City of Las Vegas, NM
San Miguel County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Las Vegas as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Economic development plan — See Ch. 33.
Businesses — See Ch. 160.
[Adopted 8-20-2003 by Ord. No. 03-12 (Ch. 5, Art. 8, of the 1972 Code)]

§ 389-1 Title.

This article shall be known as and cited as the "Lodgers' Tax Ordinance."

§ 389-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to impose a tax, which will be borne by persons using commercial accommodations, which tax will provide revenues for the purpose of advertising, publicizing and promoting facilities, tourist attractions and acquisition, construction and maintenance of tourist attractions as authorized in § 389-15 of this article.

§ 389-3 Definitions.

As used in the chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOARD
The Advisory Board established herein to make recommendations to the City Council, keep minutes of its proceedings and submit its recommendations, correspondence and other pertinent documents to the City Council.
CITY
The City of Las Vegas, New Mexico.
CITY CLERK
The City Clerk of Las Vegas, New Mexico.
CITY MANAGER
The chief administrative officer of the municipality authorized to enforce and carry out all ordinances, rules and regulations of the municipality and to delegate this authority as deemed necessary.
DIVISION
The Local Government Division of the Department of Finance and Administration of the State of New Mexico.
GROSS TAXABLE RENT
The total amount of the rent paid for lodging, not including the state gross receipts tax or local sales tax.
A. 
The rooms or other accommodations furnished by a vendor to a vendee by a taxable service of lodgings.
B. 
The transaction of furnishing rooms or other accommodations by a vendor to a vendee who for a rent uses, possesses or has the right to use or possess any room or other units of accommodation in or at a taxable premises.
OCCUPANCY TAX
The tax on lodging authorized by the Lodgers' Tax Act.[1]
PERSON
A corporation, firm, other body corporate, partnership, association or individual. "Person" includes an executor, administrator, trustee, receiver or other representative appointed according to law and acting in a representative capacity. "Person" does not include the United States of America, the State of New Mexico, any corporation, department, instrumentality or agency of the federal government or the state government, or any political subdivision of the state.
RENT
The consideration received by a vendor in money, credits, property or other consideration valued in money for lodgings subject to any occupancy tax authorized in the Lodgers' Tax Act.[2]
TAXABLE PREMISES
A hotel, apartment, apartment hotel, apartment house, lodge, lodging housing, rooming house, motor hotel, guesthouse, guest ranch, ranch resort, guest resort, mobile home, motor court, auto court, auto camp, trailer court, trailer camp, trailer park, tourist camp, cabin or other premises used for lodging;
THE LODGERS' TAX ACT
NMSA 1978, §§ 3-38-13 through 3-38-24, as it may be amended.
TOURIST
A person who travels for the purpose of business, pleasure or culture to the City.
TOURIST-RELATED EVENTS
Events that are planned for, promoted to, and attended by tourists.
TOURIST-RELATED FACILITIES AND ATTRACTIONS
Facilities and attractions that are intended to be used by or visited by tourists.
TOURIST-RELATED TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS
Transportation systems that provide transportation for tourists to and from tourist-related facilities, attractions and events.
VENDEE
A natural person to whom lodgings are furnished in the exercise of the taxable lodging.
VENDOR
A person furnishing lodgings in the exercise of the taxable service of lodging.
[1]
Editor's Note: See NMSA 1978, § 3-38-13 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: See NMSA 1978, § 3-38-13 et seq.

§ 389-4 Imposition of tax.

There is herby imposed an occupancy tax of 4% of gross taxable rent for lodging within the City paid to vendors.

§ 389-5 Licensing.

A. 
No vendor shall engage in business of providing lodging in the City before obtaining a license as provided in this section.
B. 
Applicants for a vendor's license shall submit an application to the City Manager or designee stating:
(1) 
The name of the vendor, including identification of any person, as defined in this article, who owns or operates place of lodging and the name or trade names under which the vendor proposes to do business and the post office address thereof;
(2) 
A description of the facilities, including the number of rooms and the usual schedule of rates therefor;
(3) 
A description of the facilities provided by vendor or others to users of the lodgings, such as restaurant, bar, cleaning, laundry, courtesy car, stenographer, tailor or others, and a statement identifying the license issued, to whom issued, the authority issuing, and the period for which issued. If applicable, also the identification number provided by the Bureau of Revenue of the State of New Mexico;
(4) 
The nature of the business practices of the vendor and to what extent, if any, his business is exempt from the lodgers' tax;
(5) 
Other information responsibly necessary to effect a determination of eligibility for such license.
C. 
The City Manager or designee shall review applications for license within 10 days of receipt thereof, and grant the license in due course if the applicant is doing business subject to the lodgers' tax.
D. 
An applicant who is dissatisfied with the decision of the City Manager or designee may appeal the decision to the City Council by written notice to the City Clerk of such appeal to be made within 15 days of the date of decision of the City Manager or designee on the application. The matter shall be referred to the City Council for hearing at the regular or special meeting in the usual course of business. The decision of the City Council made thereof shall be expressed in writing and be communicated in the same manner as the decision of the City Manager or designee is transmitted. The action of the City Council shall be deemed final.
E. 
If the City Council finds for the applicant, the City Manager or designee shall issue the appropriate license or other notice conforming to the decision made by the City Council.

§ 389-6 Exemptions.

The occupancy tax shall not apply:
A. 
If a vendee:
(1) 
Has been a permanent resident of the taxable premises for a period of at least 30 consecutive days; or
(2) 
Enters into or has entered into a written agreement for lodgings at the taxable premises for a period of at least 30 consecutive days.
B. 
If the rent paid by the vendee is less than $2 a day;
C. 
To lodging accommodations at institutions of the federal government, the state and/or political subdivision thereof;
D. 
To lodging accommodations at religious, charitable, educational, or philanthropic institutions, including without limitations such accommodations at summer camps operated by such institutions;
E. 
To clinics, hospitals or other medical facilities;
F. 
To privately owned and operated convalescent homes or homes for the aged, infirm, indigent or chronically ill; or
G. 
If the taxable premises does not have at least three rooms or three other units of accommodation for lodging.

§ 389-7 Collection of tax and reporting procedures.

[Amended 7-7-2004 by Ord. No. 04-11]
A. 
Every vendor providing lodgings shall collect the lodgers' tax on behalf of the City and shall act as a trustee therefor.
B. 
The lodgers' tax shall be collected from vendees and shall be charged separately from the rent fixed by the vendor for the lodgings.
C. 
Each vendor licensed under this article shall be liable to the City of Las Vegas for the tax provided herein on the rent paid for lodgings at the vendor's respective place of business.
D. 
Each vendor shall file a report, on forms provided by the City, of receipts for lodging in the preceding calendar month and shall submit the proceeds of the lodgers' tax to the City, which shall include sufficient information to enable the City to audit the report and shall be verified on oath by the vendor. Said report and proceeds shall be submitted to the City on or before the 25th of each month or be postmarked on or before the 25th of each month. If the 25th falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the report shall be submitted on the following regular business day. Vendors submitting reports to the City after the due date shall be liable for the tax, plus a civil penalty as provided for in § 389-9 herein.
E. 
The City Council shall furnish to the Board that portion of any proposed budget, report or audit filed or received by the City, pursuant to either NMSA 1978, Chapter 6, Article 6 (§ 6-6-1 et seq.),  or the Audit Act that relates to the expenditure of lodgers' tax funds, within the 10 days of the filing or receipt of such proposed budget, report, or audit by the City.
F. 
The City Council shall report to the Division, on a quarterly basis, any expenditure of lodgers' tax funds pursuant to NMSA 1978, §§ 3-38-15 and 3-38-21, and shall furnish a copy of such report to the Board when it is filed with the Division.

§ 389-8 Duties of vendor.

The vendor shall maintain adequate records of facilities subject to the tax and of proceeds received for the use thereof. Such records shall be maintained in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and shall be open to the inspection of the City during reasonable hours and shall be retained for three years.

§ 389-9 Failure to make return; computation; civil penalties and notice; collection of delinquencies; lien.

A. 
Every vendor is liable for the payment of the proceeds of any occupancy tax that the vendor failed to remit to the City, whether due to his failure to collect the tax or otherwise. He shall be liable for the tax plus a civil penalty equal to the greater of 10% of the amount not remitted or $100. The City Manager or designee shall give the delinquent vendor written notice of the delinquency, which notice shall be mailed to the vendor's local address.
B. 
If payments are not received within 15 days of the mailing of the notice, the City may bring an action in law or equity in the District Court for the collection of any amounts due, including without limitation penalties thereon, interest on the unpaid principal at a rate not exceeding 1% a month. If the City attempts collection through an attorney or the City Attorney, for any purpose with regard to this article, the vendor shall be liable to the City for all costs, fees paid to the attorney or City Attorney, and all other expenses incurred in connection therewith.
C. 
The occupancy tax imposed by the City constitutes a lien in favor of the City upon the real and personal property of the vendor providing lodgings. The lien may be enforced as provided in NMSA 1978, §§ 3-36-1 through 3-36-7. Priority of the lien shall be determined from the date of filing.
D. 
Under process or order of the Court, no person shall sell the property of a vendor without first ascertaining from the City Manager or designee the amount of any occupancy tax due to the City. Any occupancy tax due the City shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale before payment is made to any judgment creditor or any other person with a claim on the proceeds of the sale.
E. 
An action to enforce the Lodgers' Tax Act may be brought by:
(1) 
The Attorney General of the State of New Mexico or the Fourth Judicial District Attorney; or
(2) 
A vendor who is collecting the proceeds of an occupancy tax in San Miguel County.
F. 
The Fourth Judicial District Court may issue a writ of mandamus or order an injunction or other appropriate remedy to enforce the provisions of this article.
G. 
The District Court shall award costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the prevailing party in a court action to enforce the provisions of this article.

§ 389-10 Violations and criminal penalties.

Any person who violates the provisions of this article for a failure to submit reports when due or to pay the tax, to remit proceeds thereof to the City or to properly account for any lodging and tax proceeds pertaining thereto shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined in an amount not exceed $500 or by imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or both.

§ 389-11 Refunds and credits.

If any person believes he has made a payment of any lodgers' tax in excess of that for which he was liable, he may claim a refund thereof by directing to the City Manager or designee, no later than 90 days from the date payment was made, a written claim for refund. Every claim for refund shall state the nature of the person's complaint and the affirmative relief requested. The City Manager or designee shall allow the claim in whole or in part or may deny it. Refunds of tax and interest erroneously paid and amounting to $100 or more may be made only with the approval of the City Council.

§ 389-12 Vendor audits.

A. 
Should the total lodgers' tax revenue in any one year exceed $250,000, then the City Council shall select for annual random audit(s) one or more vendors to verify the amount of gross rent subject to the occupancy tax and to ensure that the full amount of occupancy tax on the rent is collected from each vendor thus audited.
B. 
The City Council shall determine each year the number of vendors within the City to audit.
C. 
The audit(s) may be performed by the City Manager or designee or by any other designee of the City Council. A copy of the audit(s) shall be filed annually with the Division.

§ 389-13 Confidentiality of return and audit.

It is unlawful for any employee of the City to reveal to any individual, other than another employee of the City, any information contained in the return or audit of any taxpayer, including vendors subject to the Lodgers' Tax Act, except to a court of competent jurisdiction in response to an order thereof in an action related to taxes to which the City is a party, and in which information sought is material to the inquiry; to the taxpayer himself or to his authorized representative; and in such manner, for statistical purpose, the information revealed is not identified as applicable to any individual taxpayer.

§ 389-14 Administration of monies collected.

A. 
The City Council shall administer the lodgers' tax monies. The Mayor shall appoint a five-member Advisory Board that consists of two members who are owners or operators of lodging subject to the occupancy tax within the City, two members who are owners or operators of industries located within the City that primarily provide services or products to tourists, and one member who is a resident of the City and represents the general public.
B. 
The Board shall submit to the City Council recommendations for the expenditure of funds authorized pursuant to this article for advertising, publicizing and promoting tourist-related attractions, facilities, and events in the City.

§ 389-15 Use of monies.

A. 
The City shall use 1/2 of the proceeds of the first 3% of the tax and not less than 1/4 of the proceeds from the tax in excess of 3% only for advertising, publicizing and promoting tourist-related attractions, facilities and events. The proceeds from this portion of the tax shall be used within two years of the close of the fiscal year in which they were collected and shall not be accumulated beyond that date or used for any other purpose.
[Amended 7-15-2015 by Ord. No. 15-09]
B. 
The City may use the balance of the proceeds of the tax to defray the cost of:
(1) 
Collecting and otherwise administering the tax, including the performance of audits required by the Lodgers' Tax Act and this article, pursuant to guidelines issued by the Department of Finance and Administration of the State of New Mexico.
(2) 
Establishing, operating, purchasing, constructing, otherwise acquiring, reconstructing, extending, improving, equipping, furnishing or acquiring real property or any interest in real property for the site or grounds for tourist-related facilities, attraction or transportation systems of the City.
(3) 
The principal of and interest on any prior redemption premiums due in connection with and any other charges pertaining to revenue bonds authorized by NMSA 1978, § 3-38-23 or 3-38-24.
(4) 
Advertising, publicizing and promoting tourist-related attractions, facilities and events of the City and tourist facilities or attractions within the area.
(5) 
Providing police and fire protection and sanitation service for tourist-related events, facilities and attraction located in the City; or
(6) 
Any combination of the foregoing purposes or transactions stated in the section.

§ 389-16 Revenue bonds.

A. 
Revenue bonds may be issued at any time or from time to time by the City to defray wholly or in part the costs of any one, all or any combination of purposes authorized in NMSA 1978, § 3-38-21, Subsections B through E, or § 389-15 of this article.
B. 
The revenue bonds may be payable from and such payment may be secured by a pledge of and lien on the revenues derived from:
(1) 
The proceeds of the occupancy tax imposed herein after deduction of those amounts required to be expended pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 3-38-15, Subsections D and E, and the administration costs pertaining to the tax in an amount not to exceed 10% of the occupancy tax receipts collected by the City in any fiscal year, excluding from the computation of such cost the administration costs ultimately recovered from delinquent vendors by civil action as penalties, costs of collection and attorneys' fee but not as interest on unpaid principal.
(2) 
The tourist-related facilities, attractions or transportation systems to which the bonds pertain, after provision is made for the payment of the operation and maintenance expenses of such facilities, attractions or transportation systems; or
(3) 
A combination of such net revenues from both sources described in Subsection B(1) and (2).
C. 
The bonds shall bear interest at a rate or rates as authorized in the Public Securities Act, and the first interest payment may be for any period authorized in the Public Securities Act.
D. 
Except as otherwise provided in the Lodgers' Tax Act, revenue bonds authorized in the Lodgers' Tax Act shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of , NMSA 1978, §§ 3-31-2 through 3-31-6.

§ 389-17 Contracting for services.

A. 
The City Council may contract for the management of programs and activities funded with revenue from the tax authorized herein. The City Council shall require such contractors periodically report to it, such reports being due at least quarterly, listing the expenditures for those periods. Within 10 days of receiving such reports, the City Council shall furnish copies of them to the Board. Funds provided to the contracting person or governmental agency shall be maintained by that person or agency in a separate account established for that purpose and shall not be commingled with any other money.
B. 
A person or governmental agency with whom the City contracts under this section to conduct an activity authorized by NMSA 1978, § 3-38-21, shall maintain complete and accurate financial records of each expenditure of the occupancy tax revenue made and, upon request of the City Council, shall make such records available for inspection.
C. 
The occupancy tax revenue spent for a purpose authorized by the Lodgers' Tax Act and this article may be spent for day-to-day operations, supplies, salaries, office rental, travel expenses and other administrative cost only if those administrative costs are incurred directly for that purpose.
D. 
A person or governmental agency with whom the City contracts under this section may subcontract with the approval of the City Council. A subcontractor shall be subject to the same terms and conditions the contractor as regarding separate financial accounts, periodic reports and inspection of records.

§ 389-18 Division rules.

The City shall follow any rules and regulations promulgated by the Division pursuant to the Lodgers' Tax Act.
[Adopted 7-7-2010 by Ord. No. 10-21]

§ 389-19 Imposition of tax.

There is imposed on any person engaging in business in this municipality for the privilege of engaging in business in this municipality an excise tax equal to 0.25% of the gross receipts reported or required to be reported by the person pursuant to the New Mexico Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act[1] as it now exists or as it may be amended. The tax imposed under this article is pursuant to the Municipal Local Option Gross Receipts Taxes Act,[2] as it now exists or as it may be amended, and shall be known as the "one-fourth-of-one-percent municipal gross receipts tax."
[1]
Editor's Note: See NMSA 1978, § 7-9-1 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: See NMSA 1978, § 7-19D-1 et seq.

§ 389-20 Adoption by reference.

This article hereby adopts by reference all definitions, exemptions and deductions contained in the Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act[1] as it now exists or as it may be amended.
[1]
Editor's Note: See NMSA 1978, § 7-9-1 et seq.

§ 389-21 Specific exemptions.

No municipal gross receipts tax shall be imposed on the gross receipts arising from:
A. 
Transporting persons or property for hire by railroad, motor vehicle, air transportation or any other means from one point within the municipality to another point outside the municipality; or
B. 
A business located outside the boundaries of a municipality on land owned by that municipality for which a state gross receipts tax distribution is made pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 7-1-6.4, Subsection C; or
C. 
Direct broadcast satellite services.

§ 389-22 Use of revenue.

Revenue from the 0.25% of municipal gross receipts tax will be used for the purpose(s) listed below:
A. 
Municipal general purposes.

§ 389-23 When effective.

The effective date of the one-fourth-of-one-percent municipal gross receipts tax shall be either January 1 or July 1, whichever date occurs first after the expiration of three months from the date this article is adopted and the adopted ordinance is delivered or mailed to the Taxation and Revenue Department.