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(A) Levy of tax. An annual privilege license tax is hereby levied on each business conducted within the City of Monroe.
(B) Who must pay tax. Each person who conducts a business within the City of Monroe is subject to this chapter. A person “conducts business” when he engages in one act of business taxed under this chapter. He conducts the business “within the city” if he maintains a business location within the city; or if either personally or through agents, he (1) solicits business within the city limits or (2) picks up or delivers goods or services within the city limits.
(C) Period of license: due date.
(1) Annual licenses. Unless the section of this chapter levying the privilege license tax applicable to a particular business provides otherwise, a license issued in accordance with this chapter is good for the 12-month period beginning July 1 and ending June 30. The tax is due on July 1 of each year. However, if a person begins a business after July 1 of a year, the tax for that year is due before the business is begun.
(2) Licenses for periods shorter than one year. If the section of this chapter levying the privilege license tax applicable to a particular business so provides, a license may be issued for a period of one day, one week, or some comparable period of less than a full license year. A person may not commence a business conducted within the city and taxed under such a provision until the privilege license tax due is paid and may not continue such a business beyond the period for which the license is issued.
(D) Proration of tax. If a business is begun after January 31 and before July 1, the amount of tax due is half the amount otherwise due. If a business is seasonable in nature and if the amount of tax is not based on gross receipts, the amount of tax due is half the amount otherwise due.
(E) Refunds. If for any reason a licensee discontinues his or her business during the license year, he or she is not entitled to a refund.
(F) Separate businesses. A separate license is required and a separate privilege license tax must be paid for each place of business unless two or more places of business under common ownership are contiguous to each other, communicate directly with and open into each other, and are operated as a unit. In addition, a separate privilege license tax must be paid for each business taxable under this chapter conducted by the taxpayer at any one location; however, the tax collector may issue a single license for all taxable business conducted at one location by a single taxpayer.
(G) Official schedule of privilege license taxes. Taxes shall be levied and collected on any business set out in the official schedule of privilege license taxes, hereby made a part hereof, which is one file in the city hall.
(H) License tax where amount not specifically provided. In any case not specifically provided for in the chapter, the privilege license tax due and payable to the city shall be such license tax as may be charged by the city under any applicable section of state law.
(I) Computation of tax based on gross receipts.
(1) Whenever this chapter levies a privilege license tax computed on the basis of gross receipts, “gross receipts” means the amount reported as gross receipts on a business's state income tax return, or on the federal income tax return filed with the state income tax return if the state return does not separately state gross receipts for the most recently completed tax year.
(2) If a business has not been in operation long enough for the information required in subsection (1) of this division to be available, the tax collector shall estimate gross receipts for the business on the basis of gross receipts of comparable businesses, or any other information that the tax collector considers useful. In the case of any new business, tax shall be as set out in the official schedule of license taxes.
Each licensee who paid the tax for the past license year based on estimated gross receipts shall submit to the tax collector a sworn final report showing the amount of gross receipts for the license year by May 1. A penalty shall be due for the late filing of this report as set out in the official schedule of privilege license taxes which is on file in the city hall. If the amount shown is more than estimated gross receipts, the licensee shall pay the amount of additional tax that would have been due had the estimate been accurate. If the amount shown is less than estimated gross receipts, the city shall refund to the licensee the difference between the actual tax paid and the amount of tax that would have been due had the estimate been accurate.
(1) Generally, except as otherwise provided in this section or by state law, no person is exempt from the payment of a privilege license tax levied by this chapter.
(2) Charitable organizations. A person who operates a business for a religious, educational, civic, patriotic, charitable, or fraternal purpose, when the entire gross income of the business is used for such a purpose, is exempt from paying any privilege license tax levied by this chapter.
(3) Blind persons and members of the armed forces and merchant marine. Blind persons and persons who serve in the United States armed forces for the merchant marine are exempt from paying any privilege license tax levied by this chapter to the extent provided by G.S. 105-249 and 105-249.1. A license may be granted without the payment of the requisite license tax to a disabled veteran for peddling, when such peddling is done on foot and not from any vehicle, or to such poor and infirm persons as the City Manager may deem worthy of exemption. In such case, the City Manager shall issue a special order to the tax collector authorizing such exemption.
(4) Must obtain license. A person exempt from paying a privilege license tax levied by this chapter shall nevertheless obtain a license from the tax collector. The license shall state that the licensee is exempt from paying the privilege license tax.
(Ord. O-1998-29, passed 6-16-98)