1997 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation; Ways and Means
By: Representatives Smith (39th), Brown, Walker
House Bill 1903
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 870, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1986, TO PROVIDE THAT THE TAX LEVIED BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF LOWNDES COUNTY AND THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF THE CITY OF COLUMBUS TO SUPPORT TOURISM AND THE MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN SHALL NOT BE LEVIED ON SALES OF BEER WHICH ARE NOT FOR CONSUMPTION ON THE PREMISES; TO PROVIDE FOR AN EQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE AVAILS OF SUCH TAX BETWEEN THE COLUMBUS-LOWNDES CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU TO SUPPORT TOURISM AND THE MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN FOR MAINTENANCE OF BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES OF THE UNIVERSITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 870, Local and Private Laws of 1986, is amended as follows:
Section 1. Whenever used in this act, unless a different meaning clearly appears in the context, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "City" means the City of Columbus, Mississippi.
(b) "County" means Lowndes County, Mississippi.
(c) "Governing authorities" means the Mayor and City Council of the City of Columbus, Mississippi, and the Board of Supervisors of Lowndes County, Mississippi.
(d) "Prepared food" means food prepared on the premises of a restaurant.
(e) "Restaurant" means any place where prepared food is sold whether for consumption upon the premises or not and which has * * * annual sales in excess of Three Hundred Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($325,000.00).
(f) "University" means the Mississippi University for Women.
Section 2. (1) The governing authorities are hereby authorized to impose upon persons doing business within the city and county a tax at the rate of two percent (2%) on the gross receipts of restaurants derived from retail sales of prepared food, beer and alcoholic beverages and on the gross proceeds of sales of other businesses derived from retail sales of beer and alcoholic beverages, excluding sales of alcoholic beverages upon premises covered by a package retailer's permit and sales of beer not for consumption on the premises. The governing authorities shall distribute the avails of the tax in the following manner for the following purposes: Fifty percent (50%) of the proceeds of the tax to the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau to support tourism in the city and county and fifty percent (50%) of the proceeds of the tax shall be used to provide funds to the university for the maintenance of buildings and facilities of the university.
(2) Before the tax authorized by this act may be imposed, the governing authorities shall adopt resolutions declaring their 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. Notice of the proposed tax levy shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in such city and county. 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 authorities propose 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 county 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 county 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 authorities shall furnish to the Chairman of the State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolutions evidencing such tax levy. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to authorize a levy by the governing authorities of the county upon sales by persons within the city.
(3) Persons, firms or corporations liable for the tax imposed herein shall add the amount of tax to the sales price of goods described in subsection (1) of this section and, in addition thereto, shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by them from the person receiving the goods at the time of payment therefor.
(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 collections, shall be paid to the governing authorities, to be placed into a special fund hereby created separate and apart from any other city or county fund, on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected.
(6) The tax levied hereunder may be discontinued by an action of either or both of the governing authorities adopting a resolution to that effect. Such resolution shall be effective beginning on the first day of a month designated in the resolution and the tax levy shall not apply to sales made on and after said date. A certified copy of the resolution shall be furnished to the State Tax Commission at least seven (7) days prior to its effective date.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after June 1, 1997.