[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lancaster 11-25-2014 by Ord. No. 16-2014; amended in its entirety 4-12-2016 by Ord. No. 4-2016. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Every person or business engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation or profession by maintaining a business location, in whole or in part, within the limits of the City of Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is required to register and pay a business registration fee to operate a business in the City.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meaning ascribed herein:
- A calling, occupation, profession, or activity engaged in with the object of gain, benefit or advantage, either directly or indirectly. "Business" shall include charitable organizations and organizations performing a charitable purpose.
- CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
- An organization that is determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be exempt from federal income taxes under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (10) or (19).
- CHARITABLE PURPOSE
- A benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic, or eleemosynary purpose which does not result in personal gain to a sponsor, organizer, officer, director, trustee or person with ultimate control of the organization.
- The City of Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, LLP, LLC, cooperative nonprofit membership, corporation, joint venture, association, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, holding company, or other group or combination acting as a unit, in the singular or plural, and the agent or employee having charge or control of a business in the absence of the principal.
- REGISTRATION OFFICIAL
- A person designated by the City to administer the provisions of this chapter.
The business registration required by this chapter is for the purpose of establishing a database of businesses operating within the City and assisting the City of Lancaster Revitalization and Improvement Zone Authority in performing its functions.
The required business registration fee of $35 shall be paid for each business subject hereto upon the adoption of this chapter, at the time a person opens a business in the City of Lancaster, upon the change of ownership of a business located in the City of Lancaster, or upon the change of location of a business within the City of Lancaster. This fee may be amended from time to time by resolution of the City Council.
A separate registration shall be required for each place of business and for each business conducted at one address. The registration fee will not be prorated if a business is registered during the year. No refund shall be made for a business that is discontinued. Businesses operating within the City on the date this chapter becomes effective may submit a single registration form listing the address of each business operating under the same corporate name.
The City will waive the initial business registration fee for all businesses operating within the City on the date this chapter becomes effective, until such time as a change of location or change of ownership of the business occurs. Upon either occurrence, a fee of $35 will be required to file a corrected business registration form.
The owner, agent or legal representative of each business subject to this chapter shall register the business within 15 days of opening a business, of an ownership change of an existing business, or a location change of an existing business subject to this chapter.
Registration shall be on the form attached hereto, as may be modified from time to time by resolution of City Council, which shall contain the social security number and/or the federal employer identification number (FEIN) for those businesses located within the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ), or for those businesses not located in the CRIZ, the last five digits of the owner's social security number for those businesses that cannot provide a FEIN, the business name as reported on the business's or owner's Pennsylvania income tax return, and all information about the applicant and the business deemed necessary for the City to accomplish the purposes set forth above.
Editor's Note: Said form is on file in the City offices.
All businesses shall be required to annually report to the Registration Official that information provided on the initial business registration form filed with the City remains accurate. Notices will be issued annually by the Registration Official to all businesses registered to confirm the information. Confirmations are due by January 31 of each year.
No person or business shall be exempt from the requirements of the chapter by reason of the lack of an established place of business within the City, unless exempted by state or federal law. No person or business shall be exempt from this chapter by reason of the payment of any other registration or license fee, unless exempted by state law, and no person shall be relieved of liability for payment of any other tax or fee by reason of application of this chapter.
A charitable organization shall be deemed a business subject to this chapter and the business registration fee.
Units of federal, state, county or City government, including the School District of Lancaster, located within the City of Lancaster, are exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person or business subject to the provisions of this chapter to submit a false registration for a business or to give or file, or direct the giving or filing of, any false information with respect to the registration required by this chapter.
The Registration Official shall administer the provisions of this chapter, administrate registrations, make or initiate investigations to insure compliance, report violations to the City Solicitor, assist in prosecution of violators, produce forms, make reasonable regulations relating to the administration of this chapter, and perform such other duties as may be duly assigned.
If a person or business fails to register a business or to furnish the information required by this chapter to the Registration Official, the Registration Official shall examine such records of the business or any other available records as may be appropriate and conduct such investigations and statistical surveys as the Registration Official may deem appropriate to assess any penalties as provided herein.
Any findings or penalties resulting from an inspection or investigation may be appealed to the Director of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization, or his/her appointed representative, by filing a written notice of appeal within 10 days after the day of written notification to the person or business.
For nonpayment of all or any part of the business registration fee, the Registration Official shall levy and collect a late penalty of 5% of the fee for each month or portion thereof after the due date until paid. Penalties shall not be waived. If any fee remains unpaid for 60 days after its due date, the Registration Official shall report it to the Director of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization for appropriate legal action.
Except in accordance with proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful for the Registration Official, any City public official, City employee or City-contracted professional to divulge or make known in any manner any personal or proprietary information set forth or disclosed in any application or report required under this chapter. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the publication of statistics, so classified as to prevent the identification of particular reports. Aggregate registration data may be shared with other public officials or employees of the City in the performance of their duties, whether or not those duties relate to enforcement of this chapter.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of an offense and shall be subject to a fine of up to $100 upon conviction. Each month of violation shall be considered a separate offense. Punishment for violation shall not relieve the offender of liability for fees, penalties and costs provided for herein. In addition, the City may pursue any of the remedies available to it in law or in equity to mandate compliance with the terms hereof.
In the event any provision, section, sentence, clause or part of this chapter shall be held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sections, sentences, clauses or parts of this chapter, it being the intent of the City of Lancaster that the remainder of the chapter shall be and shall remain in full force and effect.
In no instance shall the registration of a business and the payment of registration fees be construed to exonerate the owner, local agent or other responsible party from responsibility for compliance with any other City of Lancaster code or ordinance.
The penalty and collection provisions of this chapter shall be independent, non mutually exclusive separate remedies, all of which shall be available to the City as may be deemed appropriate for carrying out the proposes of this chapter. The remedies and procedures provided in this chapter for violation hereof are not intended to supplant or replace to any degree the remedies and procedures available to the City in the case of a violation of any other City of Lancaster code or ordinance, whether or not such other code or ordinance is referenced in this chapter, and whether or not an ongoing violation of such other code or ordinance is cited as the underlying ground for a finding of a violation of this chapter.