City of Scranton, PA
Lackawanna County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 12-6-2012 by Ord. No. 75-2012]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "City Amusement Tax Ordinance."
The Council of the City of Scranton, Pennsylvania, under and by virtue of the authority vested in it by the Act of December 31, 1965, being Act No. 511, known as the "Local Tax Enabling Tax," as amended, does hereby ordain that a tax to provide revenue for general City purposes is hereby levied, assessed and imposed upon the privilege of admission to a place of amusement in the City of Scranton in accordance with the following.
This article is enacted under the authority of Act 511 of December 31, 1965 (P.L. 1257), and its amendments, specifically 53 P.S. § 6924.101 et seq.
The following words and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
AMUSEMENT
All manner and form of entertainment, including, among others, but not intended to be a comprehensive list thereof, theatrical or operatic performances, concerts, vaudeville, circuses, carnivals, fairs, side shows and museums; all forms of entertainment at fairgrounds and amusement parks; swimming pools, swim clubs, athletic contests or diversions, including, among others, wrestling matches, boxing and sparring exhibitions, football, basketball and baseball games, skating, golfing, golf driving and miniature golf ranges, sport exhibitions, athletic or sport participation, tennis, hockey, bathing, swimming, archery, shooting, riding, dancing and all other forms of diversion, sport, recreation or pastime; shows, trade shows, craft shows, and similar exhibits, exhibitions, contests, displays and games; as well as all other methods of obtaining monetary admission charges, donations, contributions or monetary charges of any character from the general public or a limited or selected number thereof, directly or indirectly, in return for other than tangible property.
ASSOCIATION
Any partnership, limited partnership, joint venture, unincorporated association or other form of unincorporated enterprise owned or organized or operated by one or more persons.
ESTABLISHED PRICE
A regular monetary charge of any character whatever, including donations and contributions, fixed and exacted, or in any manner fixed and received by producers, as herein defined, from the general public or a limited or selected number thereof, directly or indirectly, for the privilege to attend or engage in any entertainment or amusement, provided that, when such entertainment or amusement is conducted at any roof garden, nightclub, cabaret or other place where the charge for admission is wholly or in part included in the price paid for refreshment, service or merchandise, the amount paid for admission to such amusement shall be deemed to be the amount of the cover or minimum charge, if any.
PERSON
Every natural person and individual, copartnership, association, corporation, unincorporated enterprise owned by one or more persons or corporation, domestic or foreign, or an agent who provides admission at an established price to a place of amusement. Whenever used in any clause prescribing and imposing a penalty, the term "person," as applied to copartnerships or associations, means the partners or members thereof, and as applied to corporations, the officers thereof.
PLACE OF AMUSEMENT
Any place where the maximum venue capacity is greater than 500 people, indoors or outdoors, within the City where the general public or a limited or selected number thereof may, upon payment of an established price, attend or engage in any amusement as herein defined, including, among others, theaters, opera houses, amusement parks, stadiums, arenas, baseball parks, skating rinks, circus or carnival tents or grounds, fairgrounds, halls, lodge rooms, riding academies, golf courses, bathing and swimming places, dance halls, tennis courts, archery, rifle or shotgun ranges, roof gardens, cabarets, nightclubs and other like places. Any place where the maximum venue capacity is 500 people or less is not subject to the amusement tax imposed herein, without the necessity of seeking any exemption.
[Amended 6-5-2014 by Ord. No. 27-2014]
PRODUCER
Any person conducting any place of amusement, as herein defined, where the general public or a limited or selected number thereof may, upon the payment of an established price, attend or engage in any amusement.
TEMPORARY AMUSEMENT
An amusement to be conducted at one location for a period of less than one month.
A. 
The following activities shall be exempt from the amusement admission tax:
(1) 
Student activities. The tax imposed by this article shall not apply to admission to any form of amusement which involves participation of students in high school or younger and/or which is sponsored, organized and promoted by, and whose benefits inure to, a public school(s) and private school(s) or public school district(s) and private school district(s) within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for students of high school age or younger, or to the students of such public school(s) and private school(s) or public school district(s) and private school district(s) or a nonprofit organization created and operated to coordinate such events, such as the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, or organization(s) or association(s) comprised of public school officials or public school educators, if a majority of the members of such nonprofit organization consist of public schools, public school districts, public school officials or public school educators.
(2) 
Free amateur performances. Admission to any voluntary, live production, performance, or show. The term "voluntary," as used herein, refers to and shall mean one who performs in a live production or show gratuitously and without monetary compensation therefor, including, but not limited to, nonpaid amateur and student performers.
(3) 
Nonprofit, IRS 501(c)(3) organizations. The amount charged and paid for admission to any amusement sponsored by any organization of the type listed in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3), contributions to which are tax-deductible as charitable contributions under other provisions of said Internal Revenue Code.
(4) 
National, state, county or local government. The amount charged and paid for admission to any amusement sponsored by any arm, branch, department or agency of the United States federal government, Pennsylvania state government or a local government, county, school district or other political subdivision, where the proceeds collected by such organization from charges paid for admissions to such amusement go directly to said governmental organization.
B. 
Procurement of exemption. In order to obtain an exemption from payment of this tax, the entities listed in Subsection A(1) through (4) above must request the exemption from the City of Scranton Treasurer, in writing, no later than 30 days prior to the scheduled event. A failure to strictly follow this requirement and/or failure to fully and accurately provide any relevant information requested by the City to verify the basis for the exemption shall be cause for the City to deny the exemption.
A. 
Required. No producer shall continue to conduct or begin to conduct any form of amusement at any permanent or temporary place of amusement or any itinerant form of amusement within the City unless an amusement permit shall have been issued to him as hereinafter prescribed and the tax herein imposed paid in accordance with the provisions made herein.
B. 
Applications fee term; no transferability.
(1) 
Every producer desiring to continue to conduct or hereafter to begin to conduct any amusement within the City shall file an application for a permanent, temporary or itinerant amusement permit or permits, as the case may be, with the office of the City Treasurer or its designee. Every application for such permit shall be made upon a form prescribed, prepared and furnished by the office of the City Treasurer or its designee and shall set forth the name under which the applicant conducts or intends to conduct a permanent or temporary place or an itinerant form of amusement, the location of the permanent or temporary place of amusement, and such other information as the office of the City Treasurer or its designee may require. If the applicant has or intends to have more than one place of amusement, and in the case of an itinerant form of amusement, the date and length of time such amusement is to be conducted at each place shall be provided. In the case of an applicant for a permit for a temporary place of amusement, the applicant shall state the name and address of the owner, lessee or custodian of the premises upon which such amusement is to be conducted. If the applicant is an association or a corporation, the application shall state the names and addresses of the principal officers thereof and any other information prescribed by the office of the City Treasurer or its designee for purposes of identification. The application shall be signed by the producer, if a natural person, and in the case of an association, by a member or partner thereof, and in the case of a corporation, by an officer thereof.
(2) 
At the time of making such application, the applicant shall pay to the City Treasurer or its designee a permit fee for each annual permit or for each temporary permit. The amounts of the annual and temporary permit fees are governed by File of Council 7 of 1987 and File of Council 8 of 1987, which are attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibits A and B, respectively.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said exhibits are on file in the City offices.
(3) 
Upon approval of the application and the payment of any permit fee herein required, the office of the City Treasurer or its designee shall grant and issue to each applicant an annual or temporary amusement permit for each place of amusement within the City set forth in the application. Amusement permits shall not be assignable and shall be valid only for the persons in whose names they are issued and for the conduct of amusements at the places designated therein and shall at all times be conspicuously displayed at the places for which they are issued. All permits for permanent places of amusement shall expire on December 31 next succeeding the date upon which they are issued, unless sooner suspended, surrendered or revoked for cause by the proper authorities of the City. Permits for temporary places of amusement or for forms of itinerant amusement shall expire at the time specified therein. The producer of an itinerant form of amusement shall notify the office of the City Treasurer or its designee promptly of any change in the original contemplated itinerary, either as to date or time of the conduct of the amusement at each place.
C. 
Renewals; duplicates. Permits issued for permanent places of amusement under the provisions of this article shall be renewed annually before January 1, upon application made to the office of the City Treasurer or its designee and the payment of a renewal fee as set forth in Exhibits A and B herein. Whenever any permit issued under the provisions of this article is defaced, destroyed or lost, the office of the City Treasurer or its designee may issue a duplicate to the holder of the defaced, destroyed or lost permit upon the payment of a fee of $50.
D. 
Suspension and revocation; hearing. The Office of Licensing, Inspections and Permits or its designee may suspend or, after hearing, revoke an amusement permit whenever it finds that the holder thereof has failed to comply with any of the provisions of this article. Upon suspending or revoking any amusement permit, the Office of Licensing, Inspections and Permits or its designee shall request the holder thereof to surrender to it immediately all permits or duplicates thereof issued to it, and the holder shall surrender promptly all such permits to the Office of Licensing, Inspections and Permits or its designee, as requested. Whenever the Office of Licensing, Inspections and Permits or its designee suspends an amusement permit, it shall notify the holder immediately, and Council shall afford him a hearing, if requested, within five days of such notice. After such hearing, Council shall either rescind the order of suspensions or, good cause appearing therefor, shall continue the suspension or revoke the permit.
A. 
Imposition; rate. A tax is imposed upon the sale of admission or privilege to attend or engage in any amusement at the rate of 5% of the established price.
B. 
Permanent seats or boxes. In the case of persons having the permanent use of boxes or seats in any place of amusement, or in the case of a person admitted at a reduced rate or season or subscription ticket, or a lease for the use of such box or seat in such places of amusement, the tax imposed by this article shall be computed on the established price for which a similar box or seat is sold for each performance or exhibition at which the box or seat is used or reserved by or for the lessee or holder, such tax to be paid by the producer.
C. 
Free or complimentary tickets. In the case of the person admitted free or with complimentary ticket for which no price of admission is charged, no tax shall apply, except that the producer of any amusement within the City shall not issue complimentary tickets or allow free admission in an amount in excess of 10% of the total number of paid admissions to any individual amusement event.
D. 
No fixed admission charged. Where no fixed admission is charged, the tax shall be based upon the gross admissions collected and shall be paid by the producer.
A. 
Producers shall collect the tax imposed by this article and shall be liable to the City as agents thereof for the payment of the same into the City Treasury through the office of the City Treasurer or its designee, as hereinafter provided in this article.
B. 
When permits are obtained for conducting temporary amusements by persons who are not the owners, lessees or custodians of the places where the amusements are to be conducted, or where the temporary amusement is permitted by the owner, lessee or custodian of any place to be conducted without the procurement of a permit required by this article, the tax imposed by this article shall be paid by the owner, lessee or custodian of such place where such temporary amusement is held or conducted, unless paid by the producer conducting the amusement.
A. 
For the purpose of ascertaining the amount of tax payable by the producers to the City, it shall be the duty of:
(1) 
Every producer conducting a permanent place of amusement, on or before the last day of each month following the end of each quarter of each year, after the effective date of this article, to transmit to the office of the City Treasurer or its designee, on a form prescribed and prepared by the City, a report of the amount of tax collected by the producer during the preceding quarter of the year. Quarters of the year shall end as follows: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31. Reports shall be due, respectively, for each quarter, on or before April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31.
(2) 
Every producer conducting a temporary place of amusement or itinerant form of amusement to file a report with the office of the City Treasurer or its designee or its duly authorized agent promptly after each performance not more than 30 days thereafter.
B. 
All reports required under this section shall show such information as the office of the City Treasurer or its designee shall prescribe.
C. 
Every producer, at the time of making every report required by this section, shall compute and pay to the office of the City Treasurer or its designee the taxes collected by the producer and due to the City during the period for which the report is made. All taxes shall bear interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the last day of the month from which such payment is due until paid. Interest will be calculated at 1% for each month or partial month.
If any producer shall neglect or refuse to make any report or payment as herein required, an additional 10% of the amount of the tax shall be added by the office of the City Treasurer or its designee and collected. All such taxes shall be recoverable by the City Solicitor as other debts due the City are now by law recoverable, including costs of collection.
If the office of the City Treasurer or its designee is not satisfied with the report and payment of tax made by any producer under the provisions of this article, the City Treasurer is authorized and empowered to make a determination of the tax due by such producer, based upon the facts contained in the report or upon any information within the City Treasurer's possession or that shall come into the City Treasurer's possession; and for this purpose, the office of the City Treasurer or its designee is authorized to examine the books, papers, tickets, ticket stubs and records of any producer taxable under this article to verify accuracy of any report or payment make under the provisions thereof or to ascertain whether the taxes imposed by this article have been paid.
If any producer shall neglect or refuse to make any report or payment of tax required by this article, or if, as a result of an investigation by the office of the City Treasurer or its designee, a report is found to be incorrect, the office of the City Treasurer or its designee shall estimate the tax due by such producer and determine the amount due by the producer for taxes, penalties and interest thereon.
All taxes, interest and penalties collected or received under the provisions of this article shall be paid into the Treasury of the City for the use and benefit of the City.
The office of the City Treasurer or its designee is authorized and directed to make and keep such records, prepare such forms and take such other measures as may be necessary or convenient to carry this article into effect and may, in its discretion, require deposits to be made by applicants for temporary permits.
Any person who shall be convicted for violating or failing to carry out any of the provisions of this article or of neglecting, failing or refusing to furnish completed and correct returns or to pay over any tax levied by this article at the time required or of knowingly making any incomplete, false or fraudulent returns or of doing or attempting to do anything whatever to the payment of the whole or any part of the tax imposed under this article shall be liable to a fine or penalty not exceeding $500 for each and every offense, and the cost of prosecution thereof, and, in default of payment of any such fine and costs, to imprisonment for not more than 90 days. Each day's operation without complying with the provisions of this article shall constitute a separate and distinct violation of this article.
If any section, clause, provision or portion of this article shall be held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect any other section, clause, provision or portion of this article, so long as it remains legally enforceable minus the invalid portion. The City reserves the right to amend this article or any portion thereof from time to time as it shall deem advisable in the best interests of the promotion of the purposes and intent of this article and the effective administration thereof.
This article shall become effective January 1, 2013.