AGO 2001-10.

Case Date:January 16, 2002
Indiana Attorney General Opinions 2002. AGO 2001-10. January 16, 2002Advisory Opinion 2001-10The Honorable Timothy S. Lanane State Senator34 West 8th Anderson, Indiana 46016-4415 RE: Authority of County Treasurer to Audit for Compliance with Innkeepers TaxDear Senator Lanane: This letter responds to your request for an advisory on the following question:
Does the county treasurer, specifically the Madison County Treasurer, have the authority to conduct audits for compliance with an innkeepers tax?
It is our opinion that under Indiana Code Section 6-8.1-3-12, the county treasurer does have the authority to conduct audits and otherwise investigate for compliance with an innkeepers tax whenever a statute or a county ordinance provides for the tax to be paid to the county treasurer instead of to the Department of State Revenue. Because the Madison County innkeepers tax is paid to the Madison Country Treasurer, that official has this authority. ANALYSIS There are two methods in the Indiana Code by which county innkeepers taxes are authorized. One method is by a specific statute that provides for the establishment of an innkeepers tax in a particular county. The other method is by a general statute that gives authority to counties to adopt an innkeepers tax. Both methods can result in the tax being paid to the county treasurer and therefore audit and investigation functions being vested in the county treasurer. Many chapters of Indiana Code Article 6-9 provide for the establishment of an innkeepers tax in specified counties, one of which is Madison Country as provided for in Indiana Code Chapter 6-9-17.[1]Although it is required in some of these counties, the innkeepers tax is a county option through ordinance in most of them including Madison County. Indiana Code Chapter 6-9-18 is generally applicable to all counties in the state, except the seven that are required by statute to have an innkeepers tax[2], allowing these counties to levy an innkeepers tax. Counties that levy an innkeepers tax under Indiana Code Chapter 6-9-18 are prohibited from also levying one under another chapter of Indiana Code Article 6-9. Therefore these counties, which would include Madison County, may establish an innkeepers tax under their specific Indiana Code chapter or under Indiana Code Chapter 6-9-18, but not both. Indiana Code Chapter...

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