1997 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation; Ways and Means
By: Representative Nettles
House Bill 1865
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, TO IMPOSE A TOURISM TAX OF UP TO THREE PERCENT ON THE GROSS PROCEEDS DERIVED FROM HOTEL AND MOTEL ROOM RENTALS IN THE COUNTY, OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF ANY MUNICIPALITY IN THE COUNTY, AND TO EXPEND THE PROCEEDS OF THE TAX TO PROMOTE TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; TO PROVIDE THAT THE TAX SHALL BE COLLECTED BY THE STATE TAX COMMISSION AND PAID TO PIKE COUNTY; TO PROVIDE FOR A PETITION ELECTION ON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE TAX AUTHORIZED BY THIS ACT MAY BE LEVIED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this act, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context in which they are used:
(a) "Board of supervisors" means the Board of Supervisors of Pike County, Mississippi.
(b) "County" means Pike County, Mississippi.
(c) "Hotel" or "motel" means any establishment, excluding any state park, engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms intended or designed for lodging or sleeping purposes for transient guests, which establishment consists of five (5) or more guest rooms and does not encompass any hospital, convalescent or nursing home, or sanitarium, or any hotel-like facility operated by or in connection with a hospital or medical clinic providing rooms exclusively for patients and their families.
SECTION 2. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the purpose of promoting and advertising the attributes of Pike County, Mississippi, as they relate to tourism and economic development, and for promoting tourism and economic development events and activities in the county, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may levy, assess and collect from every person, firm and corporation operating a hotel or motel in the county outside the corporate boundaries of any municipality in the county, a tax that may be cited as a "tourism tax," which shall be in addition to all other taxes and assessments imposed by the county, as provided in this act.
(2) The tax shall be in an amount not to exceed three percent (3%) of the gross proceeds derived from hotel and motel room rentals in the county, excluding charges for telephone, food, laundry and similar services. The tax shall not be levied upon or collected from gross proceeds of room rentals for day meetings that do not serve as overnight sleeping accommodations or room rentals to residential guests of a hotel or motel.
(3) Persons liable for the tax imposed pursuant to this act shall add the amount of tax to the gross proceeds from room rentals and shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by him from the person receiving the services at the time of payment for the services.
(4) The 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 the tax, less three percent (3%) to be retained by the State Tax Commission to defray the costs of collection, shall be paid to the board of supervisors on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which they were collected.
(6) The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by the county as general fund revenues but shall be dedicated solely for the purposes set forth in subsection (1) of this section, as determined by the board of supervisors, which are designed to promote tourism and economic development in the county.
SECTION 3. Before the tax authorized by this act may be imposed, the board of supervisors shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of the tax, and establishing the date on which the tax initially will be levied and collected. Notice of the tax shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county, the first publication of which shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date on which the tax initially shall be levied and collected. If, within the time of giving notice, twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the county file a written petition against the levy of the tax, then the tax shall not be levied unless authorized by a majority of the qualified electors of the county voting in an election to be called and held for that purpose. At least thirty (30) days before the effective date of the tax authorized by this act, the board of supervisors shall furnish to the State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolution evidencing such tax levy.
SECTION 4. Before the expenditure of the proceeds of the tax authorized by this act, a budget reflecting the anticipated receipts and expenditures shall be approved by the board of supervisors. The first budget of receipts and expenditures shall cover the period beginning with the effective date of the tax and ending with the end of the county's fiscal year, and thereafter, the budget shall be on the same fiscal basis as the budget of the county.
SECTION 5. Accounting for receipts and expenditures of the funds derived from the proceeds of the tax authorized by this act shall be made separately from the accounting of receipts and expenditures of the general fund and any other funds of the county. The records reflecting the receipts and expenditures of these funds shall be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant and the audit shall be included in the General Purpose Financial Statement of the county. The audit shall be made and completed as soon as practicable after the close of the county's fiscal year, and copies of the report of the audit shall be filed with the chancery clerk of the county. The expenses of this audit may be paid from the funds derived pursuant to Section 2 of this act.
SECTION 6. The Board of Supervisors of Pike County, Mississippi, shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 7. If this act is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, then this act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.