Township of Cheltenham, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 12-29-1977 by Ord. No. 1431 as Ch. 19, Art. III of the Cheltenham Code]
This Article shall be known and may be cited as the "Mercantile License Tax Code."
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
A. 
The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
COLLECTOR
The Finance Officer or his duly authorized agents of the Township of Cheltenham.[1]
GROSS VOLUME OF BUSINESS
Includes both cash and credit transactions, and trade in transactions as provided by law.
LICENSE YEAR
The twelve-month period beginning the first day of January, 1969.
MANAGER
The Manager of the Township of Cheltenham.[2]
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, limited partnership, association or corporation (except such as are wholly exempt from taxation under the Act of Assembly No. 481, approved June 25, 1947, P.L. 1145, as amended).[3]
RETAIL DEALER or RETAIL VENDOR
Any person who is a dealer in or a vendor of goods, wares and merchandise who is not a wholesale dealer or vendor, or a wholesale and retail dealer or vendor as hereinafter defined.
TEMPORARY, SEASONAL OR ITINERANT BUSINESS
Any business that is conducted at one location for fewer than 60 consecutive calendar days.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Cheltenham.
TREASURER
The Treasurer of the Township of Cheltenham.
WHOLESALE AND RETAIL DEALER or WHOLESALE AND RETAIL VENDOR
Any person who sells to dealers in or vendors of goods, wares and merchandise and to other persons.
WHOLESALE DEALER or WHOLESALE VENDOR
Any person who sells to dealers in or vendors of goods, wares and merchandise and to no other persons.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
[3]
Editor's Note: This act was repealed December 31, 1965, by P.L. 1257, § 3. See now 53 P.S. § 6901 et seq.
B. 
The terms "person," "wholesale dealer or wholesale vendor," "retail dealer or retail vendor" and "wholesale and retail dealer or wholesale and retail vendor," as defined in this section, shall not include nonprofit corporations or associations organized for religious, charitable or educational purposes, 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 manufacture for shipment or delivery from the place of the manufacture thereof or any farmer vending or disposing of his own produce or other transaction exempted by law.
[Amended 10-20-1981 by Ord. No. 1523[1]]
For the license year beginning January 1, 1982, and in each license year thereafter, every person desiring to continue to engage in, or hereafter to begin to engage in, the business of wholesale, or retail, or wholesale and retail, vendor or dealer in goods, wares and merchandise and any person conducting a restaurant or other place where food, drink or refreshments are sold in the Township, shall, on or before the 30th day of January, 1982, or prior to commencing business in any such license year, apply for and procure a mercantile license for his place of business, or if more than one, for each of his places of business in the Township, from the Township Manager who shall issue the same upon payment of a fee, to be set forth from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners[2] for his place of business, or if more than one, for each of his places of business in the Township for such license year. Each application for a license shall be signed by the applicant, if a natural person, and in the case of an association or partnership, by a member or partner thereof, and in the case of a corporation, by an officer thereof. Such licenses shall not be assignable and shall be conspicuously posted at the place of business or each of the places of business of every such person at all times. In the case of loss, defacement or destruction of any license, the person to whom the license was issued shall apply to the Township Manager for a new license for which a fee, to be set forth from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners, shall be charged.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
[2]
Editor's Note: For current fee amounts, see Ch. A300, Fees.
[Amended 10-20-1981 by Ord. No. 1523]
A tax to provide revenue for general Township purposes is hereby levied, assessed and imposed upon every person engaging in any of the following occupations or businesses in the Township at the rate hereinafter set forth, and such persons shall pay a mercantile license tax for the year beginning January 1, 1982, at such rate, subject to the exemptions hereinafter set forth; provided, however, that in the event that the mercantile license tax therein calculated is less than $2, no tax shall be due:
A. 
Wholesale vendors, or dealers in goods, wares and merchandise of every kind, at the rate of one mill on each dollar of the gross volume of business transacted by him during the license year.
B. 
Retail vendors, or dealers in goods, wares and merchandise of every kind, and all persons engaged in conducting restaurants or other places where food, drink or refreshments are sold, at the rate of one and one-half (1 1/2) mills on each dollar of the gross volume of business transacted by him during the license year.
C. 
Wholesale and retail vendors or dealers in goods, wares and merchandise of every kind at the rate of one mill on each dollar of the gross volume of wholesale business transacted by him, and one and one-half (1 1/2) mills on each dollar of the gross volume of retail business transacted by him during the license year.
A. 
Estimated. The following sections refer to the computation of the estimated gross volume of business:
(1) 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax hereby imposed, who has commenced his business at least a full year prior to January 1, 1969, shall compute the gross volume of business upon the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during the 12 months preceding January 1, 1969.
(2) 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax hereby imposed, who has commenced his business less than one full year prior to January 1, 1969, shall compute the gross volume of business by multiplying by 12 the monthly average of the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during the months he was engaged in business prior to January 1, 1969.
(3) 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax hereby imposed, who commences his business subsequent to January 1, 1969, shall compute the gross volume of business for the 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 remaining in the license year.
(4) 
Every person subject to the payment of the tax hereby imposed who engages in business temporary, seasonal or itinerant by its nature shall compute the gross volume of business upon the actual gross amount of business transacted by him during the license year.
B. 
Final. On or before April 15 of each year, every person subject to the tax hereby imposed shall make a return to the Township Manager of the actual volume of business transacted by the taxpayer during the period for which the taxpayer is subject to the tax. Such final return shall state the amount of the gross volume of business as set forth in the first return, the amount of tax paid at the time of the filing of the first return and the amount of tax due upon the final completion.
[Amended 2-21-1984 by Ord. No. 1579]
Every return, as hereinafter required by this section, shall be made upon a form furnished by the Township Manager. Every person making such return shall certify the correctness thereof under the penalties of perjury. Upon written request from a taxpayer prior to April 15 in such form as specified by the Tax Collector, the Tax Collector may extend the due date of any tax return provided for herein for a period of 60 days.
A. 
Every person subject to the tax imposed by this article who has commenced his business at least one full year prior to the beginning of the license year shall, on or before the 15th day of April following, file with the Collector a return setting forth his name, his business and business address and such other information as may be necessary to compute the actual gross volume of business transacted by him during the license year and the amount of tax estimated to be due.
B. 
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 the license year shall, on or before the 15th day of June following, file with the Collector a return setting forth his name, his business, business address and such other information as may be necessary to compute the actual gross volume of business transacted by him during the license year and the amount of tax estimated to be due.
C. 
Every person subject to the tax imposed by this article who commences business subsequent to the beginning of the license year shall, within 40 days from the date of commencing such business, file a return with the Collector setting forth his name, his business and business address and such information as may be necessary to compute the actual gross volume of business transacted by him during the license year and the amount of tax estimated to be due.
D. 
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 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 such period and the amount of the tax due.
On or before April 15, after the end of the license year, every person subject to the tax hereby imposed shall make a final return in the form provided by § 270-21 hereof.
A. 
At the time of filing the first return, the person making the same shall pay the amount of the tax estimated to be due.
B. 
At the time of the filing of the final return, if the full amount of the tax due by the taxpayer for the license year has not been paid, the taxpayer shall pay the remaining balance of the tax, which will be the difference between the amount of the tax paid at the time of making the first return on the estimated computation and amount of the tax finally shown to be due; provided, however, that if said remaining balance is less than $2, no additional payment shall be required.
[Amended 10-20-1981 by Ord. No. 1523]
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Collector to collect and receive the fees, taxes, fines and penalties imposed by this article. It shall also be his duty to keep a record showing the amount of the tax received by him and the date of payment. A receipt shall be given to the person paying the tax.
B. 
If the Collector is not satisfied with the return and payment of tax made by any taxpayer or supposed taxpayer under the provisions of this article, he is hereby authorized and empowered to make a determination of the tax due by such person, based upon the facts contained in the return, or upon any information within his possession or that shall come into his possession, and for this purpose, the Collector, his Deputy or his authorized agent are authorized to examine the books, papers and records of any such person to verify the accuracy of any return or payment made under the provisions thereof or to ascertain whether the taxes imposed by this article have been paid. The Collector is hereby 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 his discretion, require reasonable deposits to be made by licensees who engage in a business, temporary, seasonal or itinerant by its nature.
C. 
If any taxpayer or supposed taxpayer shall neglect or refuse to make any return and payment of tax required by this article or if, as a result of an investigation by the Collector, a return is found to be incorrect, the Collector shall estimate the tax due by such person and determine the amount due by him for taxes, penalties and interest thereon.
D. 
The burden is hereby imposed upon any person, firm or corporation claiming an exemption from the payment of the tax hereby imposed to convince the Collector of his legal right to such exemption.
E. 
If the final return of the taxpayer shows an overpayment of the tax by reason of the fact that the gross volume of business as stated in the estimated computation was less than the actual volume of business for the year or by reason of the fact that the taxpayer did not continue to engage in business throughout the year, the Collector shall refund to the taxpayer the amount of tax paid upon the filing of the first return and the amount of the tax finally shown to be due, or the taxpayer may take credit for any overpayment on his estimated return for the subsequent year.
All taxes due and unpaid under this article shall be recoverable by the Township Solicitor as other debts due the Township are now by law recoverable.
[Amended 4-21-1981 by Ord. No. 1514; 9-20-1983 by Ord. No. 1572; 2-21-1984 by Ord. No. 1579]
All taxes due under this article to the extent not offset by a credit owing the taxpayer at the due date of such tax shall bear interest at the rate of 1.25% per month or fractional part of a month from the day they are due and payable without regard to any extension until paid. If any taxpayer shall neglect or refuse to make any return or payment as herein required, an additional 10% shall be added by the Collector and collected; provided, however, that no such amount shall be collected for the failure to file a return when the period to file said return has been extended by the Tax Collector pursuant to § 270-22 of this article.
All taxes, interest and penalties received, collected or recovered under the provisions of this article shall be paid into the treasury of the Township of Cheltenham for the use and benefit of the Township of Cheltenham.
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 now within the taxing power of the Township under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The provisions of this article are severable, and if any of its provisions or exemptions shall be held to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional, or invalid or unconstitutional as to any part of the period designated herein as the license year, the decisions of any court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions of this article or affect or impair its application upon any other part of said license year, and the requirements as to the license shall operate as of the effective date of this article, and the computation of tax and payment thereof shall be applied and adjusted accordingly.
[Amended 3-21-1989 by Ord. No. 1686[1]]
Any person or legal entity, or any officer, agent, servant or employee thereof, who shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall, upon a finding thereof before a District Justice, be required to pay a civil fine of not more than $600 and costs of suit, collectible in the manner provided by law. The fine imposed by this section shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed by any other section of this article.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
It is the intent of the Board of Commissioners that any ordinance now in effect which imposes a special license fee or tax on specific types or kinds of business not covered by the provisions of this article shall be and remain in full force and effect.