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BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 8.56 Merchants

St. Louis City Revised Code (annotated) has been converted to electronic format by the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. This electronic version has been done for the interest and convenience of the user. These are unofficial versions and should be used as unofficial copies.

Official printed copies of St. Louis City Revised Code may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.



Chapter 8.56
Merchants

Sections:

8.56.010 Merchant defined.
8.56.020 New merchants.
8.56.030 Compliance.
8.56.040 Account books.
8.56.050 Statement--Required.
8.56.060 Statement--Delinquent.
8.56.070 Statement--False--Penalty.
8.56.080 Statement--False--Misdemeanor.
8.56.090 Statement--Confidential.
8.56.100 Ad valorem tax--Levied.
8.56.110 Ad valorem tax--Payment.
8.56.120 Ad valorem tax--Deposits.
8.56.130 License--Required.
8.56.140 License--Nonassignable.
8.56.160 License--Blanks--Form.
8.56.170 License--Blanks--Stubs.
8.56.180 Taxes and fees--Delinquent.
8.56.190 Taxes and fees--Uses.
8.56.200 Enforcement.

For tax credit for drummer, solicitor, or canvasser employer, see 8.06.452

City Counselor Ops.: 8104

8.56.010 Merchant defined.

Whoever shall deal in the selling of any goods, wares or merchandise at any store, stand or place occupied for that purpose within the City, or at the merchants' exchange, is hereby declared to be a merchant, except as is or may be otherwise provided by ordinance.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 42: 1960 C. 146.010.)

City Counselor Ops.: 7612, 7923, 8587, 8699, 8790, 8821, 8995, 9106, 10077

Cases:

Under charter provision, city could classify merchants for license tax purposes. Automobile Gasoline Co. v. City of St. Louis, 32 W. 2d 281 (1930).

8.56.020 New merchants.

When any merchant shall commence business in the City after January 1 in any year, he shall take out a merchant's license therefor. It shall be his duty to file with the License Collector a statement estimating the highest amount of goods, ware and merchandise which he will have on hand or subject to his control, whether owned by himself or consigned to him for sale at any one time prior to the first day of January next succeeding. The merchant shall pay to the License Collector a tax on a prorated basis.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 43: 1960 C. 146.020.)

Cases:

Ordinances defining the term "merchant" and requiring every merchant to procure a license were valid. State v. Mathews, 162 S.W. 2d 352 (1942).

8.56.030 Compliance.

In case any merchant shall fail, neglect or refuse to deliver the statement required and pay the tax and license levied by this chapter on or before the first Monday of September in each year, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 44: 1960 C. 146.030.)

Editor's Note:

Ordinance 54452 purports to repeal and reenact 1960 C. 146.030 when instead it was meant to repeal and reenact 1960 C. 146.040. For this reason 1960 C. 146.030 has been codified in its 1948 Code form and 1960 C. 146.040 has been codified as though it was repealed and reenacted by Ordinance 54452 with the 1948 Code form of 1960 C. 146.040 following:

Sec. 45. Duties of license collector in case of delinquent merchant.

In addition to the penalty provided for in the immediately previous section, the license collector shall assess the goods, wares, merchandise and aggregate amount of sales of such delinquent merchant at double their value, to be ascertained by the best information he can obtain. He shall also report the delinquent to the city counselor. (Ord. No. 43544.)

For 1960 C. 146.040 as now codified, see 8.56.060 and 8.56.070

8.56.040 Account books.

It shall be the duty of each merchant to keep an account book, with entries in ink, of all sales made by him. This account book shall always be open to the inspection of the License Collector to verify the returns made by him.
(Ord. 1948 C. Ch. 13 46 (part): 1960 C. 146.050.)

City Counselor Ops.: 9393

Cases:

Validity of ordinance requiring merchants to keep accounts of their sales for inspection by city license inspector to verify merchant's license returns was upheld. City of St. Louis v. Bouckaert, 185 S.W. 2d 886 (1945).

8.56.050 Statement--Required.

The License Collector or his deputies shall, after the first Monday in January and before the first Monday in July in each year, call on each merchant, and notify him to furnish, and it shall be the duty of the person whether so notified or not to furnish, the License Collector with the following information:

A. A statement of the value of the largest amount of all goods, wares and merchandise which he may have had in his possession or under his control at any time between the first Monday of January and the first Monday of April in each year;

B. A statement of the aggregate amount of all sales made by him during the year next preceding the first Monday of June, which statement shall be made in writing and delivered to the License Collector, verified by the affidavit of the merchant or officer of the corporation making it, if residing in the City, and if not, then by some credible person duly authorized to do so.
(Ord. 1948 C. Ch. 13 48: 1960 C. 146.080.)

V.A.M.S.:

150.090 Merchant taxation and collection in St.Louis city

City Counselor Ops.: 7647, 8430, 8806

8.56.060 Statement--Delinquent.

In addition to the other penalties provided by law or by this chapter, any merchant who shall fail to file his tax statement on or before the first day of July each year, shall pay to the License Collector a penalty of five percent per month of the tax determined to be due from the merchant for each calendar month or fraction thereof until the return is filed as herein provided. The License Collector upon receipt of a statement from a merchant shall record the date on which the statement was received. The License Collector shall assess, levy and collect the penalty against the merchant before issuing the merchant's license.
(Ord. 54452 1 (part), 1966: 1948 C. Ch. 13 45: 1960 C. 146.040 (part).)

Editor's Note:

See editor's note under 8.56.030

City Counselor Ops.: 9106, 9459

8.56.070 Statement--False--Penalty.

In addition to the penalties provided by law or by this chapter, any merchant who shall file a false, untrue or fraudulent statement shall be assessed and pay a penalty of fifty percent of the tax determined to be due. Before the penalty shall be levied, and collected by the License Collector, the Board of Merchants and Manufacturers Tax Equalization shall notify the merchant of the time and place of a hearing thereon at least seven days in advance of the hearing by registered mail to the address contained in the statement. At the time and the date as set forth in the notice, a hearing thereon shall be held before the Board to determine whether the statement is false, fraudulent or untrue. Should the Board determine the statement is false, fraudulent or untrue, it shall notify the merchant and the License Collector of the fact in writing and the License Collector thereafter shall assess, levy and collect a fifty percent penalty of the tax due against the merchant before issuing the license.
(Ord. 54452 1 (part), 1966: 1948 C. Ch. 13 45: 1960 C. 146.040 (part).)

Editor's note:

See editor's note under 8.56.030

City Counselor Ops.: 9106, 9459

8.56.080 Statement--False--Misdemeanor.

Whoever shall make or file with the License Collector, under the provisions of this article, a false statement under oath, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 56: 1960 C. 146.160.)

8.56.090 Statement--Confidential.

The statements or returns made to the License Collector under the requirements of this chapter shall not be made public nor shall they be subject to the inspection of any person except the Mayor, Comptroller and members of the Board of Aldermen.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 46 (part): 1960 C. 146.060.)

8.56.100 Ad valorem tax--Levied.

There shall be levied and collected on the value of the largest amount of all goods, wares and merchandise reported, as required by Section 8.56.050 an ad valorem tax of seventy-eight hundredths of one percent of the value of all such goods, wares and merchandise, situated within the limits of the City.
(Ord. 48431 1, 1957: prior Ord. 46759 2, 1953: Ord. 44879 1 (part), 1949: 1948 C. Ch. 13 49: 1960 C. 146.090.)

Charter:

Art. XXV 2 Taxation of raw materials and finished products, tools, machinery, and sales

V.A.M.S.:

92.040 Taxation and licensing of merchants and manufacturers by certain cities

150.010 et seq. Taxation of merchants, generally

City Counselor Ops.: 8430, 9106

Cases:

Gross receipts from sales were subject to Kansas City business license tax even though purchaser was outside city boundaries and the goods never came into the city, where business had an office in the city and where incidents relating to the sales occurred in the city. Kansas City v. Graybar 485 S.W. 2d 38 (1972).

City merchant's license fee, which required every merchant to pay a license fee at the rate of $2.00 on each $1,000 or fraction thereof of sales made but not less than $20, was a sales tax; however, a state law that required voter approval of sales tax issues did not apply to the merchant's license fee because the ordinance imposing the fee was passed prior to the state law. Ernie Patti Oldsmobile, Inc. v. Boykins, 803 S.W.2d 106 (Mo.App. 1990).

Merchant's license fee did not violate Article 10, Section 3, of the Missouri Constitution or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Ernie Patti Oldsmobile, Inc. v. Boykins, 803 S.W.2d 106 (Mo.App. 1990).

8.56.110 Ad valorem tax--Payment.

The ad valorem tax shall be paid to the License Collector on or before the first Monday of September in each year, except in cases of merchants and manufacturers who have been cited by the Board of Merchant's and Manufacturer's Tax Equalization to show cause why their returns of the values of inventories should not be increased.
(Ord. 46201 1, 1952: prior Ord. 44879 1 (part), 1949: 1948 C. Ch. 13 50: 1960 C. 146.100.)

8.56.120 Ad valorem tax--Deposits.

The ad valorem taxes and taxes on sales levied and collected pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited to the credit of the City of St. Louis convention, exhibition and community center building revenue fund established by Ordinance No. (hereinafter called the "revenue fund"). The Comptroller shall disburse from the revenue fund to the City of St. Louis convention, exhibition and community center building bond service fund and the City of St. Louis convention, exhibition and community center building bond reserve fund established by Ordinance No. 56262 the amounts required to be paid in such funds in accordance with the ordinance authorizing the issuance of convention, exhibition and community center revenue bonds. The amount remaining in the revenue fund after the disbursements required to be made in the previous sentence shall be transferred to general revenue.
(Ord. 56264 1, 1972: 1960 C. 146.075.)

8.56.130 License--Required.

Every merchant shall, before doing or offering to do business, procure a license therefor from the License Collector under the provisions of this chapter. If he shall, within the City, sell or offer for sale any goods, wares or merchandise, without first complying with the provisions of this chapter, or shall otherwise violate or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 52: 1960 C. 146.120.)

McQuillin:

26.140 et seq. Merchants and dealers

8.56.140 License--Nonassignable.

No license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be assignable or transferable.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 53: 1960 C. 146.130.)

8.56.160 License--Blanks--Form.

It shall be the duty of the Comptroller to furnish the License Collector with all blank licenses, which licenses shall be charged to the License Collector and his receipt taken therefor. These licenses shall be in the following form:

Merchant's city license No. ________. The city of St. Louis: To all who shall see these presents, greeting: Know ye that ________ having paid to ________, license collector of the City of St. Louis, the sum of ________ dollars, being the tax and license upon ________ as a merchant, therefore, the said ________ is hereby authorized to sell any goods, wares and merchandise of any description, except as otherwise provided by ordinance at any one store, stand or place of business within the city, or at the merchants' exchange, for the year ending on the first Monday of July, 19________. In testimony whereof, I ________, comptroller of the City of St. Louis, have hereunto set my hand this ________ day of ________, 19________, comptroller. Attest: ________, register. Tax, ________; license, ________, ________. Delivered this ________ day of ________ 19________, ________, license.

Merchant's city license No. ________. The city of St. Louis: To all who shall see these presents, greeting: Know ye that ________ having paid to ________, license collector of the City of St. Louis, the sum of ________ dollars, being the tax and license upon ________ as a merchant, therefore, the said ________ is hereby authorized to sell any goods, wares and merchandise of any description, except as otherwise provided by ordinance at any one store, stand or place of business within the city, or at the merchants' exchange, for the year ending on the first Monday of July, 19________. In testimony whereof, I ________, comptroller of the City of St. Louis, have hereunto set my hand this ________ day of ________, 19________. ________, comptroller. Attest: ________, register. Tax, ________, license, ________, ________. Delivered this ________ day of ________, 19________, ________, license collector.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 54: 1960 C. 146.140.)

City Counselor Ops.: 8430

8.56.170 License--Blanks--Stubs.

The blank licenses provided for in Section 8.56.160 shall be bound in book form, with suitable margins or stubs, on which shall be made and entered the sworn statements required by this chapter. There shall also be entered upon the margins or stubs the amount of tax or license collected in accordance with the statements so made. These margins or stubs shall be returned, with the license collector's statements of the items and aggregate amount collected, to the comptroller, who shall examine and compare them, and charge the aggregate amount collected to the license collector.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 55: 1960 C. 146.150.)

8.56.180 Taxes and fees--Delinquent.

All taxes and fees due for the payment of merchants licenses remaining unpaid after October 31 shall bear interest at the rate of 1% per month or fraction thereof. In addition thereto, any taxpayer failing to pay any merchants tax or license fee by October 31, shall be liable for a penalty of 5% of the amount of the unpaid tax or license fee for each month or fraction of a month during which such failure to pay continues, with the penalty not to exceed 15% of the total tax determined to be due. It is hereby expressly provided that the aforementioned interest and penalty shall not apply if a final determination of the amount of the merchants license tax and/or fee has not been made by the board of merchants and manufacturers tax equalization by October 31. In that event, however, any amount so due shall bear interest at the rate of 1% per month or fraction thereof beginning 35 days after the final determination of the amount of the tax or fee has been made by the board of merchants and manufacturers tax equalization. Also in that event, the penalty of 5% of the amount of the unpaid tax or fee for each month or fraction of a month during which such failure to pay continues shall begin 35 days after the final determination of the amount so due has been made by the board of merchants and manufacturers tax equalization. The comptroller of the city is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations not inconsistent with the rules of this section to insure full and proper compliance.
(Ord. 57296 1, 1977: prior Ord. 56985 1, 1975: 1960 C. 146.180.)

8.56.190 Taxes and fees--Uses.

The comptroller is directed to set aside thirty-nine seventy-eighths of the ad valorem tax and twenty-five one hundred seventy-fifths of the tax on sales levied and collected under this chapter for payment of interest and principal requirements on the bonds hereafter to be issued, which were authorized by a vote of the people at an election held in the city on May 15, 1934, save and except the bonds to be issued under proposition ten on the ballot of that election.
(Ord. 48893 1, 1958: prior Ord. 48430 1, 1957: Ord. 46759 1, 1953: Ord. 44879 2, 1949: 1948 C. Ch. 13 47: 1960 C. 146.070.)

City Counselor Ops.: 9106

8.56.200 Enforcement.

It shall be the duty of the license collector to carefully examine all statements filed with him and to prosecute all violations of this chapter according to law. Before instituting any prosecution, the license collector shall give the merchant an opportunity of explaining the statement and correcting it if inadvertently made. If it shall appear to the license collector that the false statement was wilfully and corruptly made, he shall report all the facts to the grand jury.
(1948 C. Ch. 13 57: 1960 C. 146.170.)

City Counselor Ops.: 9459

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