Any utility which collects a tax imposed pursuant to section 324.02 of the Revised Code and fails to remit the same to the county as prescribed is personally liable for any amount collected which it failed to remit. The county auditor may make an assessment against such utility based upon any information in his possession.
If any utility fails to bill the tax to any customer or any customer fails to pay the tax imposed pursuant to section 324.02 of the Revised Code, on any charge for utility service subject to the tax, such utility or customer is personally liable for the amount of the tax applicable to the charge for utility service. The county auditor may make an assessment against either the utility or the customer, as the facts may require, based upon any information in his possession.
An assessment against a utility in cases where the tax imposed pursuant to section 324.02 of the Revised Code has not been billed to a customer does not discharge the customer's liability to reimburse the utility for the tax applicable to the charge for utility service.
In each case the county auditor shall give to the utility or customer assessed written notice of such assessment. Such notice may be served upon the utility or customer assessed personally or by registered or certified mail. An assessment issued against either, pursuant to the provisions of this section, shall not be considered an election of remedies, nor a bar to an assessment against the other for the tax applicable to the same charge for utility service, provided that no assessment shall be issued against any utility or customer for the tax due on a particular charge for utility service if said tax has actually been paid by another.
The county auditor may make an assessment against any utility or customer which fails to file a return required by section 324.05 or 324.08 of the Revised Code or fails to remit the proper amount of tax due. Notice of such assessment shall be given in the manner prescribed in this section.
Unless the utility or customer to whom said notice of assessment is directed files with the county auditor within thirty days after service thereof, either personally or by registered or certified mail, a petition in writing, verified under oath by said utility, customer, or his authorized agent, having knowledge of the facts, setting forth with particularity the items of said assessment objected to, together with the reasons for such objections, said assessment shall become conclusive and the amount thereof shall be due and payable, from the utility or customer so assessed, to the county treasurer. When a petition for reassessment is filed, the county auditor shall assign a time and place for the hearing of same and shall notify the petitioner thereof by registered or certified mail, but the county auditor may continue the hearings from time to time if necessary.
A penalty of fifteen per cent shall be added to the amount of every assessment made under this section. The rules and regulations adopted pursuant to section 324.04 of the Revised Code may provide for the remission of penalties added to assessments made under this section.
When any utility or customer files a petition for reassessment as provided in this section, the assessment made by the county auditor, together with penalties thereon, shall become due and payable within three days after notice of the finding made at the hearing has been served, either personally or by registered or certified mail, upon the party assessed.
The utility or customer may appeal from an assessment, after it is due and payable, to the board of tax appeals in the same time and manner as that provided in section 5717.02 of the Revised Code for appeals from final determinations of the tax commissioner except that written notice of the appeal shall be filed with the county auditor rather than the tax commissioner and the auditor shall certify to the board of tax appeals a transcript of the record of the proceedings before him.
After the expiration of the period within which the utility or customer assessed may appeal to the board of tax appeals, a certified copy of the entry of the county auditor making the assessment final may be filed in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas in the county where the assessment was made.
The clerk, immediately upon the filing of such entry, shall enter a judgment for the county against the utility or customer in the amount shown on the entry. The judgment may be filed by the clerk in a loose-leaf book entitled "special judgments for utilities service tax."
From the date of the filing of the entry in the clerk's office, the assessment, which includes taxes and penalty, shall bear the same rate of interest and has the same effect as other judgments. Execution shall issue upon such judgment upon request of the county auditor and all laws applicable to sales on execution shall be applicable to sales made under such judgments.
All money collected by the county auditor under this section shall be paid to the county treasurer, and when paid shall be considered as revenue arising from the tax imposed pursuant to section 324.02 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 12-12-1967