Chapter 9 LOCAL BUSINESS TAX

Sec. 9‑1. Persons required to obtain business tax receipt.

 No person shall maintain a permanent business location or branch office within the town for the privilege of engaging in or managing any business, profession or occupation within the town without first obtaining a business tax receipt from the town clerk of the town. Said receipt shall be issued to every person upon payment of the amounts hereinafter provided for by the town clerk, who shall issue all such receipts. (Ord. No. 143, 1, 9‑19‑72; Ord. No. 06-14, 2, 10-17-06)

State law reference–Similar provisions, F.S.  205.042.

Sec. 9‑2. When business tax receipts sold and due; partial‑year receipts; definitions; classification.

 (a)   The definitions set forth in Section 205.022, Florida Statutes, are hereby incorporated into this section and shall apply throughout this article.  In addition, the term “tax year” means the period beginning October 1st of any calendar year and ending on the next succeeding September 30th.

(b)   All business tax receipts required by this article shall be sold by the town clerk beginning on August 1st of each year, are due and payable on or before September 30th of each year, and shall expire on September 30th of the succeeding year. If September 30th falls on a weekend or holiday, the tax is due and payable on or before the first working day following September 30th. No business tax receipt shall be issued for more than one year, and any receipt issued after October 1st of any tax year shall expire on September 30th of the tax year.  Any receipt applied for after October 1st, but prior to April 1st, of any tax year shall be issued upon payment of the full rate for a one year receipt.  Any receipt issued after April 1st of any tax year shall be issued at a rate equal to one‑half (l/2) the amount of the annual business tax hereinafter prescribed.

(c)      Wherever a specific classification of a business is established herein, the specific classification shall govern over any general classification which would in the absence of the specific classification appear to apply.

(Ord. No. 143, 3, 9-19-72; Ord. No. 93-6, 1, 9-21-93; Ord. No. 02-06, 1, 3-19-02; Ord. 06-14, 3, 10-17-06)

State law reference–Similar provisions, F.S.  205.053(1).

*Cross references–Licensing of dogs and cats,  4‑36 et seq.; alarm systems, 6‑168 et seq.

Sec. 9‑3. Transfer on sale of business.

 All business tax receipts may be transferable to a new owner when there is a bona fide sale or transfer of the business, profession or occupation. Said transfer shall be made on payment of a transfer fee of 10 percent of the annual business tax, but in no event not less than $3 nor more than $25.  (Ord. No. 143, 4, 9‑19‑72; Ord. No. 85‑6, 1, 4‑16‑85; Ord. No. 93-6, 2, 9-21-93; Ord. 06-14, 4, 10-17-06)

State law reference–Similar provisions, F.S. 205.043(2).

Sec. 9‑4. Transfer of location.

 Upon written request and presentation of the original business tax receipt, any receipt may be transferred from one location to another location in the town upon payment of a transfer fee of up to ten percent of the annual business tax, but not less than $3 nor more than $25. (Ord. No. 143, 5, 9‑19‑72; Ord. No. 93-6, 3, 9-21-93; Ord. 06-14, 5, 10-17-06)

State law reference--Similar provisions, F.S. 205.043(3).

Sec. 9‑5. Suspension, revocation authorized.

 The town council may suspend or revoke any business tax receipt issued to any person for cause as determined by the council. (Ord. No. 143, 6, 9‑19‑72; Ord. 06-14, 6, 10-17-06)

Sec. 9‑6. Delinquency penalty.

All existing receipts not renewed by October first of each year shall be considered delinquent and are subject to a delinquency penalty of ten percent (10%) for the month of October plus an additional five percent (5%) penalty for each month of delinquency thereafter until paid, provided that the total delinquency penalty shall not exceed twenty‑five percent (25%) of the business tax fee. (Ord. No. 143, 8, 9‑19‑72; Ord. 06-14, 7, 10-17-06)

State law reference--Similar provisions, F.S.  205.053(1).

 Sec. 9‑7. Penalty for doing business without business tax receipt.

 (a)   Any person engaging in or managing any business, occupation or profession without first obtaining a business tax receipt as required by this article shall be subject to a penalty of twenty-five percent (25%) of the business tax fee determined to be due, in addition to any other penalties prescribed herein

(b)   Any person who engages in any business, occupation, or profession covered by this chapter, who does not pay the required business tax within 150 days after the initial notice of tax due, and who does not obtain the required business tax receipt is subject to civil actions and penalties, including court costs, reasonable attorneys’ fees, additional administrative costs incurred as a result of collection efforts, and a penalty of up to $250.

(c)   Each day of selling merchandise or engaging in a business, occupation, or profession without complying with this chapter shall constitute a separate and distinct violation of such chapter.

(d)   The advertisement of any business, profession, or occupation, by sign, newspaper, magazine, or otherwise, shall raise a rebuttable presumption of the engaging in and carrying on in the town of the business, occupation, or profession so advertised.

(Ord. No. 143, 9, 9‑19‑72; Ord. 93-6, 4, 9-21-93; Ord. 06-14, 8, 10-17-06)

State law reference–Similar provisions, F.S. 206.053(2).

Sec. 9‑8. Business tax not to permit business prohibited by zoning.

 In no way shall the mere fact that a business tax is imposed hereby in anyway enable an occupation not otherwise authorized by the zoning ordinance to be performed in the town. (Ord. No. 257, 3, 5‑21‑79; Ord. No. 06-14, 9, 10-17-06)

Cross reference–Zoning generally, Ch. 17.

Sec. 9‑9. Repealed.

Editor’s note – Ord. No. 93-6, adopted September 21, 1993, repealed Sec. 9-9 which related to applicants for occupational licenses for building or construction to post a $2,000 bond.

 Sec. 9‑10. Repealed.

Editor’s note – Ord. No. 06-14, adopted October 17, 2006 repealed Sec. 9-10 which relates to requirements for a building contractor’s license

Sec. 9‑11. Schedule of business taxes.*

 The following enumerated business taxes shall be paid for the following named classifications of businesses, occupations and professions. Said rates or amounts are annual unless otherwise specified.

(1)   APARTMENTS and/or other rental units, furnished or unfurnished,

BED AND BREAKFAST, HOTELS and MOTELS.  Any concession shall

constitute a separate business.

(A)      Apartment with 5 or fewer units ………………………………………………..       60.00

(B)      Apartment with more than five units ……………………………………………     100.00

(2)   ARTISTS……………………………………………………………………………………..         30.00

(3)  ATM’s (Automatic Teller Machines)

(not located on the premises of a bank, credit union, savings and loan

association, or similar financial institution) ………………………………………………..     35.00

(4)  AUCTIONEERS………………………………………………………………………………….      30.00

(5)   BAIL BONDSMEN…………………………………………………………………………     100.00

(6)  BANKS, SAVINGS AND LOAN INSTITUTIONS, TRUST COMPANIES

OR SIMILAR FINANCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS ………………………………      200.00

(7)  BARBERS or BEAUTY SALON

(A)      Shop (includes the first hairstylist)……………………………………………….       50.00

(B)      Each hairstylist (except as provided in subsection 9-12(b), who is

an independent contractor and not an employee)……………………………………       20.00

(8)   CONTRACTORS* ………………………………………………………………………..        75.00

(9)   DRUG STORES ……………………………………………………………………………       200.00

(10)   GROCERY STORES  …………………………………………………………………….       200.00

(11)   HOME OCCUPATIONS………………………………………………………………….        25.00

(12)      INSURANCE

(A)  Agency    ……………………………………………………………………………………….       60.00

(B)  Each individual agent (except as provided in sub-section 9-12(b), who

is an independent contractor and not an employee)…………………………………        30.00

(C)  Company ………………………………………………………………………………………        60.00

_______________

*Cross reference – Building and construction regulations generally, Ch. 6.

(13)  LIQUOR DEALER (includes cocktail lounges and package stores)…………………………….       50.00

(14)   MERCHANTS, including but not limited to: Abstract or Title Companies; Air conditioning equipment sales; Aquariums and supplies; Arms dealers; Arts and crafts;  Bakeries; Book agents or salesmen; Bottled water; Bridal services; Candy shops; Carpeting; China and crystal; Cigar, cigarette, and tobacco at retail, whether in connection with any other business or not; Convenience store; Dry cleaning establishments; Dry goods store; Electric appliances; Electronic sales and service; Fabric shops; Florists; Furniture stores; Gas dealers or distributors; Gasoline filling stations without regard to the number of pumps; Gasoline, kerosene distillate, furnace oil or fuel oil dealers or distributors; Gift shops; Glassware; Greeting cards; Gunsmiths, repairing guns and sporting goods; Hardware stores; Hearing aids and service; Heating equipment; Hobby shops; Hosiery and lingerie; Housewares; Jewelry stores; Laundromat;  Maternity wear; Miscellaneous dealers, repairers and repair shops; Motion picture theater; Music store; Newspaper and magazine distributor; Office supplies; Paints; Photo finishing and supplies; Plastics; Salesmen including distributors (meaning any salesman or agent who warehouses a product within the town limits and does business by distributing such stocks after sale by him but who is not an employee of such business, except as provided in sub-section 9-12(b)), salesman or agent who sells merchandise who maintains a business office other than his home but who is not an employee of such business, except as provided in sub-section 9-12(b), order offices, representing mail order houses  or any person engaged in the business of collecting accounts but who is not an employee of such business, except as provided in sub-section 9-12(b); Seafood and produce market; Sportswear and sporting goods; Stereo centers; Swimming pool equipment; Tackle, fishing and marina supply stores; Television sales and service; Ten cent stores;  Water softener sales or services  …………………………………………………….. 50.00

(15)PROFESSIONAL SERVICES,  including but not limited to: Accountants; Advertising; Architects; Attorneys; Auditors; Business Office; Designers; Bonds and stocks brokers or salesmen; Chiropractors; Claim and collecting agencies: Credit association (firms or corporations, or agents thereof, supplying information or collecting accounts for members); Decorators; Dentists; Employment agencies; Engineers; Massage and therapist; Optician; Optometrists; Osteopaths; Photographer; Physicians; Piano tuner; Publisher; Stenographer; Surveyor; Tailor;

Travel agencies ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..50.00

(16)      REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND BROKERS

Brokerage………………………………………………………………………………………………….     50.00

(17)      RESTAURANTS  including but not limited to sit‑down

restaurants and delicatessens ………………………………………………………………………………….     60.00

(18)      RESTAURANTS serving alcohol …………………………………………………………………… ……   60.00

(19)      RESTAURANTS with drive‑through window ………………………………………………………..  60.00

(20)   TAXI and LIMOUSINES

(A)  First car ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  75.00

(B)  Each additional car ……………………………………………………………………………………….     10.00

(21)      TELEPHONE COMPANIES ………………………………………………………………………….     150.00

(22)      VENDING MACHINES (each machine)…………………………………………………………….      30.00

(Ord. No. 80-282, 1, 8-19-80; Ord. No. 89-27, 1, 9-19-89; Ord. No. 95-12, 1, 9-19-95; Ord. No. 01-09, 1, 5-21-01; Ord. No. 06-14, 11, 10-17-06; Ord. No. 16-11, 1, 5-16-16)

Sec. 9‑12.  Schedule of business taxes; exemptions.

(a)  All persons engaging in any business, occupation, profession, or avocation of such nature that no business tax receipt can be properly required for it pursuant to section 9‑11 above shall pay a business tax of fifty dollars ($50.00); provided, that business taxes shall only be levied on businesses, occupations, professions, or avocations meeting one of the three categories set forth in section 205.042. Florida Statutes.

(b)  Employees.  An individual who engages in or manages a business, profession, or occupation as an employee of another person is not required to apply for an exemption from a local business tax, pay a local business tax, or obtain a local business tax receipt.  An individual acting in the capacity of an independent contractor is not an employee for purposes of the assessment of a business tax.  Notwithstanding any provisions in section 9-11, the exemption provided in this sub-section and section 9-11 does not apply to a business tax imposed on individual employees by a municipality excepting real estate broker associates or sales associates, pursuant to an ordinance adopted before October 13, 2010.  To the extent that the town, prior to October 13, 2010, had a classification system that was in compliance with the requirements of chapter 205, Florida Statutes, and that actually resulted in individual employees paying a business tax may continue to impose such a tax in that manner.  See Section 205.066, Florida Statutes.

(c)  Real estate broker associate or sales associate.  An individual licensed and operating as a broker associate or sales associate under chapter 475 is not required to apply for an exemption from a local business tax, pay a local business tax, or obtain a local business tax receipt.  See Section 205.067, Florida Statutes.

(d)  Sale of farm, aquacultural, grove, horticultural, floricultural, tropical piscicultural, or tropical fish farm products, or products manufactured therefrom, except intoxicating liquors, wine, or beer.  A local business tax receipt is not required of any person for the privilege of engaging in the selling of farm, aquacultural, grove, horticultural, floricultural, tropical piscicultural, or tropical fish farm products, or products manufactured therefrom, except intoxicating liquors, wine, or beer, when such products were grown or produced by such person in the state.  A wholesale farmers’ produce market may pay a tax of not more than $200 for a receipt that will entitle the market’s stall tenants to engage in the selling of agricultural and horticultural products therein in lieu of such tenants being required to obtain individual local business tax receipts to so engage.  See Section 205.064, Florida Statutes.

Charitable organizations; Occasional sales, fundraising. A business tax receipt is not required of any charitable, religious, fraternal, youth, civic, service, or other similar organization that makes occasional sales or engages in fundraising projects that are performed exclusively by the members, and the proceeds derived from the activities are used exclusively in the charitable, religious, fraternal, youth, civic, and service activities of the organization. A “charitable institution” means only nonprofit corporations operating physical facilities in this state at which are provided charitable services, a reasonable percentage of which are without cost to those unable to pay. See§205.022; 205.192, Fla.Stat.

(f)  Exemption allowed certain disabled persons, the aged, and widows with minor dependents. All disabled persons physically incapable of manual labor, widows with minor dependents, and persons 65 years of age or older, with not more than one employee or helper, and who use their own capital only, not in excess of $1,000, may engage in any business or occupation in counties in which they live without being required to pay a business tax.   The exemption provided by this sub-section shall be allowed only upon the certificate of the county physician, or other reputable physician, that the applicant claiming the exemption is disabled, the nature and extent of the disability being specified therein, and in case the exemption is claimed by a widow with minor dependents, or a person over 65 years of age, proof of the right to the exemption shall be made.  Any person entitled to the exemption provided by this section shall, upon application and furnishing of the necessary proof as aforesaid, be issued a receipt which shall have plainly stamped or written across the face thereof the fact that it is issued under this sub-section, and the reason for the exemption shall be written thereon.  See205.162, Fla.Stat.

(g)  Exemptions allowed disabled veterans of any war or their unremarried spouses. Any bona fide, permanent resident elector of the state who served as an officer or enlisted person during any of the periods specified in s. 1.01(14), Florida Statutes, in the Armed Forces of the United States, National Guard, or United States Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve, or any temporary member thereof, who has actually been, or may hereafter be, reassigned by the air force, army, navy, coast guard, or marines to active duty during any war, declared or undeclared, armed conflicts, crises, who was honorably discharged from the service of the United States, and who at the time of said person’s application for a business tax receipt is disabled from performing manual labor shall, upon sufficient identification, proof of being a permanent resident elector in the state, and production of an honorable discharge from the service of the United States be granted a business tax receipt to engage in any business or occupation in the town which may be carried on mainly through the personal efforts of the receipt holder as a means of livelihood and for which the town business tax receipt does not exceed the sum of $50 without payment of any business tax otherwise provided for by law. When such person applies for a receipt to conduct any business or occupation for which the town business tax exceeds $50, the remainder of such tax in excess of $50 shall be paid in cash.  Such receipt when issued shall be marked across the face “Veterans Exempt Receipt” — “Not Transferable.”  Before issuing the receipt, proof shall be duly made that the applicant is entitled under this law to receive the exemption.  The proof may be made by establishing to the satisfaction of the town by means of certificate of honorable discharge or certified copy thereof that the applicant is a veteran within the purview of this sub-section and by exhibiting a certificate of government-rated disability to an extent of 10 percent or more; an affidavit or testimony of a reputable physician who personally knows the applicant and who makes oath that the applicant is disabled from performing manual labor as a means of livelihood; a certificate of the veteran’s service officer of the county in which the applicant lives, duly executed under the hand and seal of the chief officer and secretary thereof, attesting the fact that the applicant is disabled and entitled to receive a receipt within the meaning and intent of this sub-section; a pension certificate issued to said person by the United States government by reason of such disability; or such other reasonable proof as may be required by the town to establish the fact that such applicant is disabled.  The unremarried spouse of a deceased disabled veteran of any war in which the United States Armed Forces participated is entitled to the same exemptions as the disabled veteran.  See §205.171, Fla.Stat.

(h)  Religious institution.   A business tax receipt is not required of any religious institution.  A “religious institutions” for purposes of this sub-section means churches and ecclesiastical or denominational organizations or established physical places for worship in this state at which nonprofit religious services and activities are regularly conducted and carried on, and also includes church cemeteries.  See §§205.022(1)(a); 205.191; 205.192, Fla.Stat.

(I)  Educational institution. A business tax receipt is not required of any educational institution. An “educational institution” means a state tax-supported or parochial, church and nonprofit private school, college, or university conducting regular classes and courses of study required for accreditation by or membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Department of Education, or the Florida Council of Independent Schools.  Nonprofit libraries, art galleries, and museums open to the public are defined as educational institutions and eligible for exemption. See §§205.022(1)(b), Fla.Stat.

(Ord. No. 80-282, 1, 8-19-80; Ord. No. 95-12, 2, 9-19-95; Ord. 06-14, 12, 10-17-06; Ord. 16-11, 2, 5-16-16)

Sec. 9‑13.  Interpretation and administration of business tax provisions.

(a)  The town clerk shall be charged with the administration of this chapter.  All questions of interpretation relating to this chapter, the tax amount due, or occupational categories to which occupations should be assigned for assessment purposes shall be first presented to the town clerk.  Any interpretation shall be subject to rendition in a written, dated form.  Thereafter, the town council shall decide appeals from the town clerk’s interpretation where it is alleged that there is error in any order, requirement, decision. or determination made by the town clerk in interpretation.

(b)  Appeals to the town council may be taken by any person determined to be liable for payment of a business tax and subject to a decision of the town clerk that said person believes to be adverse to said person’s interests.

(c)  Appeals to the town council shall be made within a reasonable time not to exceed thirty (30) days following the date of rendition of the interpretation or other determination as set forth in this section.  An appeal may be initiated by filing with the town clerk, a notice of appeal specifying the ground thereof and the decision appealed from.  The town clerk shall promptly transmit to the town council all papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.  The town clerk shall fix a time for a hearing of the appeal within sixty (60) days and give notice thereof to the parties in interest.  At the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney.

Ord. No. 95-12, 3, 9-19-95; Ord. No. 06-14, 13, 10-17-06; Ord. No. 16-03, 1, 1-13-16)