A. There is hereby imposed a tax upon every person using gas in the City, which is delivered through a pipeline distribution system or by mobile transport. The tax imposed by this section shall be at the rate of 3.75 percent of the charges made for such gas, including all services related to the storage, transportation and delivery of such gas. The tax shall be collected from the service user by the service supplier or nonutility service supplier, or its billing agent, and shall apply to all uses of gas, including, but not limited to, heating, electric generation by a nonpublic utility, and the use of gas as a component of a manufactured product.
B. As used in this section, the term “charges” shall apply to all services, components and items for gas service that are: (1) necessary or common to the receipt, use and enjoyment of gas service; or (2) currently, or historically have been, included in a single or bundled rate for gas service by a local distribution company to a class of retail customers. The term “charges” shall include, but is not limited to, the following charges:
1. The commodity charges for purchased gas, or the cost of gas owned by the service user (including the actual costs attributed to drilling, production, lifting, storage, gathering, trunkline, pipeline, and other operating costs associated with the production and delivery of such gas), which is delivered through a gas pipeline distribution system;
2. Gas transportation charges (including interstate charges to the extent not included in commodity charges);
3. Storage charges; provided, however, that the service provider shall not be required to apply the tax to any charges for gas storage services when the service providers cannot, as a practical matter, determine the jurisdiction where such stored gas is ultimately used; but it shall be the obligation of the service user to self-collect the amount of tax not applied to any charge for gas storage by the service supplier and to remit the tax to the appropriate jurisdiction;
4. Capacity or demand charges, late charges, service establishment or reestablishment charges, termination or early termination charges, marketing charges, administrative charges, transition charges, customer charges, minimum charges, annual and monthly charges, and any other charges which are necessary or common to the receipt, use and enjoyment of gas service; and
5. Charges, fees, or surcharges for gas services or programs, which are mandated by the California Public Utilities Commission or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, whether or not such charges, fees, or surcharges appear on a bundled or line item basis on the customer billing, or whether they are imposed on the service provider or the customer.
C. As used in this section, the term “charges” shall include the value of any other services, credits, property of every kind or nature, or other consideration provided by the service user in exchange for the gas or services related to the delivery of such gas.
D. The Tax Administrator, from time to time, may survey the gas service suppliers to identify the various unbundled billing components of gas retail service that they commonly provide to residential and commercial/industrial customers in the City, and the charges therefor, including those items that are mandated by State or Federal regulatory agencies as a condition of providing such gas service. The Tax Administrator, thereafter, may issue and disseminate to such gas service suppliers an administrative ruling identifying those components and items which are: (1) necessary or common to the receipt, use or enjoyment of gas service; or (2) currently, or historically have been, included in a single or bundled rate for gas service by a local distribution company to a class of retail customers. Charges for such components and items shall be subject to the tax of subsection A of this section.
E. There shall be excluded from the base on which the tax imposed by this section is computed charges made for gas sold for use in the generation of electrical energy or for the production or distribution of water by a public utility or government agency; and charges made by a gas public utility for gas used and consumed in the conduct of the business of gas public utilities.
F. The tax on gas provided by self-production or by a nonutility service supplier not under the jurisdiction of this chapter shall be collected and remitted in the manner set forth in SMC 3.10.080. All other taxes on charges for gas imposed by this section shall be collected from the service user by the gas service supplier or its billing agent. The amount of tax collected in one month shall be remitted to the Tax Administrator, and must be received by the Tax Administrator on or before the twentieth day of the following month; or, at the option of the person required to collect and/or remit the tax, such person shall remit an estimated amount of tax measured by the tax billed in the previous month or upon the payment pattern of the service user, which must be received by the Tax Administrator on or before the twentieth day of the following month; provided, that the service user shall submit an adjusted payment or request for credit, as appropriate, within 60 days following each calendar quarter. The credit, if approved by the Tax Administrator, may be applied against any subsequent tax bill that becomes due.
G. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the tax imposed under this section shall not apply to any individual who qualifies, and has been accepted, for the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program pursuant to California Public Utilities Code Sections 327 and 739.1 et seq., and as it may be amended from time to time. In the event that the CARE program is repealed or otherwise ceases to exist in a substantially similar form, the exemption granted under this subsection shall automatically terminate. (Ord. 1072 § 1, 2014)