A. A pipeline distribution company or gas utility shall collect the tax from the consumer by adding it as a separate charge to the consumer’s monthly statement. Until the consumer pays the tax to such company, the tax shall constitute a debt of the consumer to the Commonwealth. If any consumer receives and pays for gas but refuses to pay the tax that is imposed by the Commonwealth, the pipeline distribution company or gas utility shall notify the Commission of the names and addresses of such consumers. If any consumer fails to pay a bill issued by a pipeline distribution company or gas utility, including the tax imposed by the Commonwealth, the pipeline distribution company or gas utility shall follow its normal collection procedures with regard to the charge for the gas and the tax and upon collection of the bill or any part thereof shall (i) apportion the net amount collected between the charge for gas service and the tax and (ii) remit the tax portion to the Commission. After the consumer pays the tax to the pipeline distribution company or gas utility, the taxes shall be deemed to be held in trust by such pipeline distribution company or gas utility until remitted to the Commission.
B. A pipeline distribution company or gas utility shall remit monthly to the Commission the amount of tax paid during the preceding month by the pipeline distribution company’s consumers, except for the portion which represents the local consumption tax, which portion shall be remitted to the locality in which the natural gas was consumed and shall be based on such locality’s license fee rate which it imposed.
C. The natural gas consumption tax shall be remitted monthly, on or before the last day of the succeeding month of collection. Those portions of the natural gas consumption tax that related to the state consumption tax and the special regulatory tax shall be remitted to the Commission; the portion that relates to the local consumption tax shall be remitted to the appropriate localities. Failure to remit timely will result in a ten percent penalty.
D. Taxes on natural gas sales in the year ending December 31, 2000, relating to the local license tax, shall be paid in accordance with § 58.1-3731. Monthly payments in accordance with subsection C shall commence on February 28, 2001.
E. The portion of the natural gas consumption tax relating to the local license tax replaces and precludes localities from imposing a license tax in accordance with § 58.1-3731 and the business, professional, occupation and license tax in accordance with Chapter 37 (§ 58.1-3700 et seq.) of this title on gas suppliers subsequent to December 31, 2000, except as provided in subsection D. If the license fee rate imposed by a locality is less than the equivalent of the local consumption tax rate component of the consumption tax paid under subsection A of § 58.1-2904, the excess collected by the Commission shall constitute additional state consumption tax revenue and shall be remitted by the Commission to the state treasury.
F. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a locality from enacting an ordinance or other local law to allow such locality to receive that portion of the natural gas consumption tax that represents the local consumption tax beginning at such time that natural gas service is first made available in such locality. The amount of such local consumption tax to be distributed to the locality shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection B, assuming that the maximum license tax rate allowed pursuant to § 58.1-3731 was imposed.
2000, cc. 691, 706; 2001, c. 737.