1997 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation; Ways and Means
By: Representatives Martinson, Johnson
House Bill 1827
AN ACT TO CREATE AND EMPOWER THE RIDGELAND TOURISM COMMISSION FOR THE PROMOTION OF TOURISM AND CONVENTIONS WITHIN THE CITY OF RIDGELAND; TO AUTHORIZE THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF THE CITY OF RIDGELAND TO IMPOSE A TOURISM TAX UPON THE GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALES OF CERTAIN HOTELS, MOTELS AND RESTAURANTS WITH THE CITY TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR THE COMMISSION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this act, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context in which they are used:
(a) "Commission" means the Ridgeland Tourism Commission.
(b) "City" means the City of Ridgeland, Mississippi.
(c) "Governing authorities" means the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ridgeland, Mississippi.
(d) "Hotel" or "motel" means a place of lodging that at any one (1) time will accommodate transient guests on a daily or weekly basis and that is known to the trade as such. Such terms shall not include a place of lodging with ten (10) or less rental units.
(e) "Restaurant" means and includes all places where prepared food is sold and whose annual gross proceeds of sales or gross income for the preceding calendar year equals or exceeds One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00). For the purpose of calculating gross proceeds of sales or gross income, the sales or income of all establishments owned, operated or controlled by the same person, persons or corporation shall be aggregated.
SECTION 2. (1) There is created the Ridgeland Tourism Commission, to be composed of six (6) members who shall be appointed, qualify and take office within thirty (30) days of the effecive date of this act; and the initial appointments to the commission shall be for the following terms:
(a) Two (2) hotel/motel members nominated by the hotel/motel industry within the city and confirmed by the governing authorities, one (1) for a term of one (1) year and one (1) for a term of three (3) years.
(b) Two (2) restaurant members nominated by the restaurant industry within the city and confirmed by the governing authorities, one (1) for a term of two (2) years and one (1) for a term of three (3) years.
(c) Two (2) at-large members nominated by the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce and confirmed by the governing authorities, one (1) for a term of one (1) year and one (1) for a term of two (2) years.
(2) All succeeding appointments shall be made for a term of three (3) years from the date of expiration of the initial appointment. Any vacancy which may occur shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment and shall be made for the unexpired term. Each member shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified.
(3) All succeeding appointments shall be made so as to maintain the representation of the hotel/motel industry, the restaurant industry and the at-large members in accordance with the original appointments.
SECTION 3. Any member may be disqualified and removed from office for any one (1) of the following reasons:
(a) Conviction of a felony; or
(b) Failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings without just cause; or
(c) Illegal use of a commission motor vehicle as provided hereinafter.
If a member of the commission is removed for one of the above reasons, the vacancy shall be filled in the manner prescribed herein.
SECTION 4. Before entering upon the duties of the office, each appointed member of the commission shall enter into and give bond to be approved by the Secretary of State of Mississippi in the sum of Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duties. Such bond shall be payable to the State of Mississippi and, in the event of a breach thereof, suit may be brought by the State of Mississippi for the use and benefit of the commission.
SECTION 5. When the members of the commission have been appointed and qualified as set forth herein, they shall establish quarters and conduct a meeting after giving not less than ten (10) days notice of the time and place of such meeting by certified mail, postage prepaid, directed to each appointed member of the commission at his regular address given the Secretary of State at the time of his qualification and posting bond. At such meeting a quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the commission and a majority of those members attending shall elect a president and secretary, both of whom shall be members of the commission, and adopt such rules and regulations as may govern the time and place for holding subsequent meetings, regular and special, and other rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this act.
The commission is further authorized to contract for the employment of personnel, supplies, furnishings and other facilities necessary to administer the affairs and duties of the commission and to pay for same out of the revenue provided by this act.
SECTION 6. The commission shall have jurisdiction and authority over all matters relating to the establishment, promotion and development of tourism and conventions and related matters within the city. The commission is authorized to contract for the furnishing, equipping and operation of any and all facilities necessary or useful in the promotion of tourism and conventions, and to receive and expend, subject to the provisions of this act, revenues from any source.
SECTION 7. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the promotion of tourism and conventions, there is levied, assessed and shall be collected from every person or entity engaging in or doing business in the city, as specified herein, a tax which may be cited as a "tourist and convention tax," which shall be in addition to all other taxes now imposed, as hereinafter provided.
(2) Such tax shall be one percent (1%) of the gross proceeds of sales of restaurants, hotels and motels, including sales of beer and alcoholic beverages sold to be consumed on the premises.
(3) Persons liable for the tax imposed herein shall add the amount of tax to the sales price or gross proceeds of sales, 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.
(4) 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 computed, 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 act.
(5) The proceeds of such tax, less three percent (3%) to be retained by the State Tax Commission to defray the cost of collection, shall be paid to the city on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which they are collected by the State Tax Commission. The city, in turn, shall remit the funds to the commission not later than ten (10) days after receiving the funds from the State Tax Commission.
(6) The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by the city as general fund revenues and shall be dedicated solely for the purpose of carrying out or supporting programs and activities which are designated by the commission and which are designed to attract tourists and conventions into the city.
SECTION 8. (1) Before the taxes authorized by this act shall be imposed, the governing authorities 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 tax prescribed in this act, with the last publication being made no later than ten (10) days before the effective date of such tax.
(2) At least thirty (30) days before the effective date of the tax authorized herein, the governing authorities shall furnish to the State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolution evidencing such tax.
(3) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this act, any such tax imposed under the procedures set forth above pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 863, Local and Private Laws of 1984, as amended by Chapter 823, Local and Private Laws of 1989, as amended by Chapter 937, Local and Private Laws of 1991, as amended by Chapter 994, Local and Private Laws of 1995, as amended by Chapter 1020, Local and Private Laws of 1996, shall continue to be imposed without the necessity of further authorization or action by the governing authorities. Such taxes will remain in force and effect until rescinded in the manner provided for herein. Under no circumstances shall any tax imposed herein be levied and collected for a period of less than three (3) years.
SECTION 9. Accounting for receipts and expenditures of the funds herein described shall be made separately from the accounting of receipts and expenditures of the general fund and any other funds of the city to which it is originally paid. The records reflecting the receipts and expenditures of the funds prescribed herein shall be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant, and the accountant shall make a written report of his audit to the city clerk and to the commission. The complete audit shall be made available by the commission to any person who requests a copy, under the provisions of Sections 25-61-1 through 25-61-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, also known as the "Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983." The audit shall be completed as soon as practicable after the close of the commission's fiscal year, and the expenses of such audit may be paid from the funds derived pursuant to this act.
SECTION 10. The commission shall not contract with any person who is related to a member of the commission within the third degree or who is the spouse of a member of the commission, nor shall the commission contract with a business entity of which a member of the commission is an officer, director, owner, partner or employee, or is a holder of more than ten percent (10%) of the fair market value, or from which a member of the commission or his relative within the third degree derives more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) in annual income, or over which a member of the commission or his relative within the third degree exercises control.
SECTION 11. No motor vehicle owned or leased by the commission shall be operated by any member or employee of the commission except in the performance of his official duties directly related to the business of the commission.
SECTION 12. The commission shall be subject to Sections 25-61-1 through 25-61-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, also known as the "Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983," and all public records shall be accessible under the provisions of that act. "Public records" shall be as defined in Section 25-61-3(b), Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 13. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.