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Municipal Code

Chapter 4. Finance and Personnel

Sec. 4-38. Room tax.

(1) Definitions. In this section: Gross receipts has the meaning as defined in 77.51(4)(a), (b) and (c) Wis. Stats. insofar as applicable.

Hotel and motel means a building or group of buildings in which the public may obtain accommodations for a consideration, including, without limitation, such establishments as inns, motels, tourist homes, tourist houses or courts, lodginghouses, roominghouses, summer camps, apartment hotels, resort lodges and cabins and any other building or group of buildings, including mobile homes as defined in 66.0435(1)(d) Wis. Stats., in which accommodations are available to the public, except accommodations rented for a continuous period of more than one month and accommodations furnished by any hospital, sanitarium or nursing home, or by corporations or associations organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes provided that no part of the net earnings of such corporations and associations inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

Transient means any person residing for a continuous period of less than one month in a hotel, motel or other furnished accommodation available to the public.

(2) Imposition of tax. Pursuant to 66.0615 Wis. Stats. a tax is hereby imposed on the privilege and service of furnishing, at retail, except sales for resale, of rooms or lodging to transients by hotel keepers, motel operators and other persons furnishing accommodations that are available to the public, irrespective of whether membership is required for the use of the accommodations, but such tax shall apply only if such services are subject to theWisconsin Sale Tax imposed by 77.5277.62 Wis. Stats. Such tax shall be at the rate of six percent of the gross receipts from such retail furnishing of rooms or lodgings, which tax is an increase of two percent from the previous tax rate. Such tax shall not be subject to the selective sales tax imposed by 77.52(2)(a)1 Wis. Stats.

(3) Tax monies. Collection and distribution of tax monies shall be in accordance with the following:

  1. Collection of tax. This section shall be administered by the finance director. The tax imposed for the months of January, February and March 1984 and for each calendar quarter thereafter, is due and payable on the last day of the month next succeeding the calendar quarter for which imposed. A return shall be filed with the finance director, by those furnishing at retail such lodging, on or before the same date on which such tax is due and payable. Such return shall show the gross receipts of the preceding calendar quarter from such retail furnishing of rooms or lodging, the amount of taxes imposed for such period, and other such information as the finance director deems necessary. Every person required to file such quarterly return shall, with his first return, elect to file an annual calendar year or fiscal year return. Such annual return shall be filed within 90 days of the close of each such calendar or fiscal year. The annual return shall summarize the quarterly returns, reconcile and adjust for errors in the quarterly returns, and contain certain such additional information as the finance director requires. Such annual returns shall be made on forms as prescribed by the finance director. All such returns shall be signed by the person required to file a return or his duly authorized agent, but need not be verified by oath. The finance director may, for good cause, extend the time for filing any return, but in no event longer than one month from the filing date.
  2. Distribution of tax. The room tax collected shall be allocated as follows:
    1. Two percent or one-third of the gross receipts from such tax shall be allocated for public parks and/or Wildwood Park and Zoo development.
    2. Two percent or one-third of the gross receipts from such tax shall be allocated to the Marshfield Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB).
    3. Thirty percent of the increase in room tax of two percent of the gross receipts of such tax shall be allocated for public parks and/or Wildwood Park and Zoo development.
    4. Seventy percent of the increase in room tax of two percent shall be allocated to the CVB.

(4) Permit required. Every person furnishing rooms or lodging under subsection (2) of this section shall file with the city clerk an application for a permit for each place of business. Every application for a permit shall be made upon a form prescribed by the city clerk and shall set forth the name under which the applicant transacts or intends to transact business, the location of the place of business, and such other information as the city clerk requires. The application shall be signed by the owner if a sole proprietor and, if not a sole proprietor, by the person authorized to act on behalf of such sellers. At the time of making an application the applicant shall pay to the city clerk a fee of $10.00 for each permit.

(5) Permit regulations. After compliance with subsections (3) and (14) of this section by the applicant, the city clerk shall grant and issue to each applicant a separate permit for each place of business within the city. Such permit is not assignable and is valid only for the person in whose name it is issued and for the transaction of business at the place designated therein. It shall at all times be conspicuously displayed at the place for which issued.

(6) Suspension or revocation of permits. Whenever any person fails to comply with this section the city clerk may, upon ten days' notification, and after affording such person the opportunity to show cause why his permit should not be revoked, revoke or suspend any or all of the permits held by such person. The city clerk shall give to such person written notice of the suspension or revocation of any of his permits. The city clerk shall not issue a new permit after the revocation of a permit unless he is satisfied that the former holder of the permit will comply with the provisions of this section. A fee of $10.00 shall be imposed for the renewal or issuance of a permit which had been previously suspended or revoked.

(7) Liability for tax. If any person liable for any amount of tax under this section sells out his business or stock of goods or quits the business, his successors or assigns shall withhold sufficient of the purchase price to cover such amount until the former owner produces a receipt from the finance director that he has been paid or a certificate stating that no amount is due. If a person subject to the tax imposed by this section fails to withhold such amount of tax from the purchase price as required, he shall become personally liable for payment of the amount required to be withheld by him to the extent of the price of the accommodations valued in money.

(8) Office audit. The finance director may, by office audit, determine the tax required to be paid to the city or the refund due to any person under this section. This determination may be made upon the basis of the facts contained in the return being audited or on the basis of any other information within the finance director's possession. One or more such office audit determinations may be made of the amount due for anyone or for more than one period.

(9) Field audit. The finance director may, by field audit, determine the tax required to be paid to the city or the refund due to any person under this section. The determination may be made upon the basis of the facts contained in the return being audited or upon any other information within the finance director's possession. The finance director is authorized to examine and inspect the books, records, memoranda and property of any person in order to verify the tax liability of that person or of another person. Nothing herein shall prevent the finance director from making a determination of tax at any time.

(10) Estimated assessment. If any person fails to file a return as required by this section, the finance director shall make an estimate of the amount of the gross receipts under subsection (2) of this section. Such estimate shall be made for the period for which such person failed to make a return and shall be based upon any information which is in the finance director's possession or may come into his possession. On the basis of this estimate the finance director shall compute and determine the amount required to be paid to the city, adding to the sum thus arrived at a penalty equal to five percent thereof. One or more such determinations may be made for one or more than one period.

(11) Interest. All unpaid taxes under this section shall bear interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum from the date of the return until the first day of the month following the month in which the tax is paid or deposited with the finance director. All refunded taxes shall bear interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum from the due date of the return until the first day of the month in which the taxes are refunded. An extension of time within which to file a return shall not operate to extend the due date of the return for purposes of interest computation. If the finance director determines that any overpayment of tax has been made intentionally or by reason of carelessness or neglect, or if the tax which was overpaid was not accompanied by a complete return, he shall not allow any interest thereon.

(12) Late filing fee. Delinquent tax returns shall be subject to a late filing fee of $10.00. The tax imposed by this section shall become delinquent if not paid:

  1. In the case of a timely filed return, within 30 days after the due date of the return, or within 30 days after expiration of an extension period if one has been granted.
  2. In the case of no return being filed or a return being filed late, by the due date of the return.

(13) Nonfiling or late filing penalty. If due to negligence no return is filed, or a return is filed late, or an incorrect return is filed, the entire tax finally determined shall be subject to a penalty of $25.00, exclusive of interest or other penalties. If a person fails to file a return when due, or files a false or fraudulent return with the intent in either case to defeat or evade the tax imposed by this section, a penalty of $25.00 shall to be added to the tax required to be paid, exclusive of interest and other penalties.

(14) Security required. In the event any person has been guilty of two or more violations of the provisions of subsection (12) or (13) of this section, the city clerk may require such person to place with him such security, not in excess of $1,000.00, as the city clerk determines to be necessary in order to protect the revenue of the city. If any such person fails or refuses to place such security, the city clerk may revoke his permit. If any taxpayer is thereafter delinquent in the payment of the taxes imposed by this section, the finance director may, upon ten days' written notice, recover the taxes, interest and penalties from the security placed with the city clerk by such taxpayer. No interest shall be paid by the city to any person for the deposit of such security.

(15) Records. Every person liable for the tax imposed by this section shall keep or cause to be kept such records, receipts, invoices and other pertinent papers in such form as the finance director requires.

(16) Confidentiality. Confidentiality shall be maintained in accordance with the following:

  1. All tax returns, schedules, exhibits, writings or audit reports relating to such returns, on file with the finance director, are deemed to be confidential, except the finance director may divulge their contents to the following and no others:
    1. The person who filed the return.
    2. Officers, agents or employees of the federal Internal Revenue Service or the state department of commerce.
    3. The assessor; city attorney; mayor; city administrator; or finance, budget and personnel committee chairperson.
    4. Such other public officials of the City of Marshfield as may be deemed necessary by the finance director.
  2. No person having an administrative duty under this section shall make known in any manner the business affairs, operations or information obtained by an investigation of records of any person on whom a tax is imposed by this section, or the amount or source of income, profits, losses or expenditures, or any particular thereof, set forth or disclosed in any return, or to permit any return or copy thereof to be seen or examined by any person except as provided in subsection (16)(a) of this section.

(17) Tax collection fee. Any person who collects and remits the tax imposed by this section shall be entitled to a collection fee of two percent of the tax so collected. The fee shall be itemized on the tax return and shall be retained from the amount collected and remitted.

(18) Penalty. Any person who is subject to the tax imposed by this section who fails to obtain a permit as required in subsection (4) of this section, or who fails or refuses to permit the inspection of his records by the finance director after such inspection has been duly requested by the finance director, or who fails to file a return as provided in this section, or who violates any other provision of this section, shall be subject to a forfeiture as provided in 66.0615(3) Wis. Stats.

(Code 1982, 3.13)