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Increased penalties for sales tax violations ordinance


An ordinance to amend the Bethel Municipal Code (BMC) to increase penalties for violations of the sales tax laws is on the agenda for introduction at the September 27th, 2011 city council meeting.

Ordinance 11-21, introduced by the Finance Committee, states that businesses operating within the City of Bethel have a legal obligation to submit sales taxes collected from the consumer in an accurate and timely manner.

The BMC requires businesses to provide a written receipt or invoice to the customer which shows on the receipt or invoice the amount of tax due.

Under the proposed ordinance, if a person who is required to collect a tax under the sales tax chapter of the BMC fails or refuses to produce records or allows inspection at such reasonable time as requested or demanded by the finance director, they shall pay to the City a penalty equal to three times any deficiency found or estimated by the finance director to have occurred, provided, the minimum penalty is $1,000.

The current BMC states that the minimum penalty is $300.

And also in the proposal is some new language is also being added in stating that violators may be assessed administrative and/or legal costs associated with the City’s obtaining the necessary records to complete an audit or investigation.

A public hearing on Ordinance 11-21 will also be held on October 11, 2011.

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