in any court of competent jurisdiction in the state of California, and the city attorney shall prosecute the action.

(Prior code § 2366).

3.20.180 RESALE CERTIFICATE.

The city clerk may at his option accept a state of California Resale Certificate as evidence that any sale is not a sale for storage, use or consumption in the city, or he may in his discretion require an affidavit from the seller setting forth such information respecting such sale as he deems necessary to determine the nature of such sale.

(Prior code § 2367).

3.20.190 DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS.

All moneys collected under and pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited and paid into the general fund of the city.

(Prior code § 2368).

3.20.200 DIVULGING OF INFORMATION FORBIDDEN.

No officer or employee of the city having an administrative duty under this chapter shall make known in any manner whatever the business affairs, operations, or information obtained by an investigation of records and equipment of any retailer or any other person visited or examined in the discharge of official duty, or the amount or source of income, profits, losses, expenditures, or any particulars thereof, set forth or disclosed in any return, or permit any return or copy thereof or any book containing any abstract or particulars thereof to be seen or examined by any person. However, the city council may, by resolution, authorize examination of the returns by federal or state officers or employees or by the tax officers of this or any other city if a reciprocal arrangement exists. Successors, receivers, trustees, executors, administrators, assignees, and guarantors, if directly interested, may be given information as to the items included in the measure and amounts of any unpaid tax or amounts of tax required to be collected, interest and penalties.

(Prior code § 2369).

3.20.210 FALSE OR FRAUDULENT RETURNS.

No person required to make, render, sign or verify any report under the provisions of this chapter, shall make any false or fraudulent return, with intent to defeat or evade the determination of an amount due and required to be paid under this chapter.

(Prior code § 2370).

3.20.220 FAILURE TO MAKE RETURN OR FURNISH DATA.

No retailer or other person shall fail or refuse to furnish any return required to be made or fail or refuse to furnish a supplemental return or other data required by the city clerk, or render a false or fraudulent return.

(Prior code § 2371).

3.20.230 PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS.

Any person violating any provision of this chapter is subject to the penalties provided in Chapter 1.08 of this code.

(Ord. 76-2 § 1, 1976: prior code § 2372).