GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2002-95
HOUSE BILL 1620
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE the town of jonesville TO LEVY A ROOM OCCUPANCY AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT TAX.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Jonesville occupancy tax. (a) Authorization and Scope. The Jonesville Town Council may levy a room occupancy tax of up to three percent (3%) of the gross receipts derived from the rental of any room, lodging, or accommodation furnished by a hotel, motel, inn, tourist camp, or similar place within the town that is subject to sales tax imposed by the State under G.S. 105‑164.4(a)(3). This tax is in addition to any State or local sales tax. This tax does not apply to accommodations furnished by nonprofit charitable, educational, or religious organizations when furnished in furtherance of their nonprofit purpose.
SECTION 1.(b) Administration. A tax levied under this section shall be levied, administered, collected, and repealed as provided in G.S. 160A‑215. The penalties provided in G.S. 160A‑215 apply to a tax levied under this section.
SECTION 1.(c) Distribution and Use of Tax Revenue. The Town of Jonesville shall, on a quarterly basis, remit the net proceeds of the occupancy tax to the Jonesville Tourism Development Authority. The Authority shall use at least two‑thirds of the funds remitted to it under this subsection to promote travel and tourism in the town and shall use the remainder for tourism‑related expenditures.
The following definitions apply in this subsection:
(1) Net proceeds. Gross proceeds less the cost to the town of administering and collecting the tax, as determined by the finance officer, not to exceed three percent (3%) of the first five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) of gross proceeds collected each year and one percent (1%) of the remaining gross receipts collected each year.
(2) Promote travel and tourism. To advertise or market an area or activity, publish and distribute pamphlets and other materials, conduct market research, or engage in similar promotional activities that attract tourists or business travelers to the area; the term includes administrative expenses incurred in engaging in the listed activities.
(3) Tourism‑related expenditures. Expenditures that, in the judgment of the tourism development authority, are designed to increase the use of lodging facilities, meeting facilities, or convention facilities in a town or to attract tourists or business travelers to the town. The term includes tourism‑related capital expenditures.
SECTION 2. Jonesville Tourism Development Authority. (a) Appointment and Membership. When the Jonesville Town Council adopts a resolution levying a room occupancy tax under this act, it shall also adopt a resolution creating a town Tourism Development Authority, which shall be a public authority under the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act. The resolution shall provide for the membership of the Authority, including the members' terms of office, and for the filling of vacancies on the Authority. At least one‑third of the members must be individuals who are affiliated with businesses that collect the tax in the town and at least three‑fourths of the members must be individuals who are currently active in the promotion of travel and tourism in the town. The town council shall designate one member of the Authority as chair and shall determine the compensation, if any, to be paid to members of the Authority.
The Authority shall meet at the call of the chair and shall adopt rules of procedure to govern its meetings. The Finance Officer for Jonesville shall be the ex officio finance officer of the Authority.
SECTION 2.(b) Duties. The Authority shall expend the net proceeds of the tax levied under this act for the purposes provided in Section 1 of this act. The Authority shall promote travel, tourism, and conventions in the town, sponsor tourist‑related events and activities in the town, and finance tourist‑related capital projects in the town.
SECTION 2.(c) Reports. The Authority shall report quarterly and at the close of the fiscal year to the Jonesville Town Council on its receipts and expenditures for the preceding quarter and for the year in such detail as the town council may require.
SECTION 3. Town administrative provisions. G.S. 160A‑215 reads as rewritten:
"§ 160A‑215. Uniform provisions for room occupancy taxes.
(a) Scope. This section applies only to municipalities the General Assembly has authorized to levy room occupancy taxes. For the purpose of this section, the term "city" means a municipality.
(b) Levy. A room occupancy tax may be levied only by resolution, after not less than 10 days' public notice and after a public hearing held pursuant thereto. A room occupancy tax shall become effective on the date specified in the resolution levying the tax. That date must be the first day of a calendar month, however, and may not be earlier than the first day of the second month after the date the resolution is adopted.
(c) Collection. Every operator of a business subject to a room occupancy tax shall, on and after the effective date of the levy of the tax, collect the tax. The tax shall be collected as part of the charge for furnishing a taxable accommodation. The tax shall be stated and charged separately from the sales records and shall be paid by the purchaser to the operator of the business as trustee for and on account of the taxing city. The tax shall be added to the sales price and shall be passed on to the purchaser instead of being borne by the operator of the business. The taxing city shall design, print, and furnish to all appropriate businesses and persons in the city the necessary forms for filing returns and instructions to ensure the full collection of the tax. An operator of a business who collects a room occupancy tax may deduct from the amount remitted to the taxing city a discount equal to the discount the State allows the operator for State sales and use tax.
(d) Administration. The taxing city shall administer a room occupancy tax it levies. A room occupancy tax is due and payable to the city finance officer in monthly installments on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which the tax accrues. Every person, firm, corporation, or association liable for the tax shall, on or before the fifteenth day of each month, prepare and render a return on a form prescribed by the taxing city. The return shall state the total gross receipts derived in the preceding month from rentals upon which the tax is levied. A room occupancy tax return filed with the city finance officer is not a public record and may not be disclosed except in accordance with G.S. 153A‑148.1 or G.S. 160A‑208.1.
(e) Penalties. A person, firm, corporation, or association who fails or refuses to file a room occupancy tax return or pay a room occupancy tax as required by law is subject to the civil and criminal penalties set by G.S. 105‑236 for failure to pay or file a return for State sales and use taxes. The governing board of the taxing city has the same authority to waive the penalties for a room occupancy tax that the Secretary of Revenue has to waive the penalties for State sales and use taxes.
(f) Repeal or Reduction. A room occupancy tax levied by a city may be repealed or reduced by a resolution adopted by the governing body of the city. Repeal or reduction of a room occupancy tax shall become effective on the first day of a month and may not become effective until the end of the fiscal year in which the resolution was adopted. Repeal or reduction of a room occupancy tax does not affect a liability for a tax that was attached before the effective date of the repeal or reduction, nor does it affect a right to a refund of a tax that accrued before the effective date of the repeal or reduction.
(g) This section applies only to Beech Mountain District W, to the Cities of Gastonia, Goldsboro, Greensboro, High Point, Kings Mountain, Lexington, Lincolnton, Lumberton, Monroe, Mount Airy, Shelby, Statesville, and Washington, to the Towns of Beech Mountain, Carrboro, Jonesville, Mooresville, North Topsail Beach, Selma, Smithfield, St. Pauls, and Wilkesboro, and to the municipalities in Avery and Brunswick Counties."
SECTION 4. This act is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 28th day of August, 2002.
s/ Marc Basnight
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
s/ James B. Black
Speaker of the House of Representatives