1997 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation
By: Representative Perry
House Bill 1868
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 865, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1983, AS AMENDED BY CHAPTER 931, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1984, AS AMENDED BY CHAPTER 19, LAWS OF THE FIRST EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF 1988, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "HOTEL" AND "MOTEL" AS USED FOR PURPOSES OF LEVYING A MOTEL-HOTEL TAX IN THE CITY OF OXFORD TO SUPPORT THE PROMOTION OF TOURISM BY THE OXFORD TOURISM COUNCIL; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 865, Local and Private Laws of 1983, as amended by Chapter 931, Local and Private Laws of 1984, as amended by Chapter 19, Laws of the First Extraordinary Session of 1988, is amended as follows:
Section 1. As used in this act, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context in which they are used, the words "hotel" and "motel" shall mean 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.
Section 2. (1) There is hereby created and established the Oxford Tourism Council, hereinafter referred to in this act as the "council," in the manner set forth in subsection (3) of this section. The governing authority of the City of Oxford, Mississippi, shall be authorized to contract with the Oxford Tourism Council for the administrative responsibilities of a tourism program for the Oxford area. All contracts between the council and the City of Oxford, Mississippi, shall be signed by the chairman of the council and shall be on such terms and for such duration as the parties may agree.
(2) The council shall have jurisdiction and authority over all matters relating to establishing, promoting and developing tourism, along with related matters in the Oxford area. The council shall be authorized to own, lease, rent or otherwise furnish, equip and operate any and all facilities and equipment necessary or useful in the promotion of tourism and to receive and expend, subject to the provisions of this act, revenues from other sources.
(3) The council shall be composed of seven (7) members appointed by the Board of Aldermen of the City of Oxford as herein provided. All members shall serve without compensation and three (3) members shall be from the motel and hotel industry or a business directly related to tourism. The initial appointments to the council made by the board of aldermen shall be for a term of one (1) year. Upon the expiration of the initial appointments, the appointments shall be for the following terms:
(a) Two (2) members of the council shall be appointed for terms of one (1) year;
(b) Two (2) members of the council shall be appointed for terms of two (2) years; and
(c) Three (3) members of the council shall be appointed for terms of three (3) years.
All appointments thereafter shall be made for a term of three (3) years from the date of expiration of the terms under items (a), (b) and (c) of this subsection. Any vacancy which may occur shall be filled by the board of aldermen for the unexpired term. Each member shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified.
The members so appointed shall elect from among themselves a chairman. A member of the council shall not serve as chairman for more than two (2) consecutive one-year terms.
(4) The council is authorized to employ personnel, obtain supplies, furnishings and other facilities necessary to administer the affairs and duties of the council and to pay for same out of the revenue provided by this act.
Section 3. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the promotion of tourism in Oxford, Mississippi, and the surrounding area, the governing authority of the City of Oxford, Mississippi, is authorized to levy upon every person, firm or corporation operating a motel or hotel in such city, a tax, which may be cited as a "motel-hotel tax," at a rate not to exceed two percent (2%) of the gross proceeds of sales from room rentals of motels and hotels in Oxford, Mississippi. Such tax shall be in addition to all other taxes now imposed.
(2) Before the tax authorized by Chapter 865, Local and Private Laws of 1983, as amended, may be imposed, the governing authority of the City of Oxford, Mississippi, shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention to levy the tax and establishing the amount of the tax levy and the date on which this tax initially shall be levied and collected. This date shall be the first day of a month but not less than the first day of the second month from the date of adoption of the resolution. Notice of the proposed tax levy shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in such city. The first publication of such notice shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed in the resolution at which the governing authority proposes to levy such tax and the last publication shall be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date. If, within the time of giving notice, twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the city shall file a written petition against the levy of such tax then such tax shall not be levied unless authorized by a majority of the qualified electors of such city, voting at an election to be called and held for that purpose. Prior to the effective date of the tax levy approved as herein provided, the governing authority shall furnish to the Chairman of the State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolution evidencing such tax levy.
(3) Persons, firms or corporations liable for the tax imposed herein shall add the amount of tax to the sales price of room rentals and, in addition thereto, shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by him from the person receiving the services 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 costs of collections, shall be paid to the governing authority of the City of Oxford, Mississippi, on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected.
(6) The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by the city as general fund revenues, but shall be dedicated to and used by the council solely for the purpose of carrying out programs and activities designed to attract tourists to the city and surrounding area.
(7) Any tax lawfully levied under Chapter 865, Local and Private Laws of 1983, as amended, may continue to be levied after the effective date of House Bill No. 1868, 1997 Regular Session, for the promotion of tourism in Oxford, Mississippi, and the surrounding area.
Section 4. The books of the council shall be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant, and said accountant shall make a written report of his audit to the council who will thereupon submit a copy of said report to the governing authority of the City of Oxford, Mississippi. Such audit shall be made and completed as soon as practicable after the close of the fiscal year, and copies of the report of said audit shall be filed with the city within fifteen (15) days after receipt thereof by the council.
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SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.