BUSINESS LICENSE Ordinance
TITLE VI—BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS AND TRADES
Sec. 6000 Purpose - Revenue measure.
This Chapter is enacted solely to raise revenue for municipal purposes, and is not intended for regulation.
Sec. 6001 Definitions.
For the purpose of this Chapter unless it is plainly evident from the context that a different meaning is intended, the words and phrases used herein shall have meanings as hereinafter set forth.
Person. "Person" includes all domestic and foreign corporations; associations; syndicates; joint stock corporations; partnerships of every kind; clubs, business, or common law trusts; societies; and individuals transacting and carrying on any business in the City of Arcata, other than as an employee.
Business. "Business" includes professions, trades, and occupations and all and every kind of calling carried on for profit or livelihood.
Fixed Place of Business. "Fixed place of business" means the premises occupied in the City of Arcata for the particular purpose of conducting a business there at and regularly kept open for that purpose with a competent person in attendance for the purpose of attending to said business.
Newly Established Business. "Newly established business" means a business in existence and operation for less than three months.
Employee. "Employee" shall mean all persons engaged in the operation or conduct of any business, whether as owner, any member or owner, any member of the owner’s family, partner, agent, manager, solicitor, broker, salesperson and any and all other persons employed or working in said business.
Vehicle. "Vehicle" means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public street or highway, except devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
Average Number of Persons Employed. "Number of persons employed" means the average number of persons employed daily in the applicant’s business during the previous year within the City of Arcata and shall be determined by ascertaining the total number of hours of service performed by all employees within Arcata during the previous year, and dividing the total number of hours thus obtained by the number of hours of service constituting a year’s work of one full-time employee according to the custom or laws governing such employment. In computing the average number of persons employed fractions of numbers shall be excluded by rounding to the nearest whole number.
Gender. Whenever the masculine is used in this Chapter it shall also include the feminine.
Singular and Plural. Whenever the singular is used in this Chapter it shall also include the plural.
Sec. 6002 License Required.
There are hereby imposed upon the businesses, trades, professions, callings and occupations specified in this Chapter, license taxes in the amounts hereinafter prescribed. No person shall transact and carry on any business, trade, or profession, calling or occupation in the City of Arcata without first having procured a license or without first having paid to the City the business license tax provided herein.
The issuance of a license under this Chapter shall not entitle the licensee to engage in any business which for any reason is in violation of any law or ordinance and shall not entitle the holder thereof to carry on any business unless he has complied with all the requirements under other ordinances of the City of Arcata and all other applicable laws, nor shall it entitle the licensee to carry on any business in any building or on any premises designated in such license in the event that such business or premises are situated in a zone or locality in which the conduct of such business is in violation of any law.
Sec. 6003 Contents of license.
All licenses shall be prepared and issued by the Director of Finance of the City of Arcata, upon payment of the sum to be paid therefore, and each license so issued shall state upon the face thereof the following:
a. The name under which the business operates or will operate.
b. The name of the person to whom the license is issued or who will be responsible for compliance of the business with applicable laws of the City.
c. The location of such business (street address).
d. The mailing address of the business.
e. The date of the expiration of such license.
f. The kind or kinds of business conducted on the premises.
g. Such other information as the Director of Finance may require.
Sec. 6004 License Tax: How payable.
All license taxes due hereunder shall be paid in advance, in lawful money of the United States, at the office of the Department of Finance.
Sec. 6005 Delinquency.
All license taxes due hereunder shall be due and payable, and delinquent as follows:
a. Daily License. Due on its effective date and delinquent at 5 p.m. of due date.
b. Monthly License. Due on the first day of each month for which license is sought and delinquent at 5 p.m. on the tenth day of the month.
c. Quarterly License. Due on the first day of July, October, January and April. Delinquent at 5 p.m. on the 20th day of the first month in which the quarterly license is due.
d. Semi-annual License. Due on the first day of January and July. Delinquent at 5 p.m. the last day of the first month in which the semi-annual license is due.
e. Annual License. Due on the first day of July, delinquent at 5 p.m. on July 31st.
To all delinquent licenses there shall be added a penalty of 10% of the amount of the tax due for the period, and an additional 10% for each month delinquent thereafter, providing that the amount of such penalty to be added shall in no event exceed 50% of the amount of the license tax due.
Sec. 6006 Proration.
No proration of any license due hereunder shall be made for any portion of the period for which a license is payable, except in the case of the first annual license the tax may be prorated as follows:
(a) If the application is made during the quarter beginning July first, 100% of such fee shall be paid;
(b) If application is made during the quarter beginning October first, 75% of such fee shall be paid;
(c) If application is made during the quarter beginning January first, 50% of such fee shall be paid;
(d) If application is made during the quarter beginning April first, 25% of such fee shall be paid.
Sec. 6007 Duration of license.
No license shall be issued for a period extending beyond the 30th day of June following issuance. All semi-annual licenses shall expire either on December 31st or June 30th, whichever occurs first following the date of issuance.
Sec. 6008 Limitations.
No greater or lesser amount of money shall be charged or received for any license tax than provided for in this Chapter and no license shall be sold or issued for any period of time other than provided for in this Chapter, provided, that this section shall not refer to such penalties as are herein provided for.
Sec. 6009 Branch establishments.
Separate licenses must be obtained for each branch establishment or location of the business engaged in, as if each such branch establishment or location were a separate business, and each license shall authorize the licensee to engage only in the business licensed thereby at the location or in the manner designated in each license; provided that warehouses and distributing plants used in connection with and incidental to a business licensed under the provisions of this Chapter shall not be deemed to be separate places of business or branch establishments.
Sec. 6010 Joint licenses for multiple businesses.
If two or more businesses are conducted on the same premises by the same person and such businesses are subject to tax on a per employee basis only one license shall be required based upon the total number of employees employed.
Sec. 6011 Duplicate licenses.
Duplicate licenses may be issued by the Department of Finance to replace any license previously issued which has been lost or destroyed, upon the licensee filing an affidavit attesting to such fact, and at the time of filing such affidavit paying to the Department of Finance a fee as set forth in the Schedule of Fees adopted by resolution of the City Council.
Sec. 6012 Transfer of license.
No license issued pursuant to this Chapter shall be transferred, except that when a licensee transfers his business from one location to another in the City of Arcata the license previously issued may be amended to authorize the conduct of the business at the new location and provided, further, that a license issued under any provision of this Chapter to a person having a fixed place of business in the City of Arcata may be transferred or assigned to any other person. The license transfers and amendments herein authorized may be obtained upon application therefore to the Department of Finance and the payment of a fee as set forth in the Schedule of Fees adopted by resolution of the City Council.
Sec. 6013 License to be conspicuously posted.
All licenses must be kept and posted in the following manner:
a. Any licensee transacting and carrying on business at a fixed place of business in the City of Arcata shall keep the license posted in a conspicuous place upon the premises where such business is carried on.
b. Any licensee transacting and carrying on business but not operating at a fixed place of business in the City of Arcata shall keep the license upon his person or in his vehicle at all times while transacting and carrying on such business.
Sec. 6014 Refunds.
No refunds will be made on any amount paid as a license tax, except in case of an error on the part of the City of Arcata in the determination of the amount of the license tax, in the event of double payment for a license, or in case of illegally collected license tax.
Sec. 6015 Application for issuance of license.
Every person required to have a license under the provisions of this Chapter shall make application for the same to the Department of Finance in the City of Arcata. Such application shall be a written statement upon a form provided by such department and shall be signed by the applicant under penalty of perjury or sworn to by the applicant before a person authorized to administer oaths. The application shall set forth such information as may be necessary to properly determine the amount of the license tax to be paid by the applicant.
If the amount of the license tax to be paid by the applicant is based upon the average number of employees, such application shall set forth the average number of employees for the applicable period as provided for in this Chapter.
Sec. 6016 Application for first license.
Every person making application for a first license shall pay to the Department of Finance at least the minimum license tax for the business in which he is engaged.
The license tax thus paid shall be tentative only, and such person shall, within 30 days after the expiration of the period for which such license was issued, furnish the Department of Finance with a sworn statement upon a form, to be provided by such department, setting forth such information as may be therein required and showing, during the period of such license the average number of employees, the number of vehicles used by such person or the number of tables, alleys, or other devices used for any game, etc., or other applicable basis. The license tax shall be ascertained and paid upon such applicable basis, credit being given for the minimum license tax previously paid.
Sec. 6017 Application for renewal of license.
In all cases, the applicant for the renewal of a license shall request from the Department of Finance its guidance in ascertaining the amount of the license tax to be paid by the applicant by submitting a written statement upon a form to be provided by such department, signed under penalty of perjury or sworn to before a person authorized to administer oaths. Said statement shall set forth such information concerning the type of the applicant’s business, the number of employees during the preceding year therein or other applicable basis as may be required by the Department of Finance to enable it to ascertain the amount of the license tax to be paid by said applicant pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.
Sec. 6018 Statements not conclusive.
No statement shall be conclusive as to the matters set forth therein, nor shall the filing of the same preclude the City of Arcata from collecting by appropriate action such sum as is actually due and payable hereunder.
Sec. 6019 Information confidential.
The information furnished or secured pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed confidential in character, except that which is shown on the face of the license itself, and shall not be subject to public inspection and shall be kept so that the contents thereof shall not become known except to the persons charged with the administration of this Chapter.
Unless in compliance with judicial order or as may be required for the proper administration of this Chapter, the Department of Finance, its agents and employees, shall not divulge facts or information obtained in the administration hereof.
Sec. 6020 Determination of license tax in certain cases.
If any person fails to file any required statement within the time prescribed, or, if, after demand therefore has been made by the Department of Finance, he fails to file a corrected statement within 15 days after notification to do so, or it appears to the satisfaction of the Department of Finance that a statement filed does not set forth the true facts of the business for which a license is required, the Department of Finance shall determine the amount of license tax due from such person by means of such information as it may be able to obtain.
In case such determination is made, the Department of Finance shall give notice of the amount so assessed by serving it personally or by depositing it in the U. S. Post Office at Arcata, California, postage prepaid, addressed to the person so assessed at the address appearing on his last license or application. Such person may, within ten days after the serving or mailing of such notice, make application in writing to the Director of Finance for hearing before the Director on the amount of the license tax. If such application is made, The Director shall give not less than five days’ written notice, in the manner prescribed herein, to the licensee to show cause, at a time and place fixed in said notice, why said amount specified therein should not be fixed for such license. At such hearing the licensee may appear and offer evidence why such specified tax should not be fixed as the license tax. After such hearing, the Director of Finance shall determine the proper tax to be charged and shall forthwith make written notice to the licensee in the manner prescribed herein of such determination and the amount of such tax.
If application by the licensee for a hearing is not made within the time prescribed, the license tax determined by the Department of Finance shall become final and conclusive.
Sec. 6021 Appeal.
In case of undue hardship arising from the enforcement and operation of the provisions of this Chapter, a licensee may apply to the City Council of the City of Arcata for such relief or adjustment as the City Council may see fit.
Any person aggrieved by any decision of an administrative officer or agency with respect to the issuance or refusal to issue a license, or the amount of a license tax may appeal to the Council by filing a notice of appeal with the City Clerk within fifteen days of such decision. The Council shall fix a time and place for hearing such appeal and the City Clerk shall give notice in writing to such person of the time and place of hearing by serving it personally or by depositing it in the U.S. Post Office at Arcata, California, postage prepaid, addressed to such person at the address appearing on his last license or application. The findings of the Council shall be served upon the applicant in the manner prescribed above for service of notice of hearing.
The amount of any license tax finally determined as provided in this section or Section 6020 shall be due and payable as of the date the original license fee was due and payable, together with any penalties that may be due thereon: provided, however, if the amount of such license tax shall be fixed in accordance with the original statement of the applicant, then no penalty shall attach by reason of any delinquency.
Sec. 6022 Additional power of City Council and Director of Finance.
In addition to all other power conferred upon him, the Director of Finance shall have the power, for good cause shown, to extend the time for filing any required sworn statement for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days, and in such case to waive any penalty that would otherwise have accrued; and shall have the further power, with the consent of the Council, to compromise any claim as to amount of license tax due.
The City Council shall have the power to totally or partially waive the customary fee as set forth elsewhere in this Chapter, for one-time events or other infrequent or annual occurrences for which a fee would otherwise be payable, if it is deemed by the City Council that such action would be in the best interests of the community.
Sec. 6023 Revocation of licenses.
Any license issued under the provisions of this Chapter may be revoked by the Director of Finance upon the failure on the part of the licensee to pay the charges imposed by this Chapter or to file the application or statements required by this Chapter.
Sec. 6026 License tax.
The amount of license taxes to be paid to the City of Arcata by any person engaged in or carrying on any profession, trade, calling, occupation or business hereinafter designated is that which is hereby fixed and established by resolution of the City Council. Such license tax shall be paid by every person engaged in carrying on or maintaining such profession, trade, occupation, calling or business in the City of Arcata.
Sec. 6030 Exemptions
The following are exempted from the payment of a license tax under this Chapter.
a. Any charitable institution, organization, or association organized and conducted for charitable purposes only.
b. Any person conducting, carrying on or staging any concert, exhibition, lecture, dance, amusement or entertainment or sale where the receipts, if any derived therefrom, are to be used solely for charitable or benevolent purposes and not for private gain or for the private gain of any person in whole or in part.
c. Any religious, fraternal, educational, military, state, county or municipal organization or association conducting, carrying on or staging any amusement or entertainment, concert, exhibition, lecture, dance or athletic event or sale when the receipts derived are to be wholly for the benefit of such organization and not in the whole or any part for private gain of any person.
d. Any doctor, dentist, veterinarian, lawyer, accountant, architect, engineer or other professional person not having a fixed place of business within the City who is called upon to come to the City to render services.
Sec. 6031 Exclusions.
Except as may be otherwise specifically provided in this Chapter the terms hereof shall not be deemed or construed to apply to any of the following persons:
a. Any public utility which makes payments to the City of Arcata under a franchise or similar agreement.
b. Banks, including national banking associations, to the extent that a City may not levy a license tax upon them under the provisions of Article XIII, Section 16, Subdivision 1 (a) of the State Constitution.
c. Insurance companies and associations to the extent that a city may not levy a license tax upon them under the provisions of Article XIII, Section 14 4/5 of the State Constitution.
d. Any person whom the City is not authorized to license under any law or constitution of the United States or the State of California.
The Department of Finance may require the filing of a verified statement from any person, claiming to be excluded by the provision of Sections 6030 or 6031 which statement shall set forth all facts upon which the exclusion is claimed.
Sec. 6035 Substitute for other revenue acts.
Any person required to pay a license tax for transacting and carrying on any business under this Chapter shall not be relieved from the payment of any license tax for the privilege of doing such business which has been required under any other ordinance or provision of the City of Arcata, and shall remain subject to the regulatory provisions of such other ordinance.
Sec. 6036 Effect of chapter on actions and obligations previously accrued.
Neither the adoption of this Chapter nor its superseding of any portion of any other provision of the Municipal Code of the City of Arcata shall in any manner be construed to affect prosecution for violation of any other law of the City committed prior to the effective date hereof, nor be construed as a waiver of any license or any penal provision applicable to any such violation, nor be construed to affect the validity of any bond or cash deposit required by any ordinance or provision of the Municipal Code of the City of Arcata to be posted, filed, or deposited, and all rights and obligations thereunto appertaining shall continue in full force and effect.
Sec. 6037 Unexpired licenses heretofore issued.
Any person who on the effective date of this Chapter has a valid unexpired license for any business issued by the City of Arcata under the provision of any ordinance heretofore enacted, shall receive credit on the amount of the license tax imposed by this chapter for a portion of the license tax previously paid based upon the unexpired portion of the period for which such previous license was issued. In the event that the pro rata credit for an unexpired license is greater than the license tax required by this chapter, then and in that event the amount of the license tax under this chapter shall be the amount of the credit for the unexpired license fee or fees paid under each other ordinance or ordinances.
Sec. 6038 License tax a debt.
The amount of any license tax and penalty imposed by the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed a debt to the City of Arcata, and any person carrying on any business without first having procured a license from said City to do so shall be liable to an action in the name of said City in any court of competent jurisdiction for the amount of the license tax and penalties imposed on such business.
Sec. 6039 Both criminal and civil action authorized for failure to pay license tax.
The conviction and imprisonment of any person for engaging in any business without first obtaining a license to conduct such business shall not relieve such person from paying the license tax to conduct such business, nor shall the payment of any license tax prevent a criminal prosecution for the violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter; all remedies prescribed hereunder shall be cumulative and the use of one or more remedies by the City shall not bar the use of any other remedy for the purpose of enforcing the provisions hereof.
Sec. 6040 Effect of mistake.
In no case shall any mistake made by the City in stating the amount of a license tax prevent or prejudice the collection by the City of what shall be actually due from anyone carrying on a business subject to a license tax under this Chapter.
Sec. 6041 Evidence of liability.
In any action brought under or arising out of any of the provisions of this Chapter, or any ordinance imposing a license tax, the fact that a party thereto represented himself as engaged in any business or calling for the transaction of which a license is required, or that such party exhibited a sign indicating such business or calling, shall be presumptive evidence of the liability of such party to pay for a license for such business.
Sec. 6042 Administration of oaths.
For the purpose of this Chapter, the Director of Finance, his deputies and authorized agents, are authorized to administer oaths.
Sec. 6043 Enforcement.
It shall be the duty of the Director of Finance, his deputy, agents, and/or employees, and they and each of them are hereby directed to enforce each and all of the provisions of this Chapter. Each department of the City which issues permits for work to be done shall require the production of a valid unexpired business license prior to the issuance of such a permit.
The Director of Finance in the exercise of the duties imposed upon him hereunder and acting through his deputies or duly authorized assistants, may examine or cause to be examined all places of business including personnel records of said business in the City to ascertain whether the provisions of this Chapter have been complied with. A complaint may be filed by the Director of Finance or any of his deputies or authorized assistants against any and all persons found to be in violation of any of said provisions.
Sec. 6047 Penalty for violation.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this Chapter or knowingly or intentionally misrepresenting to any officer or employee of this City any material fact in procuring the license or permit herein provided for shall be deemed guilty of an infraction, and shall be punishable as provided in Title I of the Arcata Municipal Code.