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Insurance Tax Ordinance

 

ORDINANCE 9538

ADOPTED METROPOLITAN COUNCIL NOV. 25, 1992

 

AN ORDINANCE TO LEVY, COLLECT AND ENFORCE PAYMENT OF AN ANNUAL LICENSE TAX ON EACH INSURER ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF ISSUING OR RECEIVING PAYMENT FOR ANY FORM OF INSURANCE POLICY OR CONTRACT ON RISKS LOCATED WITHIN THIS CITY OR PARISH, OR ISSUING ANY FORM OF INSURANCE POLICY OR CONTRACT WITHIN THIS CITY OR PARISH ON RISKS LOCATED ELSEWHERE WHEN NOT SUBJECT TO ANY OTHER MUNICIPAL OR PAROCHIAL LICENSE TAX AND WHICH NOW OR HEREAFTER MAY BE SUBJECT TO THE PAYMENT OF ANY LICENSE TAX FOR STATE PURPOSES; TO PRESCRIBE THE MODE AND MANNER OF FURNISHING CERTIFICATES REQUIRED HEREUNDER; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR THE ENFORCEMENT HEREOF; AND TO REPEAL ALL ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT HEREWITH, AND TO PROVIDE THE EFFECT THEREOF.

BE IT ORDAINED by the Metropolitan Council of the Parish of East Baton Rouge and the City of Baton Rouge:

Section 1. There is hereby levied an annual license tax for the year 1993 and for each subsequent year, on each insurer engaged in the business of issuing or which receives payment of the premium for any insurance policy or contract on all risks located within the city or parish, whether said insurance policy or contract originated in the City of Baton Rouge or Parish of East Baton Rouge, or elsewhere, or engages in the business of issuing any insurance policy or contract within this city or parish on risks located elsewhere, which are not subject to any other municipal or parochial license tax, and which now or hereafter may be subject to the payment of a license tax for state purposes under Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 22, Section 1061, et seq., and other applicable laws of Louisiana.

Section 2. The amount of the license tax levied herein in each case is hereby fixed, determined and ordained to be the maximum amount which municipalities are permitted to levy under, and shall be graded in accordance with the provisions of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 22, Section 1061, et seq., and all other applicable laws of Louisiana, all of which for all purposes of this ordinance are made a part hereof by reference as fully as if written herein in extenso provided that the amount of the minimum license hereby levied is fixed at ten (10%) percent of the gross premiums collected during the preceding calendar year, provided in no event shall the minimum exceed that set forth in Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 22, Section 1076.

Section 3. Each insurer applying for a license hereunder shall submit a sworn certificate in duplicate, on a form to be provided by the Director of Finance certifying to the amount of business transacted during the preceding year in the area included within the corporate limits of the City of Baton Rouge as extended on and after January 1, 1949 or Parish of East Baton Rouge, payment in favor of the Collector of City and Parish Taxes of the amount of said license to accompany the submission of said certificate. One copy of the application submitted and the license issued shall be forwarded forthwith to the Director of Finance by the Collector of City or Parish Taxes.

Section 4. All license taxes levied herein shall become delinquent on the 1st day of June of the year when due.

Section 5. Every insurer required to pay any license tax hereunder shall keep the receipt of payment issued by the Collector of City or Parish Taxes readily available for any inquiry or other information requested in regard thereto.

In addition to the above requirement, each insurer licensed hereunder shall furnish to the Director of Finance a list of all agents representing the insurer in this city or parish.

Section 6. The amount of the license payable shall be one-third of the amount otherwise fixed in this ordinance, if the payer will file a sworn statement with the annual report required by this ordinance, showing that at least one-sixth of the total admitted assets of the payer are invested and maintained in Louisiana Securities as provided by the provisions of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 22, Section 1068.

Section 7(a). If the amount of the tax levied is not paid on or before the first (1st) day of June of the year, there shall be collected with this tax, interest upon this unpaid amount at the rate of 1-1/4% per month, or fractional part thereof; and in addition, there shall also be collected a penalty equivalent to 5% per month, or fractional part thereof, not to exceed 25% in aggregate, of the tax due, when such license tax is not paid on the first (1st) day of June; and both interest and penalty will be computed from the first (1st) day of June. All interest and penalties due for subsequent months will be assessed and due on the first (1st) day of each succeeding month. If the failure to pay any such tax when due is explained to the satisfaction of the Director of Finance, he may remit or waive payment of the whole, or any part of, any penalty, and may remit and waive any interest charged in excess of the rate of 1-1/4% per month. In the event of suit, attorney's fees will be charged at the rate of 10% on the aggregate of tax, interest and penalty. The Parish Attorney is authorized to employ private counsel to assist in the collection of any insurance premium taxes, penalties or interest due under this ordinance or to represent him in any proceedings under this ordinance.

(b) In the event any insurer fails to make a report and pay the tax as provided by this ordinance, or in case the insurer makes a grossly incorrect report or a report that is false or fraudulent, it shall be the duty of the Director of Finance to make an estimate for the taxable period of the gross premiums of such insurer and assess and collect the tax and interest, plus penalty, if such have accrued, on the basis of such assessment, which shall be considered prima facie correct, and the burden to show the contrary shall rest upon the insurer.

(c) It shall be the duty of every insurer required to make a report and pay any tax under this ordinance to keep and preserve suitable records of the gross premiums taxable under this ordinance, and such other books of account as may be necessary to determine the amount of tax due hereunder, and other information as may be required by the Director of Finance; and it shall be the duty of every such insurer, moreover, to keep and preserve for a period of three (3) calendar years, in addition to the current year, all records of gross premiums or other subjects of taxation under this ordinance; and all such books and other records shall be open to examination at all reasonable hours by the Director of Finance or any of his duly authorized agents.

(d) Any information required during the conduct of the audit shall be furnished to the Director of Finance or his duly authorized agent without cost. Such information may include, but is not limited to, specialized reports accumulating data from electronic data processing records.

(e) Failure to pay the tax levied by this ordinance shall ipso facto, without demand or putting in default, cause the tax, interest, penalties, and costs to become immediately delinquent, and the Director of Finance is hereby vested with authority, on motion in a court of competent jurisdiction, to take a rule on the delinquent taxpayer to show cause in not less than two or more than ten days, exclusive of holidays, why the delinquent taxpayer should not be ordered to pay the total amount due and owing under this ordinance. This rule may be tried out of term and in chambers and shall always be tried by preference. If the rule is made absolute, the order therein rendered shall be considered a judgment in favor of the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge.

Section 8. As used herein, "Collector of City or Parish Taxes" shall mean the Director of Finance of the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge, unless under the provisions of Section 8.05 of the Plan of Government of the Parish of East Baton Rouge and City of Baton Rouge, the Metropolitan Council of the City of Baton Rouge shall have entered into an agreement with the Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish for the collection of City Taxes for the year in question, in which latter event these words shall mean the Sheriff.

The term "Director of Finance" means and includes the Director of Finance of the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge or his duly authorized assistants.

Section 9. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed; but nothing contained herein shall prevent the collection of any license tax, costs and penalties due the City of Baton Rouge or Parish of East Baton Rouge on the effective date hereof, under the provisions of any ordinance or parts of ordinances hereby repealed.

Section 10. If any provisions or item of this ordinance or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions, items, or applications of this ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provisions, items, or applications, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are hereby declared severable.

Section 11. The Director may revise, publish and adopt tax reporting forms, systems, and procedures which require the reporting of summary tax amounts which have been rounded off to the nearest whole dollar. The whole-dollar rounding off shall only be employed in reporting periodic summary tax amounts as directed by the Director and shall not be applied to individual transactions or tax applications.