Chapter 5.04
UTILITY TAX

Sections:

5.04.010    Power to license for revenue.

5.04.020    License required.

5.04.030    Tax designated.

5.04.040    Computation deductions.

5.04.050    Due date.

5.04.060    Records of revenue.

5.04.070    Failure to pay – Underpayment.

5.04.080    Overpayment.

5.04.090    Authority of the city.

5.04.100    Violation – Penalty.

5.04.010 Power to license for revenue.

The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to be an exercise of the power of the city to license for revenue. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305 § 1, 1969).

5.04.020 License required.

No person, firm or corporation shall engage in or carry on any business, occupation, act or privilege for which a tax is imposed by BLMC 5.04.030 without first having obtained, and being the holder of, a license so to do pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 5.08 BLMC. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305 § 2, 1969).

5.04.030 Tax designated.

A. There is levied upon, and there shall be collected from, every person, firm or corporation engaged in furnishing, for a monetary consideration, the city and the inhabitants thereof with electricity and electrical energy for lighting, heating, power, and other public purposes, within or partly within the corporate limits of the city, an annual tax for the privilege of so doing, such tax to be equal to six percent of the total gross subscriber revenues from business and residential electrical power service in the city.

B. There is levied upon, and there shall be collected from, every person, firm or corporation engaged in carrying on a telephone business for hire, including cellular telephone service, within or partly within the corporate limits of the city, an annual tax for the privilege of so doing, such tax to be equal to six percent of the total gross operation revenues within the city. Gross operating revenues for this purpose shall not include charges which are passed on to the subscribers by a telephone company pursuant to tariffs required by regulatory order to compensate for the cost to the company of the tax imposed by this chapter.

“Telephone business” means the business of providing access to local telephone network, local telephone switching service, toll service, or coin telephone services, or providing telephonic, video, data or similar communication or transmission for hire, via a local telephone network, toll line or changes, or similar communication or transmission system. It includes cooperative or farmer line telephone companies or associations operating an exchange. “Telephone business” does not include the providing of competitive service.

“Cellular telephone service” means a two-way voice and data telephone/telecommunications system based in whole or substantially in part on wireless radio communications, which are not subject to regulation by the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC). This includes cellular mobile service. The definition of cellular mobile service includes other wireless radio communications services such as specialized mobile radio (SMR), personal communications services (PCS), and any other evolving wireless radio communications technology which accomplishes a purpose similar to cellular mobile service. Cellular telephone service is included within the definition of “telephone business” for the purposes of this chapter.

“Competitive telephone service” means the providing by any person of telecommunications equipment or apparatus, or service related to that equipment or apparatus such as repair or maintenance service, if the equipment or apparatus is of a type which can be provided by persons that are not subject to regulations as telephone companies under RCW Title 80 and for which a separate charge is made.

C. There is levied upon, and there shall be collected from, every person, firm or corporation engaged in furnishing, for a monetary consideration, natural gas or manufactured gas for lighting, heating, power, and other public purposes, within or partly within the corporate limits of the city, an annual tax for the privilege of so doing, such tax to be equal to six percent of the total gross subscriber revenue from business and residential gas service, both natural and manufactured, in the city.

D. There is levied upon, and there shall be collected from, every person, firm or corporation engaged in carrying on the business of selling or furnishing water for domestic or industrial consumption, or sewer service, within or partly within the corporate limits of the city, a tax equal to eight percent of the total gross income from such business in the city. Effective January 1, 2015, the tax rate shall be equal to 10 percent of the total gross income from such business in the city. Effective January 1, 2016, the tax rate shall be equal to 12 percent of the total gross income from such business in the city.

E. There is levied upon, and there shall be collected from, every person, firm or corporation engaged in carrying on the business of selling or furnishing garbage service, including recyclables and yard waste, within or partly within the corporate limits of the city, a tax equal to six percent of the total gross income from such business in the city.

F. There is levied upon, and there shall be collected from, every person, firm or corporation engaged in carrying on the business of selling or furnishing cable television service, for domestic or commercial consumption, within or partly within the corporate limits of the city, a tax equal to four percent of the total gross subscriber revenue from such service, effective January 1, 2017, and six percent of the total gross subscriber revenue from such service, effective January 1, 2018.

G. There is levied upon and there shall be collected from every person, firm or corporation engaged in carrying on the business of selling or furnishing stormwater service, within or partly within the corporate limits of the city, a fee or tax equal to eight percent of the total gross revenues from such business in the city. Effective January 1, 2015, the tax rate shall be equal to 10 percent of the total gross income from such business in the city. Effective January 1, 2016, the tax rate shall be equal to 12 percent of the total gross income from such business in the city. (Ord. 1556 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1501 § 1, 2014; Ord. 1398 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1053 § 1, 2004; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 829 § 1, 2000; Ord. 762 § 1, 1998; Ord. 305N § 1, 1993; Ord. 305M § 1, 1990; Ord. 305F § 1, 1984; Ord. 305E § 1, 1982; Ord. 305D § 1, 1982; Ord. 305C § 1, 1982; Ord. 368 § 1, 1972).

5.04.040 Computation deductions.

In computing the annual tax there shall be deducted from the gross operating revenues the following items:

A. The amount of credit losses and uncollectibles actually sustained by the taxpayer.

B. Amounts derived from transactions in interstate or foreign commerce or from any business which the city is prohibited from taxing under the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the state, or laws of the United States.

C. That portion of gross income derived from charges to another telecommunications company for connecting fees, switching charges, or carrier access charges relating to intrastate toll telephone services, or for access to, or charges for, interstate services, or charges for telephone service which the purchaser buys for the purpose of resale. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305 § 4, 1969).

5.04.050 Due date.

A. The tax imposed by this chapter shall be due and payable in quarterly installments and remittance shall be made on or before the thirtieth day of the month next succeeding the end of the quarterly period in which the tax accrued. Such quarterly periods are as follows:

First quarter – January, February, March;

Second quarter – April, May, June;

Third quarter – July, August, September;

Fourth quarter – October, November, December.

B. On or before the due date the taxpayer shall file with the city a written return, upon such form and setting forth such information as the city shall reasonably require, together with the payment of the amount of the tax. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305C § 2, 1982; Ord. 317 § 2, 1970).

5.04.060 Records of revenue.

Each taxpayer shall keep records reflecting the amount of his gross operating revenues, and such records shall be open at all reasonable times to the inspection of the city, or his duly authorized subordinates, for verification of the tax returns or for the fixing of the tax of a taxpayer who fails to make such returns. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305 § 6, 1969).

5.04.070 Failure to pay – Underpayment.

If any person, firm or corporation subject to this chapter fails to pay any tax required by this chapter within 30 days after the due date thereof, there shall be added to such tax a penalty of 10 percent of the amount of such tax, and any tax due under this chapter and unpaid, and all penalties thereon, shall constitute a debt to the city and may be collected by court proceedings, which remedy shall be in addition to all other remedies. In the event of a failure to pay or underpayment, the director is authorized to determine the amount of the tax due. Such assessment shall be deemed correct. The director shall notify the taxpayer by mail of the amount of tax so determined, together with any penalty, interest, and fees due; the total of such amounts shall thereupon become immediately due and payable. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305 § 7, 1969).

5.04.080 Overpayment.

Any money paid to the city through error or otherwise not in payment of the tax imposed by this chapter, or in excess of such tax, shall, upon request of the taxpayer, be credited against any tax due or to become due from such taxpayer under this chapter or, upon the taxpayer’s ceasing to do business in the city, be refunded to the taxpayer. Provided, however, that overpayments extending beyond one year prior to the date the taxpayer requests a credit or refund shall not be credited or refunded. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305 § 8, 1969).

5.04.090 Authority of the city.

The city is authorized to adopt, publish and enforce, from time to time, such rules and regulations for the proper administration of this chapter as shall be necessary, and it shall be a violation of this chapter to violate or to fail to comply with any such rule or regulation lawfully promulgated under this chapter. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305 § 10, 1969).

5.04.100 Violation – Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation subject to this chapter who fails or refuses to apply for an occupation license or to make tax returns or to pay such tax when due, or who makes any false statement or representation in or in connection with any such application for an occupation license on such tax return, or otherwise violates or refuses or fails to comply with this chapter, shall be guilty of a civil infraction, with a fine of $250.00 per day that a violation continues. (Ord. 1391 § 1, 2011; Ord. 990 Att. A, 2003; Ord. 305 § 9, 1969).