§7-20-12. Countywide service fees.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, every county shall have plenary power and authority to impose a countywide service fee upon each employee and self-employed individual for each week or part of a calendar week the individual works within the county, subject to the following:
(1) No individual shall pay the fee more than once for the same week of employment within the county.
(2) The fee imposed pursuant to this section is in addition to all other fees imposed by the jurisdiction within which the individual is employed.
(3) The fee imposed pursuant to this section may not take effect until the first day of a calendar month, as set forth in the order of the county commission establishing the fee, that begins at least 30 days after a majority of the registered voters of the county voting on the question approve imposition of the service fee, in a primary or general election held in the county.
(4) The order of the county commission shall provide for the administration, collection, and enforcement of the service fee. Employers who have employees that work in the county imposing the service fee shall withhold the fee from compensation paid to the employee and pay it over to the county as provided in the order of the county commission. Self-employed individuals shall pay the service fee to the county commission in accordance with the order establishing the fee.
(5) The terms “employed”, “employee”, “employer” and “self-employed” have the following meaning:
(A) “Employed” shall include an employee working for an employer so as to be subject to any federal or state employment or wage withholding requirement and a self-employed individual working as a sole proprietor or member of a firm so as to be subject to self-employment tax. An employee shall be considered employed in a calendar week so long as the employee remains on the current payroll of an employer deriving compensation for such week and the employee has not been permanently assigned to an office or place of business outside the county. A self-employed individual shall be considered employed in a calendar week so long as such individual has not permanently discontinued employment within the county.
(B) “Employee” means any individual who is employed at or physically reports to one or more locations within the county and is on the payroll of an employer, on a full-time or part-time basis or temporary basis, in exchange for salary, wages, or other compensation.
(C) “Employer” means any person, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association (unincorporated or otherwise), corporation, institution, trust, governmental body, or unit or agency, or any other entity (whether its principal activity is for-profit or not-for-profit) situated, doing business, or conducting its principal activity in the county and who employs an employee, as defined in this section.
(D) “Self employed individual” means an individual who regularly maintains an office or place of business for conducting any livelihood, job, trade, profession, occupation, business, or enterprise of any kind within the county’s geographical boundaries over the course of four or more calendar weeks, which need not be consecutive, in any given calendar year.
(6) All revenues generated by the county service fee imposed pursuant to this section shall be dedicated to and shall be exclusively utilized for the purpose or purposes set forth in the referendum approved by the voters, including, but not limited to, the payment of debt service on any bonds issued pursuant to §7-20-13 of this code and any costs related to the administration, collection, and enforcement of the service fee.
(b) Any order entered by a county commission imposing a countywide service fee pursuant to this section, or increasing or decreasing a countywide service fee previously adopted pursuant to this section, shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1 et seq. of this code, and the publication area for the publication shall be the county. The order shall not become effective until it is ratified by a majority of the lawful votes cast thereon by the qualified voters of the county at a primary or general election, as the county commission shall direct. Voting thereon shall not take place until after notice of the referendum shall have been given by publication as above provided for the publication of the order after it is adopted by the county commission. The notice of referendum shall at a minimum include: (1) The date of the referendum; (2) the amount of countywide service fee; (3) a general description of the capital improvement or improvements included in the special infrastructure project to be financed with the service fee; (4) whether revenue bonds shall be issued; and (5) if bonds are to be issued, the estimated term of the revenue bonds. The county commission may include additional information in the notice of referendum.
(c) In the event that a majority of the votes cast upon a question submitted pursuant to this section at any primary election be against the question, the question may again be submitted to the voters at the next succeeding general election.