Excise Tax Lodging

The City of Port Wentworth is empowered to impose a tax at the rate of eight (8) percent of the amount of rent for every occupancy of a guest room in a hotel in the City unless an exemption is provided under section 11-48 of the Port Wentworth, Georgia Code of Ordinances.

Hotel Defined 
Any structure or any portion of a structure, including any lodging house, rooming house, dormitory, Turkish bath, bachelor hotel, studio hotel, motel, motor hotel, auto court, truck stop, tourist cabin, lodge, inn, time-share or other condominium, apartment community, public club, or private club, containing guest rooms and which is occupied, or is intended or designed for occupancy, by paying guests, whether rent is paid in money, goods, labor, or otherwise.

This does not include any hospital, asylum, sanitarium, orphanage, jail, prison, or other buildings in which human beings are housed and detained under legal restraint.

Due Date 
This tax is due and payable to the City monthly, on or before the twentieth (20th) day of the month next succeeding the monthly period in which the tax was collected. When the twentieth (20th) day of the month falls on a holiday or non-business day, tax must be received the day prior to the holiday or non-business day. Payments that are postmarked by the 20th day will not be collected as on time payments. 

Vendor’s Credit 
When paid timely, the lodging provider may deduct or retain three (3) per cent of the amount of tax as a vendor’s credit. Failure to pay by the due date, the lodging provider not only loses this vendor’s credit but is subject to paying a penalty and interest on the tax due. The penalty is five (5) percent or $5.00, whichever is greater, of the amount due per month; not to exceed twenty-five (25) percent or $25.00, whichever is greater. The interest rate is one (1) percent per month or fraction thereof. 

Late Penalty 
An operator who fails to make any return or to pay the amount of tax as prescribed, shall be assessed a specific penalty to be added to the tax in the amount of five (5) per cent or five dollars ($5.00), whichever is greater if the failure is for one month or less; and an additional five (5) per cent or five dollars ($5.00), whichever is greater, for each additional month or fraction thereof in which such failure shall continue. 

However, the aggregate penalty for any single violation shall not exceed twenty-five (25) per cent or twenty-five dollars ($25.00), whichever is greater. Delinquent amounts shall bear interest at the rate of one (1) per cent per month, or fraction thereof, until paid.

False/Fraudulent Returns 
In the case of a false or fraudulent return, or of failure to file a return where willful intent exists to defraud the city any tax due, a penalty of fifty (50) per cent shall be assessed.

The filing of a false or fraudulent report shall render the wholesale dealer making such report liable for a penalty equal to twenty (20) per cent of the amount of the remittance which would be required under an accurate and truthful report as stated in section 3-33 of Chapter 3 – ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.
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