1998 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation; Ways and Means
By: Representative Perry
House Bill 1841
(As Passed the House)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 822, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1986, TO AUTHORIZE THE CITY OF OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI, TO ISSUE ADDITIONAL BONDS FOR TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RELATED PURPOSES; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH BONDS SHALL BE REPAID WITH A PORTION OF THE AVAILS OF THE ADDITIONAL SALES TAX IMPOSED ON RETAIL SALES OF BEER, ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND PREPARED FOOD IN THE CITY OF OXFORD; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 822, 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 Oxford, Mississippi.
(b) "Governing authority" means the mayor and board of aldermen of the city.
(c) "Prepared food" means food prepared on the premises of a restaurant.
(d) "Restaurant" means any place where prepared food is sold whether for consumption upon the premises or not.
(e) "Stadium" means a baseball facility, including, but not limited to, grandstands, dugouts, a playing field, lights, rest room facilities, concession, dressing room and related facilities and property.
(f) "University" means the University of Mississippi.
(g) "Additional security" means one or more letters of credit, bond insurance or other type of credit enhancers which may be obtained by the city or the university as additional security for the bonds.
Section 2. (1) The governing authority is hereby authorized to impose upon persons doing business within the city a tax at a rate not to exceed 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. The proceeds of the tax shall be used for the purpose of promoting tourism and economic development in the city and the surrounding area and to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds issued under this act and may be used to provide additional security, as hereinafter provided. The promotion of tourism and economic development shall include, but shall not be limited to, the construction of and/or improvements to a stadium at the university. If the bonds authorized under this act are issued by the city, the proceeds of such tax hereinafter required to be pledged for the payment of the principal of and interest on such bonds shall not exceed Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) annually for bonds authorized under Section 3(1) of this act and shall not exceed Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) annually for bonds authorized under Section 3(2) of this act, and the remainder of the proceeds of such tax, if any, shall be used for other tourism and economic development purposes. However, the amount of proceeds of the tax used for economic development purposes, excluding any such proceeds used for repayment of bonds issued for economic development purposes, shall not exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) annually. The Tourism and Economic Development Council shall submit to the governing authority its recommendations for the use of such tax proceeds for the promotion of tourism and economic development; and each tourism or economic development related project shall, before any expenditure is made therefor, be approved by the governing authority at a regularly scheduled meeting of such governing authority.
(2) Before the tax authorized by this act may be imposed, the governing authority 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. 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 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 authority, to be placed into a special fund hereby created separate and apart from any other city fund, on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected.
Section 3. (1) The governing authority is hereby authorized to issue bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00), to be used to fund the construction of and/or improvements to a stadium at the university. Such bonds shall not be subject to any statutory debt limitation.
(2) The governing authority is authorized to issue bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00), to be used for any purpose the governing authority determines will promote tourism and economic development in the city and surrounding area. Such bonds shall not be subject to any statutory debt limitation.
(3) The total amount of bonds issued under this act shall not exceed Six Million Dollars ($6,000,000.00).
Section 4. Except as otherwise provided in this section, prior to the issuance of any bonds under this act, the governing authority shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention so to do, stating the amount of bonds proposed to be issued, the purpose for which the bonds are to be issued, the source of revenue to be pledged to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds, and the date upon which the governing authority proposes to direct the issuance of such bonds. Such resolution shall be published once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in at least one (1) newspaper published in the city. The first publication of such resolution shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed in such resolution to direct the issuance of the bonds and the last publication shall be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date. If twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is lesser, of the qualified electors of the city shall file a written protest against the issuance of such bonds on or before the date specified in such resolution, then an election on such question shall be called and held as herein provided. If no such protest be filed, then such bonds may be issued without an election on the question of the issuance thereof at any time within a period of two (2) years after the date specified in the above-mentioned resolution; provided, however, that the governing authority, in its discretion, may nevertheless call an election on such question, in which event it shall not be necessary to publish the resolution declaring its intention to issue bonds as herein provided. This section shall not apply to the additional bonds authorized in House Bill No. 1841, 1998 Regular Session.
Section 5. (1) Where an election is to be called as provided in Section 4 of this act, notice of such election shall be signed by the clerk of the city, and shall be published once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in at least one (1) newspaper published in the city. The first publication of such notice shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed for such election and the last publication shall be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date.
(2) Such election shall be held, as far as is practicable, in the same manner as other elections are held in municipalities of the state. At such election, all qualified electors of the city may vote, and the ballots used at such election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purpose of the proposed bond issue and the words "FOR THE BOND ISSUE" and "AGAINST THE BOND ISSUE," and the voter shall vote by placing a cross (x) or check mark (v) opposite his choice on the proposition.
(3) When the results of the election on the question of the issuance of such bonds shall have been canvassed by the election commissioners of the city and certified thereby to the governing authority, it shall be the duty of the governing authority to determine and adjudicate whether a majority of the qualified electors who voted thereon in such election voted in favor of the issuance of such bonds, and unless a majority of the qualified electors who voted thereon in such election shall have voted in favor of the question, then such bonds shall not be issued and such tax shall not be imposed. Should a majority of the qualified electors who vote in such election vote in favor of the issuance of such bonds, then the governing authority may issue such bonds, whether in whole or in part, within two (2) years after the later of the date of the election or the date of the final favorable termination of any litigation affecting the issuance of such bonds.
Section 6. All bonds issued under authority of this act shall be limited obligations of the city, the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on which shall be payable solely from and secured by a pledge of the proceeds of the tax imposed under this act not to exceed Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) annually for bonds authorized under Section 3(1) of this act and not to exceed Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) annually for bonds authorized under Section 3(2) of this act and from any other funds made available to the city for such purpose by gift, agreement with the university, or otherwise, and from the additional security, if any, obtained as provided herein. Bonds and interest coupons, if any, issued under authority of this act shall never constitute an indebtedness of the city within the meaning of any state constitutional provision or statutory limitation, and shall never constitute or give rise to a pecuniary liability of the city, or a charge against its general credit or taxing powers, which fact shall be plainly stated on the face of each such bond. All bonds issued under the authority of this act and all interest coupons, if any, applicable thereto shall be construed to be negotiable instruments, despite the fact that they are payable solely from a specified source.
Section 7. Bonds may be executed and delivered by the city at any time and from time to time, may be in such form and denominations and of such terms and maturities, may be in fully registered form, in bearer form registrable either as to principal or interest or both, may bear such conversion privileges and be payable in such installments and at such time or times not exceeding twenty (20) years from the date thereof, may be payable at such time or times and at such place or places, whether within or without the state, and evidenced in such manner, may bear interest at such rate or rates and may contain such provisions not inconsistent herewith, all as shall be provided in the proceedings of the governing authority pursuant to which the bonds are authorized to be issued. Bonds issued pursuant to this act shall not bear a greater overall maximum interest rate to maturity than twelve percent (12%) per annum.
If deemed advisable by the governing authority, there may be retained in the proceedings under which any bonds are authorized to be issued an option to redeem all or any part thereof as may be specified in such proceedings, at such price or prices and after such notice or notices and on such terms and conditions as may be set forth in such proceedings and briefly recited or referred to on the face of the bonds, but nothing herein contained shall be construed to confer on the city any right or option to redeem any bonds, except as may be provided in the proceedings under which they shall be issued.
Bonds issued under the authority of this act shall be sold for not less than par plus accrued interest at public sale in the manner provided by Section 31-19-25, Mississippi Code of 1972. The city may pay from the proceeds of said issue all expenses, premiums and commissions which the governing authority may deem necessary or advantageous in connection with the issuance thereof, and may employ such attorneys and investment bankers as may be necessary to market and deliver the bonds. The issuance by the city of one or more series of bonds shall not preclude it from issuing other series of bonds, but the proceedings whereunder any subsequent bonds may be issued shall recognize and protect any prior pledge made for any prior issue of bonds.
Section 8. (1) The bonds may be secured by a trust agreement by and between the city and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank incorporated under the laws of the United States or the laws of any state in the United States. Any such trust agreement may pledge or assign for the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the bonds, the revenues of the stadium, the proceeds of the sales tax authorized herein, the additional security, if any, and any other type security which may be made available as security for the bonds.
(2) The trust agreement may provide for the creation and maintenance of such reserve funds as the governing authority shall determine are reasonable and proper, including such sinking fund or funds as may be necessary to provide for the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the bonds. Any such trust agreement or any resolution providing for the issuance of bonds may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the holders thereof as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, including the duties of the city and the university in relation to the acquisition of property and the construction, improvement, equipping, furnishing, repair, operation and insurance of the stadium or the revenues pledged as security for the bonds and the custody, safeguarding and application of all monies. Any such trust agreement may set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the corporate trustee, and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders as is customary in trust agreements or trust indentures securing bonds and debentures of corporations. In addition to the foregoing, any such trust agreement may contain such provisions as the city may deem reasonable and proper for the security of the bondholders and may also contain provisions governing the issuance of bonds to replace lost, stolen or mutilated bonds.
(3) Any trust agreement made in accordance with the provisions of this act may contain a provision that, in the event of a default in the payment of principal of, redemption premium, if any, or the interest on bonds issued in accordance with, or relating to, such agreement, or in the performance of any agreement contained in the proceedings, trust agreement or instruments relating thereto, such payment and performance may be enforced by mandamus or by the appointment of a receiver in equity with power to charge and collect the revenues pledged to the payment of the bonds and to apply such revenues in accordance with such proceedings, trust agreement or instruments.
(4) The city is further authorized, or the university may, on behalf of the city with the approval of the Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning, to enter into such agreements as may be necessary in order to obtain the additional security in order to enhance the marketability of the bonds authorized under Section 3(1) of this act.
Section 9. No bond issued hereunder shall bear more than one (1) rate of interest; each bond shall bear interest from its date to its stated maturity date at the interest rate specified on the bonds; all bonds of the same maturity shall bear the same rate of interest from date to maturity. All interest accruing on bonds issued hereunder shall be payable semiannually or annually, except that the first interest coupon attached to any such bond may be for any period not exceeding one (1) year. If the bonds are issued in coupon form, no interest payment shall be evidenced by more than one (1) coupon and neither cancelled nor supplemental coupons shall be permitted. The lowest interest rate specified for any bonds issued shall not be less than seventy percent (70%) of the highest interest rate specified for the same bond issue.
Section 10. Bonds issued under the authority of this act shall be executed on behalf of the city by the manual or facsimile signature of the mayor of the city, and shall be countersigned by the manual or facsimile signature of the clerk of the city; provided, however, that if the bonds are issued in coupon form, at least one (1) signature on each bond shall be manual and all coupons shall be executed on behalf of the city by the facsimile signatures of the mayor and the clerk of the city. If the officers whose signatures or countersignatures appear on the bonds or interest coupons shall cease to be such officers before delivery of the bonds, such signatures or countersignatures shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if said officials had remained in office until such delivery.
Section 11. The proceeds of bonds issued under this act may be used for the purposes of (a) constructing a stadium, (b) enlarging, improving, equipping and furnishing the stadium, (c) the payment of engineering, fiscal, architectural and legal expenses incurred in connection with the construction and/or improvements, (d) any purpose the governing authority determines will promote tourism and economic development in the city and surrounding area, (e) the payment of expenses incurred in connection with the issuance of the bonds, and (f) the establishment of a reasonable reserve fund for the payment of principal of and interest on such bonds in the event of a deficiency in the revenues available for such payments.
Section 12. Bonds issued under this act shall be and are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code and shall be legal investments for commercial banks, savings and loan associations and insurance companies organized under the laws of the state.
Section 13. The bonds authorized by this act and the income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi; however, purchases required to construct and/or improve the stadium and financed by bond proceeds shall not be exempt from taxation in the State of Mississippi.
Section 14. This act, without reference to any other statute, shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the issuance of the aforesaid bonds, and shall be construed as an additional and alternative method therefor, and none of the present restrictions, requirements, conditions or limitations of law applicable to the issuance or sale of bonds, notes or other obligations by municipalities in the state shall apply to the issuance and sale of bonds under this act, and no proceedings shall be required for the issuance of such bonds other than those provided for and required herein, and all powers necessary to be exercised in order to carry out the provisions of this act are hereby conferred.
Section 15. The city and the university, acting through its chancellor and subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, are authorized to enter into such agreements as may be necessary concerning the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds authorized to be issued under Section 3(1) of this act, the security for the bonds including pledges of funds or execution of guaranty agreements by the university, the construction of and/or improvements to the stadium and the letting of contracts in connection with such construction and/or improvements, and such agreements may contain such other covenants, not inconsistent with this act. Such agreements shall provide that the city shall let the contracts for such construction and/or improvements with the consent of the university; however, all contracts for the construction of and/or improvements to the stadium shall be entered into upon the basis of public bidding pursuant to Section 31-7-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.