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(A) Assertions of valid defense. A licensee may obtain a release or refund of a tax if he or she can demonstrate a valid defense to the enforcement of the collection of any tax levied in this article and shall proceed as provided in this section:
(1) A valid defense shall include the following:
(a) A tax imposed through clerical error;
(b) An illegal license; and
(c) A license levied for an illegal purpose.
(2) If the license tax has been paid, the licensee, at any time within three years after the license became due or within six months after the date of payment, whichever is later; may request a refund of the license by submitting to the Board of Commissioners a written statement of his or her defense and a request for a refund thereof.
(B) Action of governing body. Upon receiving a licensee’s written statement of defense and request for release or refund, the Board of Commissioners shall, within 90 days after receipt of the request, determine whether the licensee has a valid defense to the license imposed or any part thereof and shall either release or refund that portion of the amount that is determined to be in excess of the correct license liability or notify the licensee in writing that no release or refund will be made. The action of the Board of Commissioners on applications for refunds shall be recorded in its minutes. If a refund is made, the Finance Department shall forward the refund to the finance designee, who shall note on all records the amount of refund, check number and refund date.
(C) Suit for recovery of license taxes. If within 90 days after receiving a licensee’s request for refund and the Board of Commissioners have failed to refund the full amount requested by the licensee, or has notified the licensee that no refund will be made, or has taken no action on the request, the licensee may bring a civil action against the city for the amount claimed. The action may be brought at any time within three years from the expiration of the period in which the Board of Commissioners are required to act.
(D) Civil action. Civil action brought pursuant to division (C) above shall be brought in the appropriate division of the General Court of Justice in the county. If, upon the trial, it is determined that the license or any part of it was illegal, or levied for an illegal purpose, or excessive because of a clerical error, judgment shall be rendered therefore with interest thereon at 6% per annum plus costs. The judgment shall be collected as in other civil actions.
(Ord. 09-03-02, passed 3-10-09)