[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Taunton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-28-1986; amended in its entirety 3-5-2013 (§ 12-1 of the 2010 Code)]
This article is enacted pursuant to, and under the authority of, MGL c. 40, § 57, the provisions of which have been accepted by the City of Taunton.
The purpose of this article is to set forth a mechanism by which any licensing or permitting authority in the City of Taunton may deny any application for or revoke or suspend a building permit or any local license or permit, including renewals and transfers, issued by any board, officer, or department of the City of Taunton for any person, corporation or business enterprise who or which has neglected or refused to pay any local taxes, fees, assessments, betterments, or any other municipal charges, including amounts assessed under the provisions of MGL c. 40, § 21D, or with respect to any activity, event, or other matter which is the subject of such license or permit and which activity, event or matter is carried out or exercised or is to be carried out or exercised on or about real estate whose owner has neglected or refused to pay any local taxes, fees, assessments, betterments or any other municipal charges.
For the purposes of this article, the term "local taxes, fees, assessments, betterments or other municipal charges" shall be construed to include, without limitation, police details, fire details, proceeds from the sale of official City of Taunton waste bags, or any other sum lawfully due to the City of Taunton.
The Treasurer/Collector shall annually furnish to each department, board, commission or division, hereinafter referred to as the "licensing authority," that issues licenses or permits, including renewals and transfers, a list of any person, corporation, or business enterprise, hereinafter referred to as the "party," that has neglected or refused to pay any local taxes, fees, assessments, betterments or other municipal charges for not less than a twelve-month period, and that such party has not filed in good faith a pending application for an abatement of such tax or a pending petition before the Appellate Tax Board.
The licensing authority may deny, revoke or suspend any license or permit, including renewals and transfers, of any party whose name appears on said list furnished to the licensing authority from the Treasurer/Collector or with respect to any activity, event or other matter which is the subject of such license or permit and which activity, event or matter is carried out or exercised or is to be carried out or exercised on or about real estate owned by any party whose name appears on said list furnished to the licensing authority from the Treasurer/Collector; provided, however, that written notice is given to the party and the Treasurer/Collector, as required by applicable provisions of law, and the party is given a hearing, to be held not earlier than 14 days after said notice. Said list shall be prima facie evidence for denial, revocation or suspension of said license or permit to any party. The Treasurer/Collector shall have the right to intervene in any hearing conducted with respect to such license denial, revocation, or suspension. Any findings made by the licensing authority with respect to such license denial, revocation or suspension shall be made only for the purposes of such proceeding and shall not be relevant to or introduced in any other proceeding at law, except for any appeal from such license denial, revocation or suspension. Any license or permit denied, suspended or revoked under this section shall not be reissued or renewed until the license authority receives a certificate issued by the Treasurer/Collector that the party is in good standing with respect to any and all local taxes, fees, assessments, betterments or other municipal charges as of the date of issuance of said certificate.
Any party shall be given an opportunity to enter into a payment agreement, thereby allowing the licensing authority to issue a certificate indicating said limitations to the license or permit, and the validity of said license shall be conditioned upon the satisfactory compliance with said agreement. Failure to comply with said agreement shall be grounds for the suspension or revocation of said license or permit; provided, however, that the holder is given notice and a hearing as required by applicable provisions of law.
The Municipal Council may waive such denial, suspension or revocation if it finds that there is no direct or indirect business interest by the property owner, its officers or stockholders, if any, or members of his immediate family, as defined in MGL c. 268A, § 1, in the business or activity conducted in or on said property.
This article shall not apply to the following licenses and permits:
Any applicant for a license to engage in any of the following occupational activities within the City of Taunton shall submit a full set of fingerprints taken by the Taunton Police Department within 10 days of the date of the application for said license, for the purpose of conducting a state and national criminal record background check to determine the suitability of the applicant for the license:
Hawker and peddler.
Manager or alternate manager of a liquor licensee.
Solicitors and canvassers.
Dealers in junk, secondhand articles and antiques.
Secondhand motor vehicle dealer.
Hackney carriage operator.
Ice cream truck vendor.
At the time of fingerprinting, the Police Department must notify each individual who is fingerprinted that his or her fingerprints will be used to check the applicant's national and state criminal history records.
The Police Department shall transmit fingerprints obtained pursuant to this article to the Identification Section of the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Information Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as may be necessary for the purpose of conducting the fingerprint-based state and national criminal records background checks of license applicants specified in § 298-9 of this article. The Police Department is authorized to receive and utilize state and FBI records in connection with such background checks, consistent with this article. The state and FBI criminal history will not be disseminated to unauthorized entities.
The Police Department shall provide the applicant with a copy of the results of his or her fingerprint-based criminal record background check and provide the applicant the opportunity to complete or challenge the accuracy of the information contained in said record, including in the FBI identification record. The Police Department must also supply the applicant with information regarding the procedures for changing, correcting or updating a criminal record, including a copy of 28 CFR Part 16.34, pertaining to FBI identification records.
The Police Department shall communicate the results of fingerprint-based criminal record background checks to the applicable licensing authority within the City, but only after complying with § 298-12 of this article. The Police Department shall in addition render to the licensing authority its evaluation of the applicant's suitability for the proposed occupational activity based upon the results of the criminal records background check and any other relevant information known to it. In rendering its evaluation, the Police Department shall consider all applicable laws, regulations and City policies bearing on an applicant's suitability. The Police Department shall indicate if the applicant has been convicted of, or is under pending indictment for, a crime that bears upon his or her suitability, or any felony, or any misdemeanor that involved force or the threat of force, use or possession of a controlled substance, or a sex-related offense.
Licensing authorities of the City shall utilize the results of the fingerprint-based criminal record background checks for the sole purpose of determining the suitability of the applicant for the proposed occupational activity which is the subject of the license applications specified in § 298-9, above. A City licensing authority may deny an application for a license on the basis of the results of a fingerprint-based criminal record background check if it determines that the results of the check render the applicant unsuitable for the proposed occupational activity. The licensing authority shall consider all applicable laws, regulations and City policies bearing on an applicant's suitability in making this determination. The licensing authority shall not deny a licensed based on information in a criminal record unless the applicant has been afforded a reasonable time to correct or complete the record or has declined to do so.
Implementation of this article and the conduct of fingerprint-based criminal background checks by the City shall be in accordance with all applicable laws. The Chief of Police is authorized to promulgate regulations for the implementation of this article. The City shall not disseminate criminal record information received to unauthorized persons or entities.
The fee charged by the Police Department for the purpose of conducting fingerprint-based criminal record background checks shall be $100 per application processed. A portion of the fee, as specified in MGL. c. 6, § 172B1/2, shall be deposited into the Firearms Fingerprint Identify Verification Trust Fund, and the remainder of the fee may be retained by the City for costs associated with the administration of the fingerprinting system.
This article is promulgated in accordance with MGL c. 6, § 172B1/2 and Public Law 92-544.