Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Definitions. The following definitions shall apply:
"ELECTRONIC TRANSFER." The use of the Automated Clearing House (the "ACH"), or other electronic transfer system approved by the City Finance Director on a case by case basis, by the seller, to send the taxes collected directly from the seller's bank to the city's primary bank.
"LEVY." Means and includes the imposition of the tax under F.S. §§ 166.231 and 166.232, all changes in the rate of the tax imposed under either of those sections, and all changes of election under F.S. § 166.231.
"REMIT," "REMITTANCE" and "REMITTING." The sending by the seller and the receipt by the city of all taxes levied and collected pursuant to this section. The date of receipt of such taxes by the city will be the date of the postmark, or if by electronic transfer, the date received by the city's primary bank as indicated on the city's bank statement.
"RETURN." As used in division (C), means the supporting documentation submitted periodically in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and to be accompanied by the tax remittance, if any for that period, to the Finance Director of the city, which at a minimum shall indicate:
(1) The name and address of the seller;
(2) The time period covered with respect to the particular return being filed;
(3) The amount (in U.S. dollars) of the revenue collected from the sale of the taxable service;
(4) The amount (in U.S. dollars) of any collection allowance taken in accordance with Florida law;
(5) The amount (in U.S. dollars) of tax being remitted to the city, or having been sent by electronic transfer to the city's bank, which is the subject of the particular return being filed; and
(6) The name and telephone number of a person authorized by the seller to respond to inquiries from the city concerning how the seller is administering and collecting the tax.
Those sellers remitting the tax by electronic transfer must nevertheless send periodic returns to the Finance Director of the city.
"SELLER." A person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity who sells a service that is subject to a levy.
"TAX" or "TAXES." The municipal public service tax authorized pursuant to F.S. § 166.231 or F.S. § 166.232, and this section.
(B) Purchase of electricity and gas — Levy of tax; amount; payment generally of tax.
(1) Except as provided below or as otherwise exempted by division (D), there is hereby levied and imposed by the city on each and every purchase of electricity and metered or bottled gas (natural liquefied petroleum gas or manufactured gas), within the corporate limits of the city, a tax at the rate of 10% of the total amount charged for such utility service or commodity. For purposes of calculating the tax, the amount charged for the taxable service shall be deemed to include any gross receipts taxes and franchise fees separately stated on the customer's bill.
(2) The tax imposed by this section shall not be applied against any fuel adjustment charge, and such charge shall be separately stated on each bill. "FUEL ADJUSTMENT CHARGE" shall mean all increases in the cost of utility services to the ultimate consumer resulting from an increase in the cost of fuel to the utility subsequent to October 1, 1973.
(3) Subject to the provisions of division (D), such tax shall in every case be paid by the purchaser to the seller of such electricity or metered or bottled gas at the time of paying the charge therefor, and shall be for the use of the city.
(4) Services competitive with those enumerated in division (B)(1) as defined by this section, shall be taxed on a comparable base at the same rates.
(C) Collection generally and disposition of tax; discontinuance of service upon failure of purchaser to pay tax and seller's charge.
(1) It shall be the duty of every seller of electricity or metered or bottled gas (natural or manufactured) to collect from the purchaser for the use of the city the tax levied by the preceding division (B), at the time of collecting the selling price charged for each transaction and to file a return and remit on or before the twentieth day of each calendar month, or if the twentieth day is either a legal holiday or is not a city business day, then on or before the first city business day, that is not also a legal holiday, following the twentieth day of the month, unto the Finance Director of the city all such taxes levied and collected during the preceding calendar month. It shall be unlawful for any seller to collect the price of any sale of electricity or metered or bottled gas, (natural or manufactured) without, at the same time, collecting the tax hereby levied in respect to such sales, unless such seller shall elect to assume and pay such tax without collecting the same from the purchaser. Any seller failing to collect such tax at the time of collecting the price of any sale where the seller has not elected to assume and pay such tax shall be liable to the city for the amount of such tax in like manner as if the same had actually been paid to the seller, and the City Manager shall bring all proceedings in the name of the city as may be necessary for the recovery of such tax; provided, however, that the seller shall not be liable for the payment of such tax upon uncollected charges. If any purchaser shall fail, neglect or refuse to pay to the seller the seller's charge and the tax hereby imposed and as hereby required on account of the sale for which such charge is made, or either, the seller shall have and is hereby vested with the right, power and authority to immediately discontinue further service to such purchaser until the tax and the seller's bill shall have been paid in full.
(2) (a) Sellers remitting tax collections of $10,000 or more, on average, per month over a period of three consecutive months shall thereafter, beginning in the month immediately following the third consecutive month, make all tax remittances to the city's primary bank by electronic transfer using the ACH system, or other electronic means as may be approved by the Finance Director on a case by case basis. Those sellers meeting this criteria shall continue remittances by electronic transfer regardless of whether the seller's average collections fall below the $10,000 threshold for any subsequent consecutive three month period.
(b) All other sellers may remit by hand-delivery, postal service or electronic transfer. However, if a seller elects to remit by electronic transfer, that seller shall thereafter always remit by electronic transfer.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, in the event the total amount of tax anticipated to be collected within a calendar quarter does not exceed $120, the seller of such service may, with the written authorization of the city, remit the taxes collected during such calendar quarter to the city quarterly. In such case, the tax shall be due on or before the twentieth day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter in which the taxes were collected.
(D) Exemptions and exclusions from payment of tax.
(1) Purchases by the United States Government, this state, and all counties, school districts, and municipalities of the state, and by public bodies exempted by law or court order, are exempt from the tax authorized by division (B). However, governmental bodies which sell or resell taxable service to non-exempt end users must collect and remit the tax levied under division (B).
(2) The following purchases of bottled gas are hereby excluded from the tax levied by division (B):
(a) Purchases of natural gas, manufactured gas by a public or private utility for resale or for use as fuel in the generation of electricity.
(3) Purchases by any recognized church in the city for use exclusively for church purposes are hereby exempt from the tax authorized by division (B).
(E) Computation of tax when seller collects the tax in monthly periods. In all cases where the seller of electricity or metered or bottled gas, (natural or manufactured) collects the tax in monthly periods, the tax hereby levied may be computed on the aggregate amount of sales during such period; provided, that the amount of tax to be collected shall be to the nearest whole cent to the amount computed, and shall not exceed the rates set forth in division (B) for any monthly period on each separate service. Such service shall be classified as a separate service in case of metered electricity or gas whenever an individual meter is used for the measuring thereof.
(F) Records to be kept by seller; general administrative audit plan for enforcement of ordinance; authority of city to audit such records.
(1) Each and every seller of electricity or metered or bottled gas, (natural or manufactured) shall keep at its principal place of business complete records showing all sales in the city of such commodities or service, which records shall show the price charged upon such sale, the amount of taxes charged upon each sale, the date of the sale, the date of payment thereof, the date such tax was remitted to the city, the period of time covered by such remittance and other related information that may be required to verify proper collection and remittance of said taxes.
(2) To assure proper administration of the provisions of this chapter, the city may, where possible and practical, conduct a periodic audit of such sales records of all businesses in connection with which the tax is imposed under this chapter. Failure to conduct such an audit will not eliminate the liability of the seller for collection and remittance of such tax.
(3) Pursuant to F.S. § 166.234, the city may, during the seller's normal business hours at the official location of the seller's books and records, audit the records of any seller of a service that is taxable by the city under F.S. § 166.231 or F.S. § 166.232, for the purpose of ascertaining whether taxable services have been provided or the correctness of any return that has been filed or payment that has been made, if the city's power to assess tax or grant a refund is not barred by the applicable limitations period. Each such seller must provide to the city, upon 60 days' written notice of intent to audit from the city, access to applicable records for such service, except an extension of this 60-day period must be granted if reasonably requested by the seller. The seller may at its option waive the 60-day notice requirement. If either the city or the seller requires an additional extension, it must give notice to the other no less than 30 days before the existing extension expires, except in cases of bona fide emergency or waiver of the notice requirement by the other party. In an audit, the seller is liable only for its taxable accounts collected which correspond to the information provided to it by the city under F.S. § 166.233(3). As used in this section, "APPLICABLE RECORDS" means records kept in the ordinary course of business which establish the collection and remittance of taxes due. Such applicable records may be provided to the city on an electronic medium if agreed to by the seller and the city. In accordance with F.S. § 166.231(9)(c), any information received by the city or its agent in connection with such audit is confidential and exempt from the provisions of F.S. § 119.07(1).
(G) Interest and penalties for late payments and late returns. Any seller of electricity or metered or bottled gas (manufactured or natural) failing to remit to the city on or before the twentieth day of each calendar month or quarter, as applicable, or if the twentieth day is either a legal holiday or is not a city business day, then on or before the first city business day, that is not also a legal holiday, following the twentieth day of the month or quarter, as applicable, all such taxes levied and collected during the preceding tax period shall be liable for interest on the unpaid amount of tax at the rate of 1% per month from the date the tax was due until paid. In addition, penalties will be assessed at a rate of 5% per month of the delinquent tax, not to exceed a total penalty of 25%, except that in no event will the penalty for failure to file a return be less than $15. In the case of a fraudulent return or a willful intent to evade payment of the tax, the seller making such fraudulent return or willfully attempting to evade payment of the tax, shall be liable for a specific penalty of 100% of the tax. Interest and penalties shall be computed on the net tax due after application of any overpayments. The interest and penalties shall accrue from the due date until the date such taxes are paid, provided however, that the Finance Director may settle or compromise any interest due pursuant to this section as is reasonable under the circumstances.
(H) Costs incurred in pursuit of tax or information as a result of a violation of any of this section. The city is entitled to and may assess against sellers not complying with any provision of this chapter, a fee being based upon the actual costs incurred by the city in collecting the tax or information due.
(Ord. 237, passed l0-3-85; Am. Ord. 320, passed 9-3-87; Am. Ord. 781, passed 2-1-96; Am. Ord. 1518, passed 11-6-14)