3.28.010    Authority.

3.28.020    Definitions.

3.28.030    Levy of public utility tax.

3.28.040    Rate.

3.28.050    Monthly payment of tax.

3.28.060    Income excepted from tax.

3.28.070    Records.

3.28.080    Allocation of income – Cellular telephone service.

3.28.090    Failure to pay tax.

3.28.100    Overpayment – Credit.

3.28.110    Violation – Penalty.

3.28.010 Authority.

The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the power of the City of Quincy to license for revenue. (Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.020 Definitions.

In construing the provisions of this chapter, except when otherwise declared or clearly apparent from the context, the following definitions shall be applied:

"Cable television service" means the business of operating a system for the distribution of a cable television signal.

"Cellular telephone service" is a two-way voice and data telephone/telecommunications system based in whole or substantially in part on wireless radio communications and which is not subject to regulation by the Washington 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.

"Competitive telephone service" means the providing by any person of telephone 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 may be provided by persons that are not subject to regulation as telephone companies under RCW Title 80 and for which a separate charge is made. Transmission of communication through cellular telephones is classified as "telephone business" as defined in this section rather than "competitive telephone service."

"Gas distribution business" means the business of operating a plant or system for the production or distribution for hire or sale of gas, whether manufactured or natural.

"Gross income" is synonymous with gross revenue and means the value proceeding or accruing by reason of the provision of the particular public utility service involved within the City, including operations incidental thereto, but without any deduction on account of the cost of the commodity furnished or sold, the cost of materials used, labor costs, interest, discount, delivery costs, installation or construction of facilities and their maintenance and repair, taxes, or any other expense whatsoever, paid or accrued and without any deduction on account of losses; provided, that gross income of a light and power business means those amounts or value accruing to a taxpayer from the last distribution of electrical energy which is a taxable event within this state; and provided further, that "gross income of a cellular telephone service" shall mean gross subscriber revenues. For a public utility business owned and/or operated by the City, the gross income is gross revenues received by the City based on rates, charges and/or fees, whether for units of service or property and/or designated amounts for a specific purpose for a specific period of time.

"Industrial sewerage business" means the collection, transportation and/or treatment of industrial sewage.

"Light and power business" means the business of operating a plant or system for the generation, production or distribution of electrical energy for hire or sale.

"Person" or "company," herein used interchangeably, means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, trust, association, governmental unit, or municipal corporation.

"Public utility business" means any garbage collection and disposal business, gas distribution business, light and power business, sewerage business, telephone business or water distribution business as defined in this section operated by any person, private or public, including the City of Quincy.

"Refuse collection and disposal business" means the business of operating a system for the collection and/or disposal of garbage or refuse.

"Reuse water" has the same meaning as "industrial reuse water" in RCW 90.46.010, to wit: "water that has been used for the purpose of industrial processing and has been adequately and reliably treated so that, as a result of that treatment, it is suitable for other uses."

"Reuse water distribution business" means the business of operating a plant or system for the distribution of reuse water for domestic, commercial, governmental or industrial use or consumption.

"Sanitary sewerage business" means the collection, transportation and/or treatment of sanitary sewage.

"Storm and surface water business" means the furnishing of services in the management and control of stormwater and the construction or furnishing of stormwater facilities.

"Telephone business" means the business of providing access to a local telephone network, local telephone network switching service, toll service, cellular telephone service, coin telephone services, telephonic, video, data, or similar communication or transmission for hire, via a local telephone network, toll line or channel, cable, microwave, 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 telephone service, the providing of cable television service nor the providing of broadcast services by radio or television stations.

"Value proceeding or accruing" means the consideration, whether money, credits, rights, or other property expressed in terms of money, actually received or accrued. The term shall be applied in each case on a cash receipts or accrual basis according to which method of accounting is regularly employed in keeping the books of the taxpayer.

"Water distribution business" means the business of operating a plant or system for the distribution of water, of any kind, except for reuse water, for domestic, commercial, governmental or industrial use or consumption. (Ord 17-485 §1 (Ex A); Ord 17-484 §1 (Ex A); Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.030 Levy of public utility tax.

There is levied and there shall be collected from every person a tax for the act or privilege of engaging within the City of Quincy in any one or more of the public utility businesses defined in Section 3.28.020. The tax shall be an amount equal to the gross income of the public utility business multiplied by the rates set out in Section 3.28.040. (Ord 17-484 §2 (Ex B); Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.040 Rate.

The rate of tax levied pursuant to Section 3.28.030 shall be:

A. Upon every person or company engaged in carrying on a telephone business, six percent;

B. Upon every person or company engaged in carrying on a light or power business, four percent. However, the tax shall not apply to that portion of any monthly billing over forty thousand dollars charged to any one customer;

C. Upon every person or company engaged in carrying on a domestic sewerage business, four percent;

D. Upon every person or company engaged in carrying on a refuse collection and disposal business, four percent;

E. Upon every person or company engaged in carrying on a gas distribution business, four percent;

F. Upon every person or company engaged in a water distribution business, four percent;

G. Upon every person or company engaged in an industrial sewer business, one percent; and

H. Upon every person or company engaged in a reuse water distribution business, one percent. (Ord 17-485 §2 (Ex B); Ord 05-161, §1 (Ed. Notes: (1) Ord 05-161 changes rates from 4% to 5% for the period ending December 31, 2006; Ord 05-161 mistakenly refers to QMC 3.01.040, which was re-codified into 3.28.040; Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.050 Monthly payment of tax.

The taxes imposed hereunder shall be due and payable to the City in monthly installments and remittance therefor shall be made on or before the fifteenth day of the month next succeeding the end of the monthly period in which the tax accrued. The public utility business shall, on or before the fifteenth day of such month, make out a return upon such forms and setting forth such information as the City may require, showing the amount of the tax for which it is liable for the preceding monthly period, sign, and transmit the same to the City, together with a remittance for such amount; provided, that any public utility business may elect to remit each month on such forms as the City shall, in its discretion, prescribe, an estimate of the tax to be due for each month on or before the fifteenth day of the month next succeeding the end of the monthly period in which the tax accrued and a quarterly return to the City on or before the fifteenth day of the month next succeeding the end of each quarter of every year and shall remit therewith the balance of the actual tax due for the period of the report; provided further, that every public utility business which shall elect to remit a monthly estimate shall remit each month at least one-third of the tax paid during the previous quarter or, at least, ninety percent of the tax actually collected or owing during the month. (Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.060 Income excepted from tax.

There shall be excepted and deducted from the total gross income upon which the tax levied herein is computed so much thereof as is derived from transactions in interstate or foreign commerce, any payment collected by a public utility business which directly represents a tax levied by the United States, the state of Washington, or the City pursuant to this chapter, and amounts derived from business which the City is prohibited from taxing under the constitution of this state or the Constitution or laws of the United States. (Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.070 Records.

It shall be the duty of every person engaging in a public utility business as defined in this chapter to keep and preserve books or records which accurately reflect the amount of gross income received from business done in the City and copies of reports furnished to the State Department of Revenue as part of the accounting required for state utility tax reporting and said books and records shall be open to the inspection of the City for the purpose of verifying the returns filed by such person and the sums paid pursuant to this chapter. Said records shall not, by virtue of the requirements of this action, be deemed public records for purpose of disclosure other than to the duly authorized agents of the City for the purposes set forth herein. (Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.080 Allocation of income – Cellular telephone service.

A. The tax levied herein shall apply to subscriber revenues from customers whose principal service address is within the City for that telephone service from telephones without a fixed location.

B. It shall be presumed that the service address a customer supplies to the taxpayer is current and accurate, unless the taxpayer has actual knowledge to the contrary.

C. When the service is provided while a subscriber is outside the subscriber’s normal cellular network area, the gross income shall be assigned consistent with the taxpayer’s accounting system to the location of the originating cell site of call, or to the location of the main cellular switching office that switched the call.

D. The City shall negotiate with other cities any disputes involving which City’s utility tax applies to cellular telephone services and if such disputes cannot be resolved by negotiation, the City will submit the issue causing the dispute to the Association of Washington Cities for resolution. If a cellular telephone service company has paid the disputed tax revenue to another contesting city, such company will have no further liability with respect to additional taxes, penalties or interest on the disputed tax revenue so long as such company promptly changes its billing records for future revenues to be consistent with the settlement decision rendered or facilitated by the Association of Washington Cities. (Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.090 Failure to pay tax.

A. If payment of any fee or tax due under this chapter is not received by the City on or before the day it becomes due under this chapter, there shall be added a penalty in interest as follows:

1. One to thirty days’ delinquency, ten percent with a minimum penalty of $5.00;

2. Thirty-one to sixty days delinquency, fifteen percent with a minimum penalty of $10.00;

3. Sixty or more days delinquency, twenty percent with a minimum penalty of $15.00.

B. Any tax due 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. (Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.100 Overpayment – Credit.

Any money paid to the City through error or otherwise and not in payment of the tax imposed by this chapter or in excess of such tax shall, upon request of the public utility business, be credited against any tax due or to become due hereunder, or upon said business ceasing to do business in the City, be refunded. (Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)

3.28.110 Violation – Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation subject to this chapter who shall fail or refuse to make the tax return or to pay the tax when due, or who shall make any false statement or representation in or in connection with such tax return, or shall otherwise violate or refuse or fail to comply with this chapter, shall be guilty of a civil infraction and shall be punished as provided in section 1.01.110A. (Ord 03-118 §2; Ord 02-100 §1)