5743.15 Cigarette license required - application - cigarette tax enforcement fund.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this division, no person shall engage in this state in the wholesale or retail business of trafficking in cigarettes or in the business of a manufacturer or importer of cigarettes without having a license to conduct each such activity issued by a county auditor under division (B) of this section or the tax commissioner under divisions (C) and (F) of this section. On dissolution of a partnership by death, the surviving partner may operate under the license of the partnership until expiration of the license, and the heirs or legal representatives of deceased persons, and receivers and trustees in bankruptcy appointed by any competent authority, may operate under the license of the person succeeded in possession by such heir, representative, receiver, or trustee in bankruptcy if the partner or successor notifies the issuer of the license of the dissolution or succession within thirty days after the dissolution or succession.

(B)

(1) Each applicant for a license to engage in the retail business of trafficking in cigarettes under this section, annually, on or before the fourth Monday of May, shall make and deliver to the county auditor of the county in which the applicant desires to engage in the retail business of trafficking in cigarettes, upon a blank form furnished by such auditor for that purpose, a statement showing the name of the applicant, each physical place in the county where the applicant's business is conducted, the nature of the business, and any other information the tax commissioner requires in the form of statement prescribed by the commissioner. If the applicant is a firm, partnership, or association other than a corporation, the application shall state the name and address of each of its members. If the applicant is a corporation, the application shall state the name and address of each of its officers. At the time of making the application required by this section, every person desiring to engage in the retail business of trafficking in cigarettes shall pay an application fee in the sum of one hundred twenty-five dollars for each physical place where the person proposes to carry on such business. Each place of business shall be deemed such space, under lease or license to, or under the control of, or under the supervision of the applicant, as is contained in one or more contiguous, adjacent, or adjoining buildings constituting an industrial plant or a place of business operated by, or under the control of, one person, or under one roof and connected by doors, halls, stairways, or elevators, which space may contain any number of points at which cigarettes are offered for sale, provided that each additional point at which cigarettes are offered for sale shall be listed in the application.

(2) Upon receipt of the application and exhibition of the county treasurer's receipt showing the payment of the application fee, the county auditor shall issue to the applicant a license for each place of business designated in the application, authorizing the applicant to engage in such business at such place for one year commencing on the fourth Monday of May. The form of the license shall be prescribed by the commissioner. A duplicate license may be obtained from the county auditor upon payment of a five-dollar fee if the original license is lost, destroyed, or defaced. When an application is filed after the fourth Monday of May, the application fee required to be paid shall be proportioned in amount to the remainder of the license year, except that it shall not be less than twenty-five dollars in any one year.

(3) The holder of a retail dealer's cigarette license may transfer the license to a place of business within the same county other than that designated on the license on condition that the licensee's ownership interest and business structure remain unchanged, and that the licensee applies to the county auditor therefor, upon forms approved by the commissioner and the payment of a fee of five dollars into the county treasury.

(C)

(1) Each applicant for a license to engage in the wholesale business of trafficking in cigarettes under this section, annually, on or before the fourth Monday in May, shall make and deliver to the tax commissioner, upon a blank form furnished by the commissioner for that purpose, a statement showing the name of the applicant, physical street address where the applicant's business is conducted, the nature of the business, and any other information required by the commissioner. If the applicant is a firm, partnership, or association other than a corporation, the applicant shall state the name and address of each of its members. If the applicant is a corporation, the applicant shall state the name and address of each of its officers. At the time of making the application required by this section, every person desiring to engage in the wholesale business of trafficking in cigarettes shall pay an application fee of one thousand dollars for each physical place where the person proposes to carry on such business. Each place of business shall be deemed such space, under lease or license to, or under the control of, or under the supervision of the applicant, as is contained in one or more contiguous, adjacent, or adjoining buildings constituting an industrial plant or a place of business operated by, or under the control of, one person, or under one roof and connected by doors, halls, stairways, or elevators. A duplicate license may be obtained from the commissioner upon payment of a twenty-five-dollar fee if the original license is lost, destroyed, or defaced.

(2) Upon receipt of the application and payment of any application fee required by this section, the commissioner shall verify that the applicant is not in violation of any provision of Chapter 1346. or Title LVII of the Revised Code. The commissioner shall also verify that the applicant has filed any returns, submitted any information, and paid any outstanding taxes or fees as required by the commissioner, to the extent that the commissioner is aware of the returns, information, taxes, or fees at the time of the application. Upon approval, the commissioner shall issue to the applicant a license for each physical place of business designated in the application authorizing the applicant to engage in business at that location for one year commencing on the fourth Monday in May. For licenses issued after the fourth Monday in May, the application fee shall be reduced proportionately by the remainder of the twelve-month period for which the license is issued, except that the application fee required to be paid under this section shall be not less than two hundred dollars in any one year.

(3) The holder of a wholesale dealer cigarette license may transfer the license to a place of business other than that designated on the license on condition that the licensee's ownership or business structure remains unchanged, and that the licensee applies to the commissioner for such a transfer upon a form promulgated by the commissioner and pays a fee of twenty-five dollars, which shall be deposited into the cigarette tax enforcement fund created in division (E) of this section.

(D)

(1) The wholesale cigarette license application fees collected under this section shall be paid into the cigarette tax enforcement fund.

(2) The retail cigarette license application fees collected under this section shall be distributed as follows:

(a) Thirty per cent shall be paid upon the warrant of the county auditor into the treasury of the municipal corporation or township in which the places of business for which the tax revenue was received are located;

(b) Ten per cent shall be credited to the general fund of the county;

(c) Sixty per cent shall be paid into the cigarette tax enforcement fund.

(3) The remainder of the revenues and fines collected under this section and the penal laws relating to cigarettes shall be distributed as follows:

(a) Three-fourths shall be paid upon the warrant of the county auditor into the treasury of the municipal corporation or township in which the place of business, on account of which the revenues and fines were received, is located;

(b) One-fourth shall be credited to the general fund of the county.

(E) There is hereby created within the state treasury the cigarette tax enforcement fund for the purpose of providing funds to assist in paying the costs of enforcing sections 1333.11 to 1333.21 and Chapter 5743. of the Revised Code.

The portion of cigarette license application fees received by a county auditor during the annual application period that ends on the fourth Monday in May and that is required to be deposited in the cigarette tax enforcement fund shall be sent to the treasurer of state by the thirtieth day of June each year accompanied by the form prescribed by the tax commissioner. The portion of cigarette license application fees received by each county auditor after the fourth Monday in May and that is required to be deposited in the cigarette tax enforcement fund shall be sent to the treasurer of state by the last day of the month following the month in which such fees were collected.

(F)

(1) Every person who desires to engage in the business of a manufacturer or importer of cigarettes shall, annually, on or before the fourth Monday of May, make and deliver to the tax commissioner, upon a blank form furnished by the commissioner for that purpose, a statement showing the name of the applicant, the nature of the applicant's business, and any other information required by the commissioner. If the applicant is a firm, partnership, or association other than a corporation, the applicant shall state the name and address of each of its members. If the applicant is a corporation, the applicant shall state the name and address of each of its officers.

(2) Upon receipt of the application required under this section, the commissioner shall verify that the applicant is not in violation of any provision of Chapter 1346. or Title LVII of the Revised Code. The commissioner shall also verify that the applicant has filed any returns, submitted any information, and paid any outstanding taxes or fees as required by the commissioner, to the extent that the commissioner is aware of the returns, information, taxes, or fees at the time of the application. Upon approval, the commissioner shall issue to the applicant a license authorizing the applicant to engage in the business of manufacturer or importer, whichever the case may be, for one year commencing on the fourth Monday of May.

(3) The issuing of a license under division (F)(1) of this section to a manufacturer does not excuse a manufacturer from the certification process required under section 1346.05 of the Revised Code. A manufacturer who is issued a license under division (F)(1) of this section and who is not listed on the directory required under section 1346.05 of the Revised Code shall not be permitted to sell cigarettes in this state other than to a licensed cigarette wholesaler for sale outside this state. Such a manufacturer shall provide documentation to the commissioner evidencing that the cigarettes are legal for sale in another state.

(G) The tax commissioner may adopt rules necessary to administer this section.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 1/1/2010.

Effective Date: 07-01-1987; 06-30-2005; 03-30-2006