_________ Bill No. _______
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act authorizing the electorate of municipalities the option of enacting the resort tax as a resort area; and amending sections 7-6-4461, 7-6-4462, 7-6-4463, 7-6-4464, 7-6-4465, 7-6-4466, 7-6-4467, 7-6-4468, and 7-6-4469, MCA."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 7-6-4461, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-6-4461. Resort tax -- definitions. As used in 7-6-4461 through 7-6-4469, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Luxuries" means any gift item, luxury item, or other item normally sold to the public or to transient visitors or tourists. The term does not include food purchased unprepared or unserved, medicine, medical supplies and services, appliances, hardware supplies and tools, or any necessities of life.
(2) "Medical supplies" means items that are sold to be used for curative, prosthetic, or medical maintenance purposes, whether or not prescribed by a physician.
(3) "Medicine" means substances sold for curative or remedial properties, including both physician prescribed and over-the-counter medications.
(4) "Resort area" means an area that is:
is an unincorporated area and is a defined contiguous geographic area ; (b) that has a population of less than 2,500 according to the most recent federal census or federal estimate; or (c)(b) an incorporated municipality. derives the major portion of its economic well-being from businesses catering to the
recreational and personal needs of persons traveling to or through the area for purposes not related to their income
production; and (d) has been designated by the department of commerce as a resort area prior to its establishment by the county
commissioners as provided in 7-6-4468. (5) "Resort community" means a community that: (a) is an incorporated municipality; (b) has a population of less than 5,500 according to the most recent federal census or federal estimate; (c) derives the primary portion of its economic well-being related to current employment from businesses catering to the
recreational and personal needs of persons traveling to or through the municipality for purposes not related to their income
production; and (d) has been designated by the department of commerce as a resort community."
Section 2. Section 7-6-4462, MCA, is amended to read:
community area taxing authority -- specific delegation. As required by 7-1-112, 7-6-4461 through
7-6-4467 specifically delegate to the electors of each respective resort community area the power to authorize their
municipality to impose the imposition of a resort tax within the corporate boundary of the municipality area as provided in
7-6-4461 through 7-6-4467."
Section 3. Section 7-6-4463, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-6-4463. Limit on resort tax rate -- goods and services subject to tax. (1) The rate of the resort tax must be established by the election petition or resolution provided for in 7-6-4464, but the rate may not exceed 3%.
(2) (a) The resort tax is a tax on the retail value of all goods and services sold, except for goods and services sold for resale,
within the resort
community or area by the following establishments:
(i) hotels, motels, and other lodging or camping facilities;
(ii) restaurants, fast food stores, and other food service establishments;
(iii) taverns, bars, night clubs, lounges, and other public establishments that serve beer, wine, liquor, or other alcoholic beverages by the drink; and
(iv) destination ski resorts and other destination recreational facilities.
(b) Establishments that sell luxuries shall collect a tax on
such the luxuries."
Section 4. Section 7-6-4464, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-6-4464. Resort tax -- election required -- procedure -- notice. (1) A resort
community or area may not impose or,
except as provided in 7-6-4465, amend or repeal a resort tax unless the resort tax question has been submitted to the
electorate of the resort community or area and approved by a majority of the electors voting on the question.
(2) The resort tax question may be presented to the electors of:
(a) a resort
community area that consists of a municipality by a petition of the electors as provided by 7-1-4130, 7-5-132,
and 7-5-134 through 7-5-137 or by a resolution of the governing body of the resort community municipality; or
(b) a resort area that is not a municipality by a resolution of the board of county commissioners, following receipt of a petition of electors as provided in 7-6-4468.
(3) If a resort area is in more than one county, the resort tax question must be presented to and approved by the electors in the resort area of each county.
(4) The petition or resolution referring the taxing question must state:
(a) the rate of the resort tax;
(b) the duration of the resort tax;
(c) the date when the tax becomes effective, which date may not be earlier than 35 days after the election; and
(d) the purposes that may be funded by the resort tax revenue.
(5) Upon receipt of an adequate petition, the governing body may:
(a) call a special election on the resort tax question; or
(b) have the resort tax question placed on the ballot at the next regularly scheduled election.
(6) (a) Before the resort tax question is submitted to the electorate of a resort
community or area, the governing body of the
resort community municipality or the board of county commissioners in the county in which the resort area is located, if the
resort area is not a municipality, shall publish notice of the goods and services subject to the resort tax , in a newspaper that
meets the qualifications of subsection (6)(b). The notice must be published twice, with at least 6 days separating
publications. The first publication must be no more than 30 days prior to the election and the last no less than 3 days prior
to the election.
(b) The newspaper must be:
(i) of general, paid circulation with a second-class mailing permit;
(ii) published at least once a week; and
(iii) published in the county where the election will take place.
(7) The question of the imposition of a resort tax may not be placed before the electors more than once in any fiscal year."
Section 5. Section 7-6-4465, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-6-4465. Resort tax administration. (1) In this section, "governing body" means the governing body of a resort
community that consists of a municipality or, if the resort tax has been approved by the electors of a resort area that is not a
municipality, the board of county commissioners.
(2) Not less than 30 days prior to the date on which the resort tax becomes effective, the governing body shall enact an administrative ordinance governing the collection and reporting of the resort taxes. This administrative ordinance may be amended at any time as may be necessary to effectively administer the resort tax.
(3) The administrative ordinance must specify:
(a) the times that taxes collected by businesses are to be remitted to the governing body;
(b) the office, officer, or employee of the governing body responsible for receiving and accounting for the resort tax receipts;
(c) the office, officer, or employee of the governing body responsible for enforcing the collection of resort taxes and the methods and procedures to be used in enforcing the collection of resort taxes due; and
(d) the penalties for failure to report taxes due, failure to remit taxes due, and violations of the administrative ordinance. The penalties may include:
(i) criminal penalties not to exceed a fine of $1,000 or 6 months' imprisonment, or both;
(ii) civil penalties if the governing body prevails in a suit for the collection of resort taxes, not to exceed 50% of the resort taxes found due plus the costs and attorney fees incurred by the governing body in the action;
(iii) revocation of a county or municipal business license held by the offender; and
(iv) any other penalties that may be applicable for violation of an ordinance.
(4) The administrative ordinance may include:
(a) further clarification and specificity in the categories of goods and services that are subject to the resort tax consistent with 7-6-4463;
(b) authorization for business administration and prepayment discounts. The discount authorization may allow each vendor and commercial establishment to:
(i) withhold up to 5% of the resort taxes collected to defray their costs for the administration of the tax collection; or
(ii) receive a refund of up to 5% of the resort tax payment received from them by the governing body 10 days prior to the collection due date established by the administrative ordinance.
(c) other administrative details necessary for the efficient and effective administration of the tax."
Section 6. Section 7-6-4466, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-6-4466. Use of resort
community area tax revenues revenue -- bond issue -- pledge. (1) Unless otherwise restricted
by the voter-approved tax authorization provided for in 7-6-4464, a resort community area may appropriate and expend
revenues revenue derived from a resort tax for any activity, undertaking, or administrative service that the municipality is
authorized by law to perform be performed in the resort area, including costs resulting from the imposition of the tax.
A resort community may issue bonds Bonds may be issued to provide, install, or construct any of the public facilities,
improvements, or undertakings authorized under 7-7-4101, 7-7-4404, and 7-12-4102. Bonds issued under this section must
be authorized by a resolution of the appropriate governing body, stating the terms, conditions, and covenants of the
municipality as the governing body considers appropriate. The bonds may be sold at a discount at a public or private sale.
(3) A resort
community area may pledge for repayment of bonds issued under this section the revenues revenue derived
from a resort tax, special assessments levied for and revenues revenue collected from the facilities, improvements, or
undertakings for which the bonds are issued, and any other source of revenue authorized by the legislature to be imposed or
collected by the resort community area. Such The bonds do not constitute debt for purposes of any statutory debt limitation ,
provided that if in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds the municipality resort area determines that the
resort tax revenues revenue, special assessments levied for and revenues revenue from such the facilities, improvements or
undertakings, or other sources of revenue, if any, pledged to the payment of the bonds will be sufficient in each year to pay
the principal thereof of the bonds and interest thereon on the bonds when due. Bonds may not be issued pledging proceeds
of the resort tax for repayment unless the municipality resort area in the resolution authorizing issuance of the bonds
determines that in any fiscal year, the annual revenues revenue expected to be derived from the resort tax, less the amount
required to reduce property taxes pursuant to 7-6-4467, if applicable, equals at least 125% of the average amount of the
principal and interest payable from the resort tax revenues revenue on the bonds and any other outstanding bonds payable
from the resort tax except any bonds to be refunded upon the issuance of the proposed bonds."
Section 7. Section 7-6-4467, MCA, is amended to read:
community area tax -- property tax relief. (1) Annually anticipated receipts from the resort tax of a
resort area that is a municipality must be applied to reduce the municipal property tax levy for the fiscal year in an amount
equal to at least 5% of the resort tax revenues revenue derived during the preceding fiscal year.
(2) A resort
community area that is a municipality that received more resort tax revenues revenue than had been included
in the annual municipal budget shall establish a municipal property tax relief fund. All resort tax revenues revenue received
in excess of the budget amount must be placed in the fund. The entire fund must be used to replace municipal property
taxes in the ensuing fiscal year."
Section 8. Section 7-6-4468, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-6-4468. Establishment of a nonmunicipal resort area -- taxing authority -- approval by electorate. (1) The establishment of a resort area that does not consist of a municipality for the purpose of imposing a resort tax may be initiated by a written petition to the board of county commissioners of the county in which the area is located. The petition must contain a description of the proposed resort area and must be signed by at least 15% of the electors residing in the proposed area.
(2) The petition must include a proposal to impose a resort tax within the proposed resort area, including the rate, duration, effective date, and purpose of the tax as provided in 7-6-4464.
(3) Upon receiving a petition to establish a resort area, the board of county commissioners shall present the question to the electors residing in the proposed resort area as provided in 7-6-4464."
Section 9. Section 7-6-4469, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-6-4469. Use of nonmunicipal resort area tax. (1) Unless otherwise provided by the resolution approved by the electors under 7-6-4464, the board of county commissioners shall appropriate and spend revenue derived from a resort area tax imposed in an area that is not a municipality for the purpose stated in the resolution.
(2) The resort area shall reimburse the board of county commissioners for costs associated with the collection, administration, and litigation of the resort area tax."