For the purpose of providing additional general revenues for the county and paying the expense of administering such levy, any county may levy a county excise tax to be known as the utilities service tax on the charge for every utility service to customers within the county at a rate not to exceed two per cent of such charge. On utility service to customers engaged in business, the tax shall be imposed at a rate of one hundred fifty per cent of the rate imposed upon all other consumers within the county. The tax shall be levied pursuant to a resolution adopted by the board of county commissioners of the county and shall be levied at uniform rates required by this section upon all charges for utility service except as provided in section 324.03 of the Revised Code. The tax shall be levied upon the customer and shall be paid by the customer to the utility supplying the service at the time the customer pays the utility for the service. If the charge for utility service is billed to a person other than the customer at the request of such person, the tax commissioner of the state may, in accordance with section 324.04 of the Revised Code, provide for the levy of the tax against and the payment of the tax by such other person. Each utility furnishing a utility service the charge for which is subject to the tax shall set forth the tax as a separate item on each bill or statement rendered to the customer.
Prior to the adoption of any resolution levying a utilities service tax the board of county commissioners shall conduct two public hearings thereon, the second hearing to be not less than three nor more than ten days after the first. Notice of the date, time, and place of such hearings shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week on the same day of the week for two consecutive weeks or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code. The second publication shall be not less than ten nor more than thirty days prior to the first hearing. No resolution levying a utilities service tax pursuant to this section of the Revised Code shall be effective sooner than thirty days following its adoption and such resolution is subject to a referendum as provided in sections 305.31 to 305.41 of the Revised Code, unless such resolution is adopted as an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, in which case it shall go into immediate effect. Such emergency measure must receive an affirmative vote of all of the members of the board of commissioners, and shall state the reasons for such necessity. A resolution may direct the board of elections to submit the question of levying the tax to the electors of the county at the next primary or general election in the county occurring not less than ninety days after such resolution is certified to the board. No such resolution shall go into effect unless approved by a majority of those voting upon it. The tax levied by such resolution shall apply to all bills rendered subsequent to the sixtieth day after the effective date of the resolution. No bills shall be rendered out of the ordinary course of business to avoid payment of the tax.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 48, §1, eff. 7/2/2010.
Effective Date: 03-23-1981