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A. There is hereby levied an excise tax of five percent (5%) upon the gross proceeds or gross receipts derived from the rent from every occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel in this city, except that the tax shall not be imposed where the rent is less than at the rate of ten dollars ($10.00) per day. Rooms provided free of charge, through barter, trade or any other arrangement or agreement of any kind or nature, are also subject to such tax at the sales value of the room so provided (with "sales value" to mean the price at which the room would be rented to the operator's best customer in the ordinary course of business).
B. No tax shall be imposed hereunder upon a permanent resident.
C. No tax shall be imposed hereunder upon the United States insofar as it is immune from taxation, the state of Oklahoma, or any municipality or other political subdivision of the state.
D. The tax to be collected shall be stated and charged separately from the rent and shall be shown separately on any record thereof at the time when the occupancy is arranged or contracted and charged for, and upon every evidence of occupancy or any bill, statement or charge made for such occupancy issued or delivered by the operator. The tax shall be paid by the occupant to the operator as trustee for and on account of the city, and the operator shall be liable for the collection thereof and for the payment of the tax. The operator and any officer of any corporate operator shall be personally liable for the tax collected or required to be collected under this title, and the operator shall have the same right in respect to collecting the tax from the occupant or in respect to nonpayment of the tax by the occupant as if the tax were a part of the rent for the occupancy payable at the same time such tax shall become due and owing, including all rights of eviction, dispossession, repossession and enforcement of any innkeeper's lien that he may have in the event of nonpayment of rent by the occupant; provided, however, that the city of Poteau shall be joined as a party in any action or proceeding brought by the operator to collect or enforce collection of the tax.
E. Such taxes, penalty and interest due hereunder shall at all times constitute a prior, superior and paramount claim as against the claim of unsecured creditors and may be collected by suit as any other debt.
F. Where the occupant has failed to pay and the operator has failed to collect a tax as imposed by this chapter, then, in addition to all other rights, obligations and remedies provided, such tax shall be payable by the occupant directly to the city, and it shall be the duty of the occupant to file a return thereof with the city clerk and to pay the tax imposed thereon to the city clerk, within fifteen (15) days after such tax was due.
G. The city council may, whenever it deems it necessary for the proper enforcement of this chapter, provide by regulation that the occupant shall file returns and pay directly to the city clerk the tax herein imposed at such times as returns are required to be filed and payment made by the operator.
H. The tax imposed by this section shall be paid upon any occupancy on or after July 1, 2012, although such occupancy is had pursuant to a contract, lease or other arrangement made prior to July 1, 2012. Where rent is paid, charged, billed or falls due on either weekly or other term basis, the rent so paid, charged, billed or falling due shall be subject to the tax herein imposed to the extent that it covers any portion of the period after July 1, 2012, and such payment, bill, charge or rent due shall be apportioned on the basis of the ratio of the number of days falling within such portion to the total number of days covered thereby. Where any tax has been paid hereunder upon any rent which has been ascertained to be worthless, the city council may, by regulation, provide for credit or refund of the amount of such tax upon application as provided herein.
I. For the purpose of the proper administration of this chapter, and to prevent evasion of the tax hereby imposed, it shall be presumed that all rentals are subject to the tax until facts to the contrary are established; and the burden of providing that a rent for occupancy is not taxable hereunder shall be upon the operator or the occupant.
J. No operator shall advertise or hold out to the public in any manner, directly or indirectly, that the tax imposed by this chapter is not considered as an element in the rent charged to the occupant. (Ord. 722, 2-1-2012)