Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) There is hereby imposed a tax upon every person, other than a telephone communications service supplier, who uses telephone communications service in the City, including intrastate, interstate, and international telephone communications service, to the extent permitted by Federal and State law. The telephone users tax shall apply to all charges for telephone communications service within the City's tax jurisdiction, such as charges billed to a telephone account having a situs in the City as permitted by the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act of 2000, 4 U.S.C. § 116 et seq. There is a rebuttable presumption that telephone communications service billed to a billing address or provided to a service address in the City is used, in whole or in part, within the City's boundaries and that such service is subject to taxation under this Article. There is also a rebuttable presumption that a telephone communications service sold within the City that is not billed to a billing address or provided to a primary physical location in the City is used, in whole or in part, within the City's boundaries and that such service is subject to taxation under this Article.
(b) As used in this Section, the term "charges" shall include without limitation: charges for activation, connection, reconnection, termination, movement, or change of telephone communications service; late payment fees; access and line charges, whether or not imposition of such charges is mandated or authorized by a regulatory agency; universal service charges and any other charges designed to assist in expanding access to telephone communications service; and regulatory, administrative and other cost recovery charges. The term "charges" shall include the value of any other services, credits, property of every kind or nature, or other consideration provided by the service user in exchange for telephone communications service.
(c) The tax imposed by this Section shall be collected from the service user by the telephone communications service supplier.
(d) The following shall continue to be exempt from the tax imposed by this Section:
(1) Residential telephone communications service;
(2) Any person or entity that is exempt from the tax imposed by this Section under Article 6 or its successor;
(3) Service paid for by inserting coins in coin-operated telephones available to the public with respect to local telephone service, or with respect to long distance telephone service if the charge for such long distance telephone service is less than 25 cents; except that where such coin-operated telephone service is furnished for a guaranteed amount, the amounts paid under such guarantee plus any fixed monthly or other periodic charge shall be subject to the tax.
(4) News services. No tax shall be imposed under this Section, except with respect to local telephone service, on any payment received from any person for services used in the collection of news for the public press; or a news ticket service furnishing a general news service similar to that of the public press, or radio broadcasting, or in the dissemination of news through the public press, or a news ticker service furnishing a general news service similar to that of the public press, or by means of radio broadcasting, if the charge for that service is billed in writing to that person.
(5) International, etc., organizations. No tax shall be imposed under this Section on any payment received for services furnished to a public international organization in which the United States participates pursuant to treaty or Act of Congress, or to the American National Red Cross.
(6) Servicemen in combat zone. No tax shall be imposed under this Section on any payment received for any roll telephone service, which originates within a combat zone, as defined in Section 112 of Title 26 of the United States Code, from a member of the Armed Forces of the United States performing service in the combat zone, as determined under Section 112 of Title 26 of the United States Code.
(7) Items otherwise taxed. Only one payment of tax under this Section shall be required with respect to the tax on any service, provided, however, that a person claiming exemption under this Section shall bear the burden to prove the City actually received the earlier payment of tax on that service.
(8) Common carriers and telecommunications companies. No tax shall be imposed under this Section on the amount paid for any telephone communications service to the extent that the amount so paid is for use by a common carrier, telephone or telegraph company, or radio broadcasting station or not work in the conduct of its business.
(9) Installation charges. No tax shall be imposed under this Section on any amount paid for the installation of any instrument, wire, pole, switchboard, apparatus, or equipment as is properly attributable to the installation.
(10) Nonprofit hospitals. No tax shall be imposed under this Section on any amount paid by a nonprofit hospital for services furnished to that organization. For purposes of this exemption, the term "nonprofit hospital" means a hospital referred to in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(iii) of Title 26 of the United States Code, which is exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(a) of Title 26 of the United States Code.
(11) State and local governments. No tax shall be imposed under this Section upon any payment received for services or facilities furnished to the government of any State, or any of its political subdivisions, or the District of Columbia.
(12) Nonprofit educational organizations. No tax shall be imposed under this Section on any amount paid by a nonprofit educational organization for services or facilities furnished to that organization. For purposes of this exemption the term "nonprofit educational organization" means an educational organization described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) of Title 26 of the United States Code, which is exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(a) of Title 26 of the United States Code. The term also includes a school operated as an activity of an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code, which is exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(a) of Title 26 of the United States Code, if that school normally maintains a regular facility and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on.
(e) To prevent actual, multiple taxation of any telephone communications service subject to tax under this Section, any service user, upon proof that the service user owed and has paid a tax in another taxing jurisdiction on the telephone communications service, shall be allowed a credit against the tax imposed by this Section to the extent of the tax properly due and paid in the other taxing jurisdiction. However, no credit may be allowed for any tax paid to another taxing jurisdiction to the extent that the telephone communications service may not legally be made the subject of taxation by the other taxing jurisdiction, nor shall the amount of credit exceed the tax owed to the City under this Section.
(f) If a non-taxable service and a taxable service are billed together under a single charge, the entire charge shall be deemed taxable unless the telephone communications service supplier or taxpayer reasonably identifies actual charges for services not subject to the tax. The telephone communications service supplier or taxpayer seeking a reduction has the burden of proving the proper valuation and apportionment of taxable and non-taxable charges based upon books and records that are kept in the regular course of business and in a manner consistent with generally accepted accounting principles.
(Amended by 529-82, App. 11/5/82; Ord. 138-87, App. 4/27/87; Ord. 262-93, App. 8/10/93; Ord. 21-98, App. 1/16/98; Ord. 224-06, File No. 061142, Effective without the signature of the Mayor; Amended by Proposition O, § 4, 11/4/2008)