1998 Regular Session

To: Ways and Means

By: Representatives Formby, Robertson, Banks, Barnett (116th), Barnett (92nd), Bourdeaux, Bowles, Bozeman, Brown, Chaney, Coleman (29th), Coleman (65th), Cummings, Davis, Dedeaux, Eaton, Ellington, Ellzey, Flaggs, Foster, Franks, Fredericks, Gadd, Gibbs, Green (34th), Green (72nd), Green (96th), Grist, Guice, Hamilton, Henderson (26th), Henderson (9th), Holden, Howell, Janus, Jennings, Johnson, Ketchings, King, Malone, Manning, Maples, Markham, Martinson, McInnis, Middleton, Miles, Miller, Mitchell, Moak, Montgomery, Moody, Moore, Morris, Moss, Nettles, Peranich, Read, Reeves, Robinson (63rd), Robinson (84th), Rogers, Rotenberry, Ryan, Saucier, Shows, Simmons (100th), Simmons (37th), Simpson, Smith (35th), Stevens, Straughter, Stribling, Stringer, Vince, Wallace, Warren, Weathersby, Wells-Smith, Williams, Woods, Ishee

House Bill 591



SECTION 1. Section 27-65-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-65-3. The words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein.

(a) "Tax Commission" means the State Tax Commission of the State of Mississippi.

(b) "Commissioner" means the Chairman of the State Tax Commission.

(c) "Person" means * * * any individual, firm, copartnership, joint venture, association, corporation, estate, trust or other group or combination acting as a unit, and includes the plural as well as the singular in number. "Person" shall include husband or wife or both where joint benefits are derived from the operation of a business taxed hereunder. "Person" shall also include any state, county, municipal or other agency or association engaging in a business taxable under this chapter.

(d) "Tax year" or "taxable year" means either the calendar year or the taxpayer's fiscal year.

(e) "Taxpayer" means any person liable for or having paid any tax to the State of Mississippi under the provisions of this chapter.

(f) "Sale" or "sales" includes the barter or exchange of property as well as the sale thereof for money or other consideration, and every closed transaction by which the title to taxable property passes shall constitute a taxable event.

"Sale" shall also include the passing of title to property for a consideration of coupons, trading stamps or by any other means when redemption is subsequent to the original sale by which the coupon, stamp or other obligation was created.

The situs of a sale for the purpose of distributing taxes to municipalities shall be the same as the location of the business from which the sale is made except that:

(i) Retail sales along a route from a vehicle or otherwise by a transient vendor shall take the situs of delivery to the customer.

(ii) The situs of wholesale sales of tangible personal property taxed at wholesale rates, the amount of which is allowed as a credit against the sales tax liability of the retailer, shall be the same as the location of the business of the retailer receiving the credit.

(iii) The situs of wholesale sales of tangible personal property taxed at wholesale rates, the amount of which is not allowed as a credit against the sales tax liability of the retailer, shall have a rural situs.

(iv) Income received from the renting or leasing of property used for transportation purposes between cities or counties shall have a rural situs.

(g) "Delivery charges" * * * means * * * any expenses incurred by a seller in acquiring merchandise for sale in the regular course of business commonly known as "freight-in" or "transportation costs-in." "Delivery charges" also include any charges made by the seller for delivery of property sold to the purchaser.

(h) "Gross proceeds of sales" means the value proceeding or accruing from the full sale price of tangible personal property, including installation charges, * * * without any deduction for delivery charges, cost of property sold, other expenses or losses, or taxes of any kind except those expressly exempt by this chapter.

Where a trade-in is taken as part payment on tangible personal property sold, "gross proceeds of sales" shall include only the difference received between the selling price of the tangible personal property and the amount allowed for a trade-in of property of the same kind. When the trade-in is subsequently sold, the selling price thereof shall be included in "gross proceeds of sales."

"Gross proceeds of sales" * * * includes the value of any goods, wares, merchandise or property purchased at wholesale or manufactured, and any mineral or natural resources produced which are excluded from the tax levied by Section 27-65-15, which are withdrawn or used from an established business or from the stock in trade for consumption or any other use in the business or by the owner.

"Gross proceeds of sales" shall not include bad check or draft service charges as provided for in Section 97-19-57.

"Gross proceeds of sales" does not include finance charges, carrying charges or any other addition to the selling price as a result of deferred payments by the purchaser.

(i) "Gross income" means the total charges for service or the total receipts (actual or accrued) derived from trades, business or commerce by reason of the investment of capital in the business engaged in, including the sale or rental of tangible personal property, compensation for labor and services performed, and including the receipts from the sales of property retained as toll, without any deduction for rebates, cost of property sold, cost of materials used, labor costs, interest paid, losses or any expense whatever.

"Gross income" shall also include the cost of property given as compensation when said property is consumed by a person performing a taxable service for the donor.

However, "gross income" or "gross proceeds of sales" shall not be construed to include the value of goods returned by customers when the total sale price is refunded either in cash or by credit, or cash discounts allowed and taken on sales. Cash discounts shall not include the value of trading stamps given with a sale of property.

(j) "Tangible personal property" means personal property perceptible to the human senses or by chemical analysis as opposed to real property or intangibles and shall include property sold on an installed basis which may become a part of real or personal property.

(k) "Installation charges" * * * means * * * the charge for the application of tangible personal property to real or personal property without regard to whether or not it becomes a part of the real property or retains its personal property classification. It shall include, but not be limited to, sales in place of roofing, tile, glass, carpets, drapes, fences, awnings, window air conditioning units, gasoline pumps, window guards, floor coverings, carports, store fixtures, aluminum and plastic siding, tombstones and similar personal property.

(l) "Newspaper" means a periodical which:

(i) Is not published primarily for advertising purposes and has not contained more than seventy-five percent (75%) advertising in more than one-half (1/2) of its issues during any consecutive twelve-month period excluding separate advertising supplements inserted into but separately identifiable from any regular issue or issues;

(ii) Has been established and published continuously for at least twelve (12) months;

(iii) Is regularly issued at stated intervals no less frequently than once a week, bears a date of issue, and is numbered consecutively; provided, however, that publication on legal holidays of this state or of the United States and on Saturdays and Sundays shall not be required, and failure to publish not more than two (2) regular issues in any calendar year shall not exclude a periodical from this definition;

(iv) Is issued from a known office of publication, which shall be the principal public business office of the newspaper and need not be the place at which the periodical is printed and a newspaper shall be deemed to be "published" at the place where its known office of publication is located;

(v) Is formed of printed sheets; provided, however, that a periodical that is reproduced by the stencil, mimeograph or hectograph process shall not be considered to be a "newspaper"; and

(vi) Is originated and published for the dissemination of current news and intelligence of varied, broad and general public interest, announcements and notices, opinions as editorials on a regular or irregular basis, and advertising and miscellaneous reading matter.

The term "newspaper" shall include periodicals which are designed primarily for free circulation or for circulation at nominal rates as well as those which are designed for circulation at more than a nominal rate.

The term "newspaper" shall not include a publication or periodical which is published, sponsored by, is directly supported financially by, or is published to further the interests of, or is directed to, or has a circulation restricted in whole or in part to any particular sect, denomination, labor or fraternal organization or other special group or class or citizens.

For purposes of this paragraph, a periodical designed primarily for free circulation or circulation at nominal rates shall not be considered to be a newspaper unless such periodical has made an application for such status to the Tax Commission in the manner prescribed by the commission and has provided to the Tax Commission documentation satisfactory to the commission showing that such periodical meets the requirements of the definition of the term "newspaper." However, if such periodical has been determined to be a newspaper under action taken by the State Tax Commission on or before April 11, 1996, such periodical shall be considered to be a newspaper without the necessity of applying for such status. A determination by the State Tax Commission that a publication is a newspaper shall be limited to the application of this chapter and shall not establish that the publication is a newspaper for any other purpose.

SECTION 2. Section 27-65-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-65-21. (1) (a) (i) Upon every person engaging or continuing in this state in the business of contracting or performing a contract or engaging in any of the activities, or similar activities, listed below for a price, commission, fee or wage, there is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected a tax equal to three and one-half percent (3-1/2%) of the total contract price or compensation received * * * from constructing, building, erecting, repairing, grading, excavating, drilling, exploring, testing or adding to any building, highway, street, sidewalk, bridge, culvert, sewer, irrigation or water system, drainage or dredging system, levee or levee system or any part thereof, railway, reservoir, dam, power plant, electrical system, air conditioning system, heating system, transmission line, pipeline, tower, dock, storage tank, wharf, excavation, grading, water well, any other improvement or structure or any part thereof when the compensation received exceeds Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). Such activities shall not include constructing, repairing or adding to property which retains its identity as personal property. The tax imposed in this section is levied upon the prime contractor and shall be paid by him.

(ii) Amounts included in the contract price or compensation received representing the sale of manufacturing or processing machinery for a manufacturer or custom processor shall be taxed at the rate of one and one-half percent (1-1/2%) in lieu of the three and one-half percent (3-1/2%).

(b) The following shall be excluded from the tax levied by this section:

(i) The contract price or compensation received for constructing, building, erecting, repairing or adding to any building, electrical system, air conditioning system, heating system or any other improvement or structure which is used for or primarily in connection with a residence or dwelling place for human beings. Such residences shall include homes, apartment buildings, condominiums, mobile homes, summer cottages, fishing and hunting camp buildings and similar buildings, but shall not include hotels, motels, hospitals, nursing or retirement homes, tourist cottages or other commercial establishments.

(ii)  The portion of the total contract price attributable to design or engineering services if the total contract price for the project exceeds the sum of One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00).

(iii) The contract price or compensation received to restore, repair or replace a utility distribution or transmission system that has been damaged due to ice storm, hurricane, flood, tornado, wind, earthquake or other natural disaster if such restoration, repair or replacement is performed by the entity providing the service at its cost.

(c) Sales of materials and services for use in the activities hereby excluded from taxes imposed by this section, except services used in activities excluded pursuant to paragraph (b)(iii) of this subsection, shall be subject to taxes imposed by other sections in this chapter.

(2) Upon every person engaging or continuing in this state in the business of contracting or performing a contract of redrilling, or working over, or of drilling an oil well or a gas well, regardless of whether such well is productive or nonproductive, for any valuable consideration, there is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected a tax equal to three and one-half percent (3-1/2%) of the total contract price or compensation received when such compensation exceeds Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).

The words, terms and phrases as used in this subsection shall have the meaning ascribed to them as follows:

"Operator" -- One who holds all or a fraction of the working or operating rights in an oil or gas lease, and is obligated for the costs of production either as a fee owner or under a lease or any other form of contract creating working or operating rights.

"Bottom-hole contribution" -- Money or property given to an operator for his use in the drilling of a well on property in which the payor has no interest. The contribution is payable whether the well is productive or nonproductive.

"Dry-hole contribution" -- Money or property given to an operator for his use in the drilling of a well on property in which the payor has no interest. Such contribution is payable only in the event the well is found to be nonproductive.

"Turnkey drilling contract" -- A contract for the drilling of a well which requires the driller to drill a well and, if commercial production is obtained, to equip the well to such stage that the lessee or operator may turn a valve and the oil will flow into a tank.

"Total contract price or compensation received" -- As related to oil and gas well contractors, shall include amounts received as compensation for all costs of performing a turnkey drilling contract; amounts received or to be received under assignment as dry-hole money or bottom-hole money; and shall mean and include anything of value received by the contractor as remuneration for services taxable hereunder. When the kind and amount of compensation received by the contractor is contingent upon production, the taxable amount shall be the total compensation receivable in the event the well is a dry hole. The taxable amount in the event of production when the contractor receives a production interest of an undetermined value in lieu of a fixed compensation shall be an amount equal to the compensation to the contractor if the well had been a dry hole.

(3) When the work to be performed under any contract is sublet by the prime contractor to different persons, or in separate contracts to the same persons, each such subcontractor performing any part of said work shall be liable for the amount of the tax which accrues on account of the work performed by such person when the tax heretofore imposed has not been paid upon the whole contract by the prime contractor.

When a person engaged in any business on which a tax is levied in Section 27-65-23, also qualifies as a contractor, and contracts with the owner of any project to perform any services in excess of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) herein taxed, such person shall pay the tax imposed by this section in lieu of the tax imposed by Section 27-65-23.

Any person entering into any contract over Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00) as defined in this section shall, before beginning the performance of such contract or contracts, either pay the contractors' tax in advance, together with any use taxes due under Section 27-67-5, or execute and file with the Chairman of the State Tax Commission a good and valid bond in a surety company authorized to do business in this state, or with sufficient sureties to be approved by the commissioner conditioned that all taxes which may accrue to the State of Mississippi under this chapter, or under Section 27-67-5 and Section 27-7-5, will be paid when due. Such bonds shall be either (a) "job bonds" which guarantee payment when due of the aforesaid taxes resulting from performance of a specified job or activity regardless of date of completion; or (b) "blanket bonds" which guarantee payment when due of the aforesaid taxes resulting from performance of all jobs or activities taxable under this section begun during the period specified therein, regardless of date of completion. The payments of the taxes due or the execution and filing of a surety bond shall be a condition precedent to the commencing work on any contract taxed hereunder. Provided, that when any bond is filed in lieu of the prepayment of the tax under this section, that the tax shall be payable monthly on the amount received during the previous month, and any use taxes due shall be payable on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which the property is brought into Mississippi.

Any person failing either to execute any bond herein provided, or to pay the taxes in advance, before beginning the performance of any contract shall be denied the right to perform such contract until he complies with such requirements, and the commissioner is hereby authorized to proceed either under Section 27-65-59, or by injunction to prevent any activity in the performance of such contract until either a satisfactory bond is executed and filed, or all taxes are paid in advance, and a temporary injunction enjoining the execution of such contract shall be granted without notice by any judge or chancellor now authorized by law to grant injunctions.

Any person liable for a tax under this section may apply for and obtain a material purchase certificate from the commissioner which may entitle the holder to purchase materials and services that are to become a component part of the structure to be erected or repaired with no tax due. Provided, that the contractor applying for the contractor's material purchase certificate shall furnish the State Tax Commission a list of all work sublet to others, indicating the amount of work to be performed, and the names and addresses of each subcontractor.

SECTION 3. Nothing in this act shall affect or defeat any claim, assessment, appeal, suit, right or cause of action for taxes due or accrued under the sales tax laws before the date on which this act becomes effective, whether such claims, assessments, appeals, suits or actions have been begun before the date on which this act becomes effective or are begun thereafter; and the provisions of the sales tax laws are expressly continued in full force, effect and operation for the purpose of the assessment, collection and enrollment of liens for any taxes due or accrued and the execution of any warrant under such laws before the date on which this act becomes effective, and for the imposition of any penalties, forfeitures or claims for failure to comply with such laws.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.