Chapter 3.35
UTILITY TAX

Sections:

3.35.010    Use and accountability of tax proceeds.

3.35.020    Utility tax.

3.35.030    Definitions.

3.35.040    Occupations subject to tax – Amount.

3.35.050    Tax year.

3.35.060    Exceptions and deductions.

3.35.070    Monthly installments.

3.35.080    Taxpayer’s records.

3.35.090    Failure to make returns or to pay the tax in full.

3.35.100    Penalty for delinquent payment.

3.35.110    Overpayment of tax.

3.35.120    Noncompliance – Penalty.

3.35.130    Appeal to hearing examiner.

3.35.140    City manager to make rules.

3.35.150    Referendum procedure.

3.35.160    Exclusive procedure.

3.35.170    Utility tax relief program.

3.35.010 Use and accountability of tax proceeds.

All revenues collected pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the general fund, and shall be used for the funding of general City services or capital facilities as the council shall direct through its annual budget process. [Ord. 98-0037 § 1.]

3.35.020 Utility tax.

The tax provided for in this chapter shall be known as the “utility tax,” and is levied upon the privilege of conducting an electrical energy, natural gas, telephone, or cellular telephone business within the City of Kenmore. [Ord. 98-0037 § 2.]

3.35.030 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter clearly requires otherwise, the words or phrases defined in this section shall have the indicated meanings.

A. “Cellular telephone service” means any two-way voice and data telephone or similar communications system based in whole or in substantial part on wireless radio communications, including cellular mobile service, and which is not subject to regulation by the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission. Cellular mobile service includes other wireless radio communications services including specialized mobile radio, personal communications services, and other wireless radio communications technology evolving after the effective date of the ordinance that accomplishes a purpose substantially similar to cellular mobile service.

B. “City manager” means the city manager of the City of Kenmore, Washington, or his or her designee.

C. “Gross income” means the value proceeding or accruing from the performance of the particular business involved, excluding receipts or proceeds from the use or sale of tangible property and real property or any interest therein, proceeds from the sale of notes, bonds, mortgages or other evidence of indebtedness, or stock and the like, receipts from operations incidental to the performance of the particular business involved, and with a deduction on the amount of credit loss and uncollectibles actually sustained.

D. “Person” means any person, firm, corporation, association, or entity of any type engaged in a business subject to taxation under this chapter. [Ord. 98-0037 § 3.]

3.35.040 Occupations subject to tax – Amount.

There is levied upon, and shall be collected from, a person, because of certain business activities engaged in or carried on in the City, taxes in the amount to be determined by the application of rates given against gross income as follows:

A. Upon a person engaged in or carrying on the business of selling, furnishing, or transmitting electric energy, a tax equal to four percent of the total gross income from such business in the City during the period for which the tax is due;

B. Upon a person engaged in or carrying on the business of selling, furnishing, or transmitting natural gas, a tax equal to four percent of the total gross income from such business in the City during the period for which the tax is due;

C. Upon a person engaged in or carrying on the business of selling, furnishing, or transmitting telephone service, a tax equal to six percent of the total gross income from such business in the City during the period for which the tax is due; and

D. Upon a person engaged in or carrying on the business of selling, furnishing, or transmitting cellular telephone service, a tax equal to six percent of the total gross income from such business in the City during the period for which the tax is due. [Ord. 04-0222 § 1; Ord. 00-0090 § 1; Ord. 99-0066 § 1; Ord. 98-0037 § 4.]

3.35.050 Tax year.

The tax year for purposes of this utility tax shall commence January 1st and shall end on December 31st. [Ord. 98-0037 § 5.]

3.35.060 Exceptions and deductions.

There is excepted and deducted from the total gross income upon which the tax is computed the amount of the total gross income that is derived from business which the City is prohibited from taxing under the Constitution or laws of the United States and the Constitution or laws of the State of Washington. [Ord. 98-0037 § 6.]

3.35.070 Monthly installments.

The tax imposed by KMC 3.35.040 shall be due and payable in monthly installments, and remittance therefor shall be made on or before the last day of the month following the end of the monthly period in which the tax is accrued. On or before said due date, the taxpayer shall file with the city manager a written return upon such form setting forth such information as the city manager shall reasonably require relating to the accurate computation and collection of this tax, together with the payment of the amount. [Ord. 98-0037 § 7.]

3.35.080 Taxpayer’s records.

Each taxpayer shall keep records reflecting the amount of the taxpayer’s gross income on sales and services within the City, and such records shall be open at all reasonable times for the inspection of the city manager or his or her designee to verify information provided on any utility tax return, or to determine whether such return is required to be filed. [Ord. 98-0037 § 8.]

3.35.090 Failure to make returns or to pay the tax in full.

If a taxpayer fails, neglects, or refuses to make his return as and when required in this chapter, the city manager is authorized to determine the amount of the tax payable under provisions of KMC 3.35.040, and to notify such taxpayer of the amount so determined. The amount so fixed shall thereupon be the tax and be immediately due and payable, together with penalty and interest. Delinquent taxes, including any penalties, are subject to an interest charge of 12 percent per year on the unpaid balance from the date any such taxes became due as provided in KMC 3.35.070. [Ord. 98-0037 § 9.]

3.35.100 Penalty for delinquent payment.

If a person subject to this tax fails to pay any tax required by this chapter within 15 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 that is 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. [Ord. 98-0037 § 10.]

3.35.110 Overpayment of tax.

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 discovery, be credited against any tax due or to become due from such taxpayer hereunder; provided, however, that overpayments extending beyond one year prior to notification of the City shall not be refunded. If such taxpayer has ceased doing business in the City, any such overpayment shall be refunded to the taxpayer. [Ord. 98-0037 § 11.]

3.35.120 Noncompliance – Penalty.

A. No person subject to this chapter shall fail or refuse to file tax returns or to pay tax when due, nor shall any person make a false statement or representation in, or in connection with, any such tax return, or otherwise violate or refuse to comply with this chapter or with any rule promulgated pursuant to KMC 3.35.140.

B. In addition to the interest and delinquent filing penalties set forth above, a willful violation of or failure to comply with this chapter is a civil infraction, subject to a fine of up to $250.00 for each day that a violation continues. [Ord. 98-0037 § 12.]

3.35.130 Appeal to hearing examiner.

A taxpayer aggrieved by the amount of the tax, penalties, interest, or civil infraction fine determined to be due by the city manager or his or her designee, under the provisions of this chapter, may appeal such determination to the hearing examiner in accordance with the applicable chapters of this code, as now in effect or as may subsequently be amended. [Ord. 98-0037 § 13.]

3.35.140 City manager to make rules.

The city manager shall have the power to adopt and enforce rules and regulations not inconsistent with this chapter or with the law for the purposes of carrying out the provisions thereof. [Ord. 98-0037 § 14.]

3.35.150 Referendum procedure.

The provisions of this chapter are subject to the referendum procedure as follows:

A. A referendum petition seeking to repeal the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be filed with the city clerk, who shall be designated the person to receive petitions of all types, within seven days of the passage by the city council of the ordinance codified in this chapter or publication thereof, whichever is later.

B. Within 10 days, the city clerk shall confer with the petitioner concerning the form and style of the petition, issue an identification number for the petition, and cause to be written a ballot title for the measure.

C. The ballot title shall be posed as a question, so that an affirmative answer to the question and an affirmative vote on the measure results in the tax or tax rate increase being imposed, and a negative answer to the question and a negative vote on the measure results in the tax or tax rate increase not being imposed. The petitioner shall be notified of the identification number and ballot title within this 10-day period.

D. After notification of the identification number and ballot title, the petitioner shall have 30 days in which to secure on petition forms the signatures of not less than 15 percent of the registered voters of the City and to file the signed petitions with the city clerk.

E. Each petition form shall contain the ballot title and the full text of the measure to be referred. The city clerk shall verify the sufficiency of the signatures on the petitions. If sufficient, valid signatures are properly submitted, the city clerk shall cause the referendum measure to be submitted to the City voters at a general or special election held on one of the dates provided in RCW 29.13.010, as determined by the city council, which election shall not take place later than 120 days after the signed petition has been filed with the city clerk. [Ord. 98-0037 § 15.]

3.35.160 Exclusive procedure.

Pursuant to RCW 35.21.706, the referendum procedure set forth in KMC 3.35.150 shall be the exclusive referendum procedure for the utility tax imposed herein, and shall supersede the procedures, to the extent applicable, under Chapters 35.17 and 35A.11 RCW and all other statutory or charter provisions for initiative or referendum which might otherwise apply. [Ord. 98-0037 § 16.]

3.35.170 Utility tax relief program.

A utility tax relief program is created that provides for the exemption of utility tax levied on the electrical and natural gas billings for all low-income individuals or families that meet the eligibility for exemption, as follows:

A. Upon individuals or families whose income would be 125 percent of poverty levels established by the U.S. Government; and

B. Upon individuals or families submitting to the city clerk the appropriate documents which would verify the total income of the household from the previous year; and

C. Upon the City of Kenmore determining the individuals’ or families’ eligibility to participate in the program; and

D. Upon the city clerk notifying the provider of those services for electrical and natural gas, with the participating names and account numbers of those individuals or families who qualify as being exempt from being charged the six-percent utility tax; and

E. Upon the requirement that eligible individuals or families participating in the program agree to submit the required documents to become recertified on an annual basis and/or agree to notify the City within 30 days upon a change in income status that may or may not affect their eligibility to participate in the program. [Ord. 00-0084 § 1; Ord. 98-0037 § 19.]