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(a) A franchisee, in consideration of the privilege granted under a franchise for the use of public rights-of-way to construct and operate a cable system, must pay the County 5 percent of the franchisee's gross revenues from the operation of its cable system to provide cable service in its franchise area during the period of its franchise. A franchisee must pay the franchise fee due to the County for the preceding quarter within 30 days after the end of that quarter.
(b) Any payment of franchise fees to adjust for a shortfall in the quarterly payments for the preceding year must be made no later than the filing date for the audited annual financial statements as specified in subsection (d) of this section. An adjustment for any overpayment will be credited in one or more subsequent quarterly payments.
(c) Unless a franchise agreement provides otherwise, a franchisee must file with the County within 30 days of the end of each quarter a financial statement showing the gross revenues received by the franchisee during the preceding quarter and the number of subscribers in each participating municipality.
(d) A franchisee must file within 3 months after the end of its fiscal year the franchisee's annual financial statements for the preceding year certified by an authorized officer of the franchisee or an affiliate and audited by a certified public accountant. The franchisee must bear the cost of the preparation of all financial statements.
(e) The County may inspect and audit any books and records, and recompute any amounts determined to be payable under the franchise. However, any audit to recompute franchise fees must take place within 36 months after the end of the franchisee's fiscal year. The franchisee must bear the cost of the audit if the annual payment to the County for the preceding year is increased by more than 5 percent as a result of the audit.
(f) In the event that a franchise payment is not received by the County on or before the due date, interest will be charged from the due date at the annual interest rate then charged for unpaid federal income taxes. In addition, the franchisee will pay a late charge of 5 percent of the amount of the payment. Interest and late charges will not be imposed for any payment necessary as a result of the yearly adjustment provided for in subsection (b) of this section, if the payment to correct for a shortfall does not exceed 10 percent of the total payments made during the year. In the event such payment exceeds 10 percent of the total payments made during the year, the franchisee will be liable for interest and late charges for the entire amount due.
(g) When a franchise terminates for any reason, the franchisee must file with the County within 90 days of the date the franchise operations stop an audited financial statement showing the gross revenues received by the franchisee since the end of the previous fiscal year. Adjustments must be made at that time for franchise fees due to the date that the franchisee's operations ceased. (FY 1991 L.M.C., ch. 3, § 1; 2006 L.M.C., ch. 34, § 1.)