The Certified Municipal Revenue Officer (CMRO) certification requires 80 contact hours to be completed within four consecutive sessions. Participants are required to complete each of the following four educational sessions: 100, 200, 300 and 400 level. Participants can still begin at any time but must complete all sessions to graduate. In order for an individual to maintain certified status in the Alabama Municipal Revenue Officer’s Association Certification Program, the individual must maintain membership with the Alabama Municipal Revenue Officers Association (AMROA) and must attend a total of twenty (20) hours in either an AMROA sponsored workshop, conference, or certification training session every two-years with the first two-year period beginning with the date of the final test that was taken to earn certification. Visit the AMROA website for more information about courses, bylaws, and membership.
Audit 200 – A discussion of auditing techniques available to municipalities and the requirements of both the revenue official and/or the outside auditing firm when conducting an audit
• Explanation of the audit function and explore the benefits of the audit function to municipalities
• Discuss municipalities audit options–in house, outside auditing firm, or State of Alabama—pros and cons of each
• Desktop audits, reviewing license classifications and comparing license gross receipts to taxes reported
• Processing refunds to taxpayers and the legal requirements as well as refunds due to other jurisdictions
• Basic auditing techniques and what is required of revenue officials when auditing a business
Audit 300 – A continued discussion of auditing techniques, and the laws that govern municipality audit procedures
• Explore the legal requirements for audits detailed in the Local Tax Simplification Act of 1998, Local Tax Procedures Act, Municipal Business License Reform Act, Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, and Taxpayer Fairness Act (TBOR II)
• Procedures for conducting an audit– from audit notification to the finalization of the audit assessment
• Confidentiality requirements
• When to use sampling/averages
• How to decide who to audit
• Discuss audit appeal procedures, Alabama Tax Tribunal
Commerce 100 – Historical recap of what interstate commerce is; when the legislation began that governs interstate commerce and how it affects municipalities in tax and license situations.
• Definition of interstate commerce
• Article I of the US Constitution
• When can you license interstate commerce
Commerce 200 – Advanced discussion of the commerce clause in interstate commerce and what different requirements are placed on municipalities because of interstate commerce.
• Due Process Clause
• State Taxation of interstate commerce
• Factors that determine interstate commerce
• Licensing restrictions due to interstate commerce
• Historical and current cases on interstate commerce (ex: Bella-Hess, Complete Auto)
Commerce 300 – Explaining interstate commerce as opposed to intrastate commerce and the different requirement of municipalities.
• Definition of intrastate and interstate commerce
• What constitutes nexus
• Explain Due Process Clause
• Distinguish nexus under commerce and due process clause
• Historical and current cases on nexus (ex: Quill Corp v. Heitkamp)
Commerce 400 – Reviewing the issues of mail-order sales, catalog sales, and internet sales as they affect how municipalities collect sales taxes and business licenses now and in the future.
• Sales vs Use Tax
• Delivery methods and licensing
• Court cases on mail-order and catalog sales
• Update on current and proposed legislation affecting licensing of local and out of state entities
Enforcement 100 – Basic minimum enforcement procedures you should know and use to assist in the enforcement of municipal revenue ordinances.
• Authority to License (11-51-90, Code of AL)
• Municipal Code
• Notices, Letters, Phone Calls, Site Visits
Enforcement 200 – Issuing citations, municipal offense tickets, summons, warrants, etc. (Criminal Prosecution through the court system)
• Authority to issue citations or municipal offense tickets
• Municipal Offense Tickets
• Writing, Issuing, and Serving
Enforcement 300 – Processes for enforcing license and tax ordinances through the use of the court system
• City Attorney or Hired Firm
• Civil Action (Circuit Court)
• lnjunction (sec.11-51-lS0through 11-51-161CodeofAL)
• Liens (sec. 11-51-96 Code of AL)
• Temporary Restraining Orders
Enforcement 400 – How assessments and assessment letters are handled for the purpose of gaining full
compliance by businesses for taxes, licenses, or audits.
Law 100 – Basic Outline of where authority for municipalities resides in state law and through the Passage of municipal ordinances, to fully inform revenue personnel in where authority comes from.
• Discuss primary law- Statutes, regulations, and case law.
• Division of duties between elected officials/ separation of powers between mayor and council
• Classification of Municipalities/ forms of government
• General powers of Municipalities/ types of powers
• Dillon rule
• Police Jurisdiction (extraterritorial jurisdiction)
• Touch on AMROA website links to ADOR/SOS/Attorney General/Alison
Law 200 – Discuss legal resources. Explanation of legislative process, municipal ordinances, and court rulings are cataloged so the revenue official is trained in researching this information. Outline of the attorney general’s office and duties plus how attorney general opinions are developed and what effect they have on revenue collections of taxes and licenses.
• Legislative process
• Locate an AG opinion, Touch on Details of requesting an opinion
• What weight does an opinion carry
• Revenue Rulings
• Court cases and opinions
• Law review, journals, and other secondary legal sources
Law 300 – Detailed examples developed for students to research and find particular cases to strengthen their research abilities. Entails a review of topics in sophomore session II with expanded examples and case studies using online legal research, free and paid resources.
• Case studies (example liens, local nexus rules)
• Detailed explanation of AMROA website links to ADOR/SOS/Attorney General/Alison
Law 400 – Comprehensive Review.
• Tax and license cases and resulting court decisions with an emphasis on not only how it affected a particular municipality but how the ruling could affect other municipalities.
• Revocations and defending revocations
License 100 – Basic business license outline with emphasis on what licenses are; where the ability to license businesses originated; how rates may be set.
• Code of Alabama Section 11-51-90: Granting municipalities the ability to license any exhibition, trade business, vocation, occupation, or profession.
• License Reform Act of 2006 requirements
Due dates for business licenses
Penalty and interest provisions
Taxpayers engaged in more than one line of business
Branch office rule
Mail out to all companies that obtained a business license for preceding year gross receipts vs. flat-rate licenses
• Business license fees controlled by Code of Alabama (insurance companies, banks, telephone companies, etc.)
License 200 – Licensing businesses that are governed in part by State Boards and how those State Boards affect what a municipality does when licensing them within their specific community. (With an emphasis on more common situations within municipalities)
• Homebuilder Board
• Licensing Board for General Contractors
• Plumbers and Gas Fitters Board
• Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors Board
• Electrical Contractors Board
• Cosmetology Board
• Massage Therapy Board
• State of Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries (Landscapers & Exterminators)
• County Health Department (Restaurants)
License 300 – License enforcement and use of the court system.
• Review of what is involved and required of municipalities when using the courts.
Unlawful to do business without a license
Penalty and interest provisions
Summons to appear in court
Municipal court is prosecuting the fact that business was done without a license, not for the collection of license fees.
License 400 – Handling business license revocations and what is involved for the municipal official
• Requirements of License Reform Act of 2006:
All licenses are subject to revocation by the municipal governing body.
The municipal body shall set time for the hearing of revocation and notice of hearing shall be given to the licensee at least ten (10) days before the date set for the hearing.
Profiles 100 – A discussion on the role ethics plays in revenue administration
• Review State law that mandates the conduct of tax and licensing officials
• Site examples of professional conduct of revenue officials and unethical conduct of revenue officials.
• Site example of consequences of unethical conduct
• Correlate ethical behavior of revenue official and working with elected officials
• Review the role of revenue officials in making tax/licensing laws and enforcing those laws
• Review the dichotomy of the public administrator – revenue officers must balance the role of helping create the law and enforcing that law.
Profiles 200 – An in-depth overview of the importance of the revenue officer developing interdepartmental relations for the purpose of having proper compliance from businesses in their cities.
• The benefits and challenges of working with Economic Development, Building Officials, Utility Departments, Police Departments, and Fire Departments
• Things the Revenue officer should know about working with public record keepers (what information can be shared and how that information should be shared)
Profiles 300 – Basic customer service techniques for officials dealing in tax and license administration.
• Developing a balance of servant to the taxpayer enforcer of city laws
• Developing communication skills to interact professionally with the taxpayer with the least amount of friction
• Developing conflict resolution skills
• Developing goals that meet the needs of both the public and the city administrations
Profiles 400 – Methods to help the Revenue Officer Adapt to change (Meyers-Briggs Personality assessment)
• Tips for your personality type in dealing with stress and changes in the community (natural disasters), political leaders, and legislature.
• The laws and ordinance affecting revenue administration and attitudes towards those changes.
Revenue Administration 100 – Ordinance development
• A discussion on what is required to develop an ordinance
• Requirements of Revenue Officers that interact with an in house legal attorneys.
• Requirements of Revenue Officers who work with the contract or outside legal attorneys.
• The responsibilities of Revenue Officers to work with upper administration.
• The responsibilities of Revenue Officers to interact with and discuss with City Council
Revenue Administration 200 – Municipal and County co-operation
• Building a relationship with other municipalities and counties
• The importance of working with Revenue Officials in your county
• Establishing an agreement to share information
• Combining efforts on handling problem accounts in common
Revenue Administration 300 – Identifying solutions to tax and license compliance
• Discussing what municipalities need to meet requirements of city, state, and federal laws
• Reviewing tax and license mechanisms and/or processes utilized by municipalities
• Establishing guidelines that all can utilize
• Reviewing and discovering alternative methods to enhance compliance through the utilization of technology
Revenue Administration 400 – Managing stress, anxiety, and related issues which develop as part of Revenue Administrators responsibilities for collection and compliance acting as a revenue
• What is stress and anxiety
• What are the internal and external causes of stress
• How to handle and reduce stress
• Adopting strategies to deal with stressful situations and events
Taxes 100 – History of tax collections and explanation of basic taxes collected by municipalities.
• Legislative authority granted to municipalities to levy a taxes
• Gross Receipts
• Special taxes collected by municipalities
• Special Events
• Cigarette Tax
• Liquor Tax
Taxes 200 – Alternative revenue sources available to municipalities
• Ad Valorem
• Permit Fees
• State shared taxes
• Rental or Sale of Municipal Property
• Scale Fees
Taxes 300 – Understanding reciprocity in terms of collection of taxes
• Legislative act
• One Sale – One Tax
• Collection on an imported property used within another municipality
• Petition for a refund of taxes paid to the wrong municipality – the statute of limitations
Taxes 400 – Future taxes issues that will affect current revenue administration procedures
• New technology
• Non-Nexus use tax remittance
• Digital sales