SB 529 - This act prohibits any city or town from bringing or maintaining an action in state or federal court as a representative of a class to enforce or collect any business license tax imposed on a telecommunications company. Municipalities are prohibited from imposing a business license tax, tower tax, or antennae tax on communications company. Any business license tax imposed on a telecommunications company after August 28, 2005, shall be imposed on the retail sale of telecommunications service.
On or before January 1, 2006, the Director of Revenue must publish a list of the municipalities which have enacted ordinances imposing a business license tax on a telecommunications company prior to August 28, 2005. On or before February 1, 2006, all telecommunications companies in Missouri must provide the director of revenue and the state auditor with the amount of municipal business license tax which they paid to each municipality identified in the list published by the Director of Revenue and an itemized list of the companies gross receipts for the previous four quarters for each category of gross receipts in each municipality.
Beginning July 1, 2006, the director will collect, administer, and distribute telecommunications business license tax revenues. All business license taxes will be based solely and exclusively on those gross receipts of telecommunications companies for the retail sale of telecommunications services. The department of revenue will retain a collection fee of up to one percent of all funds collected and distributed.
In order to comply with Article X, Section 22 of the Missouri Constitution, the state auditor will adjust the gross receipts percentage rate for each municipality identified by the director of revenue so that the amount received in total from all telecommunications companies remains the same in each municipality.
The director shall be notified within thirty days, in writing, of any change in the municipal business tax rate adopted by a municipality. The maximum rate of taxation on gross receipts shall not exceed five percent, for bills rendered during the period from July 1, 2006 to December 31, 2007, and three percent for those bills rendered on or after January 1, 2008.
Municipalities which have had an ordinance imposing a business license tax on telecommunications companies which specifically included the words "wireless", "cell phones", or "mobile phones" in its business license ordinance, prior to November 4, 1980, and had not limited its tax to local exchange telephone service or landlines and had taken action to collect such tax shall not be required to adjust its business license tax.
The statute of limitations for prosecution of alleged nonpayment or underpayment of the business license tax will be three years. Full immunity is granted to certain telecommunications companies for any amounts of business license taxes up to August 28, 2005, which they failed to a municipality based on a subjective good faith belief that the company was either not covered by the municipal business license ordinance or that certain categories of the companies revenue did not qualify under the definition or wording of the ordinance as gross receipts upon which the taxes should be calculated. Any lawsuit or audit of back taxes, initiated prior to August 28, 2005, by a municipality for the nonpayment of business license taxes by a telecommunications company must be dismissed with prejudice or ceased.