GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2008-33
HOUSE BILL 2783
AN ACT to authorize cherokee County to levy an additional three percent room occupancy and tourism development tax and to make other administrative changes.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Chapter 1055 of the 1983 Session Laws reads as rewritten:
Levy of Tax. Occupancy
(a) Authorization and
scope. – The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners may
after not less than 10 days' public notice and after a public hearing held
pursuant thereto, levy a room occupancy and tourism development tax. (b) Collection of
the tax, and liability therefor, shall begin and continue only on and after the
first day of a calendar month set by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners
in the resolution levying the tax, which in no case may be earlier than the
first day of the second succeeding calendar month after the date of adoption of
Sec. 2. Occupancy Tax. (a) The county
room occupancy and tourism development tax that may be levied under this act
shall be a percentage tax of three percent (3%) of the gross
receipts derived from the rental of any room, lodging, or similar accommodation
furnished by any hotel, motel, inn, tourist camp, or other similar place within
the county now that is subject to the three percent (3%) sales
tax imposed by the State under G.S. 105‑164.4(3). 105‑164.4(a)(3).
During the first year in which a tax levied under this act is in effect,
the tax shall be three percent (3%) of the gross receipts derived from the
rental of taxable accommodations in the county. Thereafter, the rate of tax
shall continue to be three percent (3%) unless the Cherokee County Board of
Commissioners, by resolution, adopts a rate of less than three percent (3%). A
change in the occupancy tax rate adopted by the board of commissioners becomes
effective the first day of the second succeeding calendar month following the
date of adoption of the resolution. The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners
may not change the occupancy tax rate more than once a year. (b) The occupancy tax
is in addition to any State or local sales tax. This tax does not apply
to accommodations furnished by nonprofit charitable, educational, benevolent,
or religious organizations.
(b) Authorization of additional tax. – In addition to the tax authorized by subsection (a) of this section, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners may levy an additional room occupancy tax of up to three percent (3%) of the gross receipts derived from the rental of accommodations taxable under subsection (a) of this section. The levy, collection, administration, and repeal of the tax authorized by this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of this act. Cherokee County may not levy a tax under this subsection unless it also levies the tax authorized under subsection (a) of this section.
"Sec. 3. Administration of Tax. – A tax levied under this act shall be levied, collected, administered, and repealed as provided in G.S. 153A‑155. The penalties provided in G.S. 153A‑155 apply to a tax levied under this act.
(a) Any tax levied
under this act is due and payable to the county in monthly installments on or
before the 15th day of the month following the month in which the tax accrues.
Every person, firm, corporation, or association liable for the tax shall, on or
before the 15th day of each month, prepare and render a return on a form
prescribed by the county. The return shall state the total gross receipts
derived in the preceding month from rentals upon which the tax is levied. (b) Any person,
firm, corporation, or association who fails or refuses to file the return
required by this act shall pay a penalty of ten dollars ($10.00) for each day's
omission. (c) In case of
failure or refusal to file the return or pay the tax for a period of 30 days
after the time required for filing the return or for paying the tax, there
shall be an additional tax, as a penalty, of five percent (5%) of the tax due
in addition to the penalty prescribed in subsection (b), with an additional tax
of five percent (5%) for each additional month or fraction thereof until the
occupancy tax is paid. (d) Any person who
willfully attempts in any manner to evade the occupancy tax imposed by this act
or to make a return and who willfully fails to pay the tax or make and file a
return shall, in addition to all other penalties provided by law, be guilty of
a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand
dollars ($1,000), imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both.
Sec. 4. Collection of
Tax. Every operator of a business subject to the tax levied pursuant to this
act shall collect the tax on and after the effective date of the levy of the
tax. This tax shall be collected as
part of the charge for the furnishing of any taxable accommodations. The tax
shall be stated and charged separately from the sales records, and shall be
paid by the purchaser to the operator of the business as trustee for and on
account of Cherokee County. The room occupancy tax levied under this act shall
be added to the sales price and shall be passed on to the purchaser instead of
being borne by the operator of the business. The county shall design, print,
and furnish to all appropriate businesses in the county the necessary forms for
filing returns and instructions to ensure the full collection of the tax.
Taxes Collected.Distribution and use of tax revenue. – Cherokee County shall shall, on a quarterly basis, remit the net proceeds of all
revenues received from the room occupancy tax to the Cherokee County
Tourism Development Authority. Authority appointed pursuant to this
act. The Authority shall use at least two‑thirds of the funds
remitted to it under this act to promote travel and tourism in Cherokee County
and shall use the remainder for tourism‑related expenditures. "Net
proceeds" means gross proceeds less the cost to the county of
administering and collecting the tax. The Authority may expend these funds
only to further the development of travel, tourism, and conventions in the
county through advertising and promotion.
The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Net proceeds. – Gross proceeds less the cost to the county of administering and collecting the tax, as determined by the finance officer, not to exceed three percent (3%) of the first five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) of gross proceeds collected each year and one percent (1%) of the remaining gross receipts collected each year.
(2) Promote travel and tourism. – To advertise or market an area or activity, publish and distribute pamphlets and other materials, conduct market research, or engage in similar promotional activities that attract tourists or business travelers to the area. The term includes administrative expenses incurred in engaging in the listed activities.
(3) Tourism‑related expenditures. – Expenditures that, in the judgment of the Tourism Development Authority, are designed to increase the use of lodging facilities, meeting facilities, or convention facilities in a county or to attract tourists or business travelers to the county. The term includes tourism‑related capital expenditures.
Duties of Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority.–
(a) Appointment and
membership. – When the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners adopts a resolution
levying a room occupancy
tax, tax under this act, it shall also
adopt a resolution creating a County Tourism Development Authority composed
of the director of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and the following
four members appointed by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners: (1) an owner of a
hotel, motel, or other accommodations subject to the tax levied by this act; (2) a member of the
board of county commissioners; (3) a town
commissioner or the mayor of the Town of Murphy; and (4) a town alderman
or the mayor of the Town of Andrews. The director of the Cherokee
County Chamber of Commerce shall serve as an ex officio member of the
Authority. The members appointed by the board of county commissioners shall
serve three‑ year terms, except the initial appointees. Of the initial
appointees, the board of commissioners shall designate one to serve a one‑year
term, two a two‑year term, and one a three‑year term. Vacancies
created by an appointed member shall be filled by the board of commissioners.
Members appointed to fill vacancies shall serve the remainder of the unexpired
term for which they are appointed to fill. Authority, which shall be a
public authority under the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act. The
resolution shall provide for the membership of the Authority, including the
members' terms of office, and for the filling of vacancies on the Authority. At
least one‑third of the members must be individuals who are affiliated
with businesses that collect the tax in the county, and at least one‑half
of the members must be individuals who are currently active in the promotion of
travel and tourism in the county. The board of commissioners shall designate
one member of the Authority as chair and shall determine the compensation, if
any, to be paid to members of the Authority.
The Authority shall meet at the call of the chair and shall adopt rules of procedure to govern its meetings. The Finance Officer for Cherokee County shall be the ex officio finance officer of the Authority.
(b) Duties. – The
Authority shall expend the net proceeds of the tax levied under this act for
the purposes provided in this act. The Authority shall promote travel, tourism,
and conventions in the county, sponsor tourist‑related events and
activities in the county, and finance tourist‑related capital projects in
The members of the Tourism Development Authority shall elect
from its membership a chairman. The Authority shall meet at the call of the
chairman and shall adopt rules of procedure to govern its meetings. The finance
officer of Cherokee County shall serve ex officio as accountant for the
(c) Reports. – The
Development Authority shall report quarterly and at the close of the fiscal
year to the board of county commissioners on its receipts and disbursements for
the preceding quarter and for the year in such detail as the board may require.
Sec. 7. Repeal of Levy. (a) The board of
county commissioners may by resolution repeal the levy of the room occupancy
tax in Cherokee County, but no repeal of taxes levied under this act is
effective until the end of the fiscal year in which the repeal resolution was
adopted. (b) No liability
for any tax levied under this act that attached prior to the date on which a
levy is repealed is discharged as a result of the repeal, and no right to a
refund of a tax that accrued prior to the effective date on which a levy is
repealed may be denied as a result of the repeal.
"Sec. 8. This act is effective upon ratification."
SECTION 2. G.S. 153A‑155(g) reads as rewritten:
"§ 153A‑155. Uniform provisions for room occupancy taxes.
(g) This section applies only to Alleghany, Anson, Brunswick, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Cherokee, Chowan, Clay, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Haywood, Madison, Martin, McDowell, Montgomery, Nash, New Hanover, New Hanover County District U, Northampton, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Rowan, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Swain, Transylvania, Tyrrell, Vance, and Washington Counties, to Watauga County District U, to Yadkin County District Y, and to the Township of Averasboro in Harnett County and the Ocracoke Township Taxing District."
SECTION 3. This act is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 30th day of June, 2008.
s/ Marc Basnight
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
s/ Joe Hackney
Speaker of the House of Representatives