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Township of Bear Creek, PA
Luzerne County
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[Adopted 4-8-1980]
A. 
The following words and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them:
GROSS VOLUME OF BUSINESS
Includes both cash and credit transactions.
(1) 
"Gross volume of business" shall not include the dollar volume of business derived from the resale of goods, wares and merchandise, taken by any dealer as a trade-in or as part payment for other goods, wares and merchandise, except to the extent that the resale price exceeds the trade-in allowance.
(2) 
"Gross volume of business" shall not include the dollar value of business attributable to sales taxes and excise taxes, including liquid fuels taxes, the amounts of which are shown in the sale price of any article and which are in fact paid by the dealer or manufacturer of the article to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States of America.
LICENSE YEAR
That period of time beginning January 1 of each calendar year and ending December 31 of the same calendar year.
MERCANTILE TAX COLLECTOR
The person or agency properly appointed by resolution of the Board of Supervisors to collect the tax imposed by this article.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, limited partnership, association or corporation.
RETAIL DEALER or RETAIL VENDOR
Any person who is a dealer in or vendor of goods, wares and merchandise who is not a wholesale dealer or vendor.
WHOLESALE DEALER or WHOLESALE VENDOR
Any person who sells to dealers in or vendors of goods, wares and merchandise and to no other persons.
B. 
The terms "person," "wholesale dealer," "wholesale vendor," "retail dealer" and "retail vendor" shall not include nonprofit corporations organized for religious, charitable or educational purposes or any association organized for such purposes, clubs, agencies of the government of the United States or of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any person vending or disposing of articles of his own growth, production or manufacture for shipment or delivery from the place of growth, production or manufacture thereof.
For the remainder of the license year 1980 and for each license year thereafter, Bear Creek Township hereby imposes an annual mercantile license tax in the manner and at the rates hereinafter set forth.
Beginning on the effective date of this article and for the balance of the calendar year 1980 and for each license year thereafter, every person desiring to engage in or hereafter to begin to engage in the business of wholesale or retail vendor dealer in goods, wares or merchandise, and any person conducting a restaurant or other place where food, drink or refreshments are sold, whether or not the same is incidental to some other business or occupation, shall, on or before the first day of May 1980 and on or before the first day of January 1981 and the first day of January for each license year thereafter, procure from the Mercantile Tax Collector a mercantile license for his place of business or, if more than one, for each of his places of business in Bear Creek Township, as required by law. Such license shall be conspicuously posted at the place of business of every person at all times.
Every person engaged in any of the following occupations or businesses in Bear Creek Township shall pay an annual mercantile license tax, for the balance of the calendar year 1980 and for each license year thereafter, at the rates herein set forth.
A. 
Wholesale vendors or dealers in goods, wares and merchandise: at the rate of one mill on each dollar of the volume of the annual gross business transacted by him, or at the rate of $1 per $1,000 of gross volume of business.
B. 
Retail vendors or dealers in goods, wares and merchandise, and all persons engaged in conducting restaurants or other places where food, drink or refreshments are sold: at the rate of 1 1/2 mills on each dollar of the volume of the annual gross business transacted by him, or at the rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of gross volume of business.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Subsections (c) and (d), which followed this subsection, regarding wholesalers and seasonal businesses, were repealed 8-1-1995 by Ord. No. 1-95.
A. 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax hereby imposed who has commenced his business at least one year prior to the beginning of the license year shall compute his annual gross volume of business upon the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during the preceding calendar year.
B. 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax hereby imposed who has commenced or who commences his business less than one full year prior to the beginning of the license year shall compute his annual gross volume of business for such license year upon the gross volume of business transacted by him during the first month he engaged in his business multiplied by 12.
C. 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax hereby imposed who commences his business subsequent to the beginning of the license year shall compute his annual gross volume of business for such license year upon the gross volume of business transacted by him during the first month of his engaging in business multiplied by the number of months he engages in business in such license year.
D. 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax hereby imposed who engages in a business which is temporary, seasonal or itinerant by its nature shall compute his annual gross volume of business upon the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during the license year.
E. 
The Mercantile Tax Collector is hereby authorized to accept payment under protest of the amount of mercantile tax claimed by Bear Creek Township in any case where the taxpayer disputes the validity or amount of the Township's claim for tax. If it is thereafter judicially determined by a court of competent jurisdiction that the Township has been overpaid, the amount of the overpayment shall be refunded to the taxpayer. The provisions of this section shall be applicable to cases in which the facts are similar to those in a case litigated in a court of competent jurisdiction.
A. 
Every return shall be made upon a form furnished by the Mercantile Tax Collector. Every person making a return shall certify the correctness thereof by affidavit.
B. 
Every person subject to the tax imposed by this article who commenced his business at least one full year prior to the beginning of any license year shall, on or before the 15th day of March of that calendar year, file with the Mercantile Tax Collector a return setting forth his name, his business and business address and such other information as may be necessary in arriving at the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during the preceding calendar year and the amount of the tax due.
C. 
Every person subject to the tax imposed by this article who has commenced his business less than one full year prior to the beginning of any license year shall, on or before the 15th day of March of that calendar year, file with the Mercantile Tax Collector a return setting forth his name, his business and business address and such other information as may be necessary in arriving at the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during the first month of business and the amount of the tax due.
D. 
Every person subject to the tax imposed by this article who commences business subsequent to the beginning of any license year shall, within 40 days from the date of commencing such business, file a return with the Mercantile Tax Collector setting forth his name, his business and business address and such information as may be necessary in arriving at the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during his first month of business and the amount of the tax due.
E. 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax imposed by this article who engages in a business temporary, seasonal or itinerant by its nature shall, within seven days from the day he completes such business, file a return with the Mercantile Tax Collector setting forth his name, his business, his business address and such information as may be necessary in arriving at the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during such period and the amount of tax due.
At the time of filing the return, the person making the same shall pay the amount of tax shown as due thereon to the Mercantile Tax Collector.
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Mercantile Tax Collector to collect and receive the taxes, fines and penalties imposed by this article. It shall also be his duty to keep a record showing the amount received by him from each person paying the tax and the date of each receipt.
B. 
The Mercantile Tax Collector is hereby charged with the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article and is hereby empowered to prescribe, adopt, promulgate and enforce rules and regulations relating to any matter pertaining to the administration and enforcement of this article, including provisions for the reexamination and correction of returns and payments alleged or found to be incorrect or as to which an overpayment is claimed or found to have occurred. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Mercantile Tax Collector shall have the right to appeal to a court or courts of competent jurisdiction as in other cases provided.
C. 
The Mercantile Tax Collector is hereby authorized to examine the books, papers and records of any taxpayer or supposed taxpayer, and said taxpayer or supposed taxpayer is hereby directed and required to give to the Mercantile Tax Collector the means, facilities and opportunity for such examinations and investigations as are hereby authorized.
Any information gained by the Mercantile Tax Collector or any other officer, official, agent or employee of the Township as a result of any returns, investigations, hearings or verifications required or authorized by this article shall be confidential, except in accordance with proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, and divulgence of any information so gained is hereby declared to be a violation of this article and may be punished by dismissal from office or employment.
A. 
The Mercantile Tax Collector may sue for the recovery of taxes imposed by this article whenever any of said taxes remain due and unpaid.
B. 
All taxpayers subject to the payment of taxes shall be entitled to a discount of at least 2% from the amount of such tax, upon making payment of the whole amount thereof within two months after the date of the tax notice. All taxpayers who shall fail to make payment of any such taxes charged against them for four months after the date of the tax notice shall be charged a penalty of up to 10%, which penalty shall be added to the taxes by the Tax Collector and shall be collected by him. Where suit is brought for the recovery of any such tax, the person liable therefor shall, in addition, be liable for the costs of collection and interest and penalties herein imposed.
[Amended 8-1-1995 by Ord. No. 1-95]
Whoever makes any false or untrue statement on his return or who refuses to permit inspection of the books, records or accounts of any business in his custody or control when the right to make such inspection by the Mercantile Tax Collector is requested, and whoever fails or refuses to file a return required by this article, and whoever fails or refuses to procure a mercantile license when so required under this article or fails to keep his license conspicuously posted at his place of business as herein required shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $600 or be imprisoned in the Luzerne County Jail for a period not exceeding 30 days, or both.
A. 
Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to empower the Township to levy and collect the taxes hereby imposed on any person or any business or any portion of any business not within the taxing power of the Township under the Constitution of the United States and the laws or the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
B. 
If the tax or any portion thereof imposed upon any person under the provisions of this article held by any court of competent jurisdiction to be in violation of the Constitution of the United States or of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the decision of the court shall not affect or impair the right to impose the taxes so imposed upon other persons as herein provided.