1997 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representatives Williams, Coleman (65th)
House Bill 1521
(As Passed the House)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 31-31-11 AND 31-31-29, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT A PORTION OF THE AVAILS OF THE ROOM OCCUPANCY TAX AND THE INTEREST DERIVED FROM THE PROCEEDS OF BONDS ISSUED UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCE AND TRAINING CENTER ACT MAY BE EXPENDED TO DEFRAY START-UP COSTS AND EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE OPERATION OF THE CONFERENCE AND TRAINING FACILITY; TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN PERSONS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM SUCH ROOM OCCUPANCY TAX; TO REQUIRE THAT THE MISSISSIPPI TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCE AND TRAINING CENTER COMMISSION HAVE ITS BOOKS AND RECORDS AUDITED ANNUALLY REGARDING THE RECEIPT AND EXPENDITURE OF CERTAIN FUNDS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 31-31-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-31-11. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the expenditures authorized in subsection (6) of this section, there is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected from every person engaging in or doing business in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, as specified herein, a tax which may be cited as an "occupancy tax," which shall be in addition to all other taxes now imposed. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (10) of this section, such tax shall be upon each hotel and motel located within the City of Jackson in the amount of Seventy-five Cents (754) per day for each occupied room.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (10) of this section, persons liable for the tax imposed herein shall add the amount of tax to the price of rooms and in addition thereto shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by him from the person receiving the services or goods at the time of payment therefor.
(3) Such tax shall be collected by and paid to the State Tax Commission on a form prescribed by the State Tax Commission, in the same manner that state sales taxes are collected and paid; and the full enforcement provisions and all other provisions of Chapter 65, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall apply as necessary to the implementation and administration of this chapter.
(4) The proceeds of such tax shall be deposited by the State Tax Commission into the reserve fund created pursuant to subsection (5) of this section on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected by the State Tax Commission.
(5) There is hereby created in the State Treasury a special fund to be called the "Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Facility Reserve Fund." Money in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the General Fund and interest earned on any amount deposited into the fund shall be credited to the special fund. Money in the fund shall be used * * * as specified in subsection (6) of this section * * *.
(6) A portion of the debt service on the bonds issued pursuant to this chapter shall be paid annually from the reserve fund, and such portion shall be the amount of the debt service on bonds attributable to forty percent (40%) of the cost of constructing the facility and the amount of the debt service on bonds attributable to all land acquisition costs. Amounts remaining in the fund in any fiscal year after the payments required by this subsection for debt service may be used by the commission to provide funds for start-up costs, operation and maintenance of the facility and for renovations, improvements and additions to the facility.
(7) Before the taxes authorized by this chapter shall be imposed, the municipal governing authorities of the City of Jackson shall adopt a resolution declaring their intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of such tax and establishing the date on which this tax initially shall be levied and collected. This date shall be not less than the first day of the second month from the date of adoption of the resolution.
The resolution shall be published in a local newspaper at least twice during the period from the adoption of the resolution to the effective date of the taxation prescribed in this section, with the last publication being made no later than ten (10) days prior to the effective date of such taxation.
(8) The tax imposed pursuant to this section shall remain in force and effect until the City of Jackson shall by resolution rescind the tax; provided, however, that the tax imposed pursuant to this section shall not be rescinded if any bonds issued
pursuant to this chapter remain outstanding.
(9) The commission shall have its books and records audited annually by an independent certified public accountant regarding the receipt and expenditure of funds (excluding the expenditure of funds used to pay debt service on bonds issued under this chapter) derived from the tax authorized in this section and funds derived from any other public source. The audit shall be performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and the financial statements shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The audit report shall include supplemental schedules of expenditures for items such as consulting fees, travel, salaries, legal, audit, etc., showing for each individual expenditure (1) to whom the expenditure was made, (2) the expenditure amount and (3) an explanation of why the expenditure was made. The commission shall file copies of the audit with the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate and the State Auditor no later than December 15 of each year. The Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate shall provide copies of such audit to members of their respective houses upon request.
(10) The tax authorized in this section shall not be imposed on any person who rents or occupies a hotel or motel room in the City of Jackson on a monthly basis. Any person or entity liable for collecting the tax imposed under this section shall not be required to collect such tax from a person who is exempt from the tax as described in this subsection (10). For purposes of this subsection (10), "monthly basis" means that the room is rented, occupied or reserved for one or more months.
SECTION 2. Section 31-31-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-31-29. Upon the issuance and sale of bonds under this chapter, the State Bond Commission shall deposit the proceeds of any such sale or sales in a special fund created in the State Treasury to be known as the "Telecommunication Conference Center Fund." The proceeds of such bonds shall be used solely for the purposes provided in this chapter, including the costs incident to the issuance and sale of such bonds, and any interest derived from amounts on deposit in the fund may be expended to defray start-up costs and expenses incident to the operation of the facility. The costs incident to the issuance and sale of such bonds shall be disbursed by warrant upon requisition of the State Bond Commission, signed by the chairman of the commission. The remaining monies in the Telecommunication Conference Center Fund shall be expended by the Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Facility Commission under the direction of the Department of Finance and Administration under such restrictions, if any, as may be contained in the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds, and such funds shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants issued by the State Fiscal Officer.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.