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INDIANAPOLIS -- Starting July 1, 2010, Indiana retailers who sell telephone services, such as prepaid phones and phone cards, are required to collect a 25-cent fee for each transaction.
The charge, known as the 911 Enhancement Fee, is the result of legislation passed in this year's session. It does not replace the 50-cent fee for wireless service that appears on phone bills every month, which remains firmly in place; only the Indiana Wireless 911 Enhancement Board has the authority to change it. Note that the fee should not be included in sales tax calculations.
For their efforts, merchants are allowed to keep 1 percent of the fees, but the money collected must be sent to the state electronically at the same time sales tax receipts are sent in, using the state's INtax program. Those who haven't registered for INtax can do so at www.intax.in.gov.
More information on this new law can be found at www.in.gov/dor/438.1.htm.
In the meantime, the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA) pointed out that beer/wine permits are still available in many towns and cities. It conducted an "unofficial" examination of the online records of the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC), and found that these localities are already at quota:
For cities over 80,000 residents: only Evansville is at quota.
For cities between 15,000-80,000 residents: Anderson, Bloomington, Columbus, Crawfordsville, Greenwood, Hobart, Kokom, Lafayette, Marion, Muncie, New Albany, New Castle, Noblesville, Portage, Richmond, Seymour, Shelbyville, Valparaiso and Vincennes are all at quota.
For cities under 15,000 residents: Aurora, Brook, Brookville, Chesterton, Greencastle, Greensburg, Huntingburg, Jasper, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon, Martinsville, Mooresville, Mount Vernon, Princeton, Roselawn, Rushville, Salem and Syracuse are all at quota.
However, notes the IPCA, only the ATC can determine if a permit is available, so retailers should contact the commission at www.in.govatc for up-to-date information, since a locality currently at quota may have permits returned.