1998 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Williams
House Bill 1546
(As Passed the House)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 21-43-117 AND 21-43-119, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF THE VOTE NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT, REAUTHORIZE, AMEND OR MODIFY A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT PLAN TO WRITTEN BALLOT APPROVAL BY A MAJORITY OF THE ELIGIBLE PROPERTY OWNERS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 21-43-117, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
21-43-117. (1) For initial creation of the district, reauthorization of the district at the end of each five-year period, amendment to the district plan within the five-year plan period or modification of the boundaries of the district at the end of a five-year period, the clerk of the municipality shall notify all property owners to be included in the proposed district of a public hearing to review the plan and receive comment about the process for accepting or rejecting the plan. Following a public hearing, the governing authority of the municipality shall set an election date not more than sixty (60) days from the date of the public hearing. The ballot shall clearly state the issue to be decided. Only property owners of record as of the date of initial notice given as provided in Section 21-43-111 shall be eligible to participate in any such election.
(2) Notice of an election to create, continue, amend or extend a district shall be:
(a) Mailed to each of the district property owners of record thirty (30) days prior to the election, and
(b) Published at least twice in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality, the first publication shall be not less than ten (10), nor more than thirty (30) days before the date for the election. The notice shall include a copy of the plan, a ballot for the election and a notice about the time and date for the election.
(3) Not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty (30) days before the date set for the election, the governing authority of the municipality shall cause a copy of the plan and the ballot to be posted in the lobby of its city hall.
(4) Ballots shall be marked, signed and submitted by the eligible property owner to the clerk of the municipality by the date designated on the ballot.
(5) The clerk of the municipality shall notify the property owners in the district of the result.
(6) If the plan is approved by a majority of the property owners, the mayor of the municipality shall review the district plan to ensure its compliance with the provisions of Sections 21-43-101 through 21-43-133. However, any assessment or tax proposed in the plan must be approved by sixty percent (60%) of the property owners in the district before any such assessment or tax will be made part of the plan.
(7) The municipality shall disburse the proceeds collected from the assessment to the designated district management group within thirty (30) days after the assessment is due.
SECTION 2. Section 21-43-119, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
21-43-119. A district plan shall be deemed adopted and ready for implementation upon written ballot approval by a majority of the property owners in the district. However, any assessment or tax proposed in a plan must be approved by sixty percent (60%) of the property owners in the district before any such assessment or tax will be made part of the plan. Reauthorization, amendments or the district plan or modification of boundaries shall also be subject to written ballot approval by a majority of the eligible property owners. Any proposed amendment to a district plan which would implement or increase an assessment or tax must be approved by sixty percent (60%) of the property owners in the district before any such amendment becomes effective.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage. This act shall apply only to property zoned for commercial or industrial use, conditioned on submission of this act to the Department of Justice by the Mississippi Attorney General for approval consistent with the Voting Rights Act.