1998 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation
By: Representatives Ketchings, West
House Bill 1883
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 893, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1973, AS LAST AMENDED BY CHAPTER 888, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1992, TO CHANGE THE NAME OF THE NATCHEZ-ADAMS COUNTY CONVENTION PROMOTION COMMISSION TO THE NATCHEZ CONVENTION PROMOTION COMMISSION; TO REVISE THE COMPOSITION OF SUCH COMMISSION AND TO PROVIDE THAT ALL FUTURE APPOINTMENTS TO THE COMMISSION SHALL BE MADE BY THE MAYOR AND BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI; TO PROVIDE THAT THE CONVENTION AND TOURISM TAX IMPOSED ON HOTELS AND MOTELS SHALL ONLY BE IMPOSED ON HOTELS AND MOTELS DOING BUSINESS IN THE CITY OF NATCHEZ; TO REVISE THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE AVAILS OF THE CONVENTION AND TOURISM TAX AND THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE AVAILS OF SUCH TAX MAY BE USED; TO REVISE THE MEANING OF THE TERMS "HOTEL" AND "MOTEL"; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 893, Local and Private Laws of 1973, as amended by Chapter 849, Local and Private Laws of 1974, as amended by Chapter 420, Local and Private Laws of 1975, as amended by Chapter 941, Local and Private Laws of 1978, as amended by Chapter 843, Local and Private Laws of 1989, as amended by Chapter 882, Local and Private Laws of 1990, as amended by Chapter 888, Local and Private Laws of 1992, is amended as follows:
Section 1. Natchez-Adams County Convention Promotion Commission. There is hereby created a Natchez-Adams County Convention Promotion Commission to be composed of six (6) members to be constituted and appointed as provided in Section 2 hereof. For the purposes of this act and unless otherwise required by the context, the word "commission" shall mean the Natchez-Adams County Convention Promotion Commission. From and after the effective date of House Bill No. 1883, 1998 Regular Session, the commission shall be renamed the Natchez Convention Promotion Commission, and the term "commission" shall mean the Natchez Convention Promotion Commission.
Section 2. Terms of Office. There is hereby created the Natchez-Adams County Convention Promotion Commission to be appointed, qualify and take office within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this act. The initial appointments to said commission shall be as follows: Three (3) members of the commission shall be appointed by the Adams County Board of Supervisors and three (3) members of the commission shall be appointed by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Natchez. All of these members of said commission shall serve at the discretion of their respective appointing boards. From and after the effective date of House Bill No. 1883, 1998 Regular Session, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Natchez shall make all appointments to the commission, and such commission members shall serve at the discretion of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Natchez. Vacancies which shall occur shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. Members of the Natchez-Adams County Convention Promotion Commission in place before the effective date of House Bill No. 1883, 1998 Regular Session, shall serve as members of the commission until the appointment and qualification of new commission members pursuant to House Bill No. 1883, 1998 Regular Session.
Section 3. Qualification, oath and bond. Before entering upon the duties of the office, each appointed member of the * * * commission shall enter into and give bond to be approved by the Secretary of State of the State of Mississippi in the sum of Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duties. Such bond shall be payable to the State of Mississippi and in the event of a breach thereof, suit may be brought by the State of Mississippi for the benefit of the * * * commission. The premiums on said bonds shall be paid from the funds received by the commission under the provisions of this act.
Section 4. Organization, meetings, minutes and office supplies. When the members of the * * * commission shall have been appointed and qualified as set forth herein, and not more than thirty (30) days thereafter, they shall hold an organizational meeting after giving not less than ten (10) days' notice of the time and place of such meeting. * * * Such call notice shall be given by the Mayor of the City of Natchez. At such meeting a quorum shall be four (4) commissioners; a majority of those members attending shall elect a president and secretary, both of whom shall be members of said commission, and adopt such rules and regulations as may govern the time and place for holding subsequent meetings, regular and special, and other rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this act.
Section 5. Powers. The * * * commission shall have authority to establish, promote and develop a civic center or convention center within Adams County, Mississippi, and to promote and encourage conventions and visitors to come to Adams County. In this regard, the commission is empowered:
(1) To own, erect, construct, furnish, equip, and/or contract for and operate facilities such as a convention center, civic center or visitors center.
(2) To own, lease or contract for any equipment and facilities or for services necessary for and useful in the promotion of conventions and tourism in Adams County.
(3) To receive and expend revenues from any source.
(4) To enter into contracts for the promotion and use of the civic center and convention center, and for the staging of cultural, educational and other events within Adams County, Mississippi.
(5) To sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, transfer and otherwise dispose of all or any part of its property and assets, subject to prior approval of the appointing authorities.
(6) To purchase, take, receive, lease or otherwise acquire, own, hold, improve, use and otherwise deal in real or personal property or any interest therein, wherever situated, according to the requirements of Chapter 7, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, regarding public purchases.
(7) To take all actions necessary to comply with Chapter 46, Title 11, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(8) To pledge to one or more lending institutions the revenues derived from the tax levy authorized under Section 6 of this act as it existed before May 1, 1989, for such period of time as is necessary to repay any loan or loans incurred by the commission for the purpose of accomplishing the provisions of this act.
(9) To have and exercise all powers necessary or convenient to effect any or all of the purposes for which the commission is organized and further, to appoint and employ agents acting in its behalf for any or all of the aforementioned powers and responsibilities. At least once a year the commission shall have prepared an audit by a certified public accountant.
Section 6. Levy of tax. For the purpose of providing funds for the promotion of conventions, use of the civic center, and attraction of visitors to Adams County, there is hereby levied and assessed against and shall be collected from every person, firm or corporation engaging in or doing business as specified herein an assessment which shall be in addition to all other taxes now imposed, as hereinafter provided:
(a) An assessment which shall be equal to three percent (3%) of the gross proceeds of sales from room rental of all motels and hotels doing business in Adams County, Mississippi. From and after the effective date of House Bill No. 1883, 1998 Regular Session, such assessment shall only be imposed on motels and hotels doing business in the City of Natchez, Mississippi.
(b) An assessment of one and one-half percent (1-1/2%) of the gross proceeds of the sales of restaurants, on-premises Alcoholic Beverage Control permit holders, excluding those held by private clubs, organizations or associations, antique and secondhand shops and gift and souvenir shops, when the gross income of such businesses exceeds One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) annually.
(c) Such tax shall be collected by and paid to the State Tax Commission on a form to be prescribed by the State Tax Commission in the same manner that state sales taxes are collected and paid; and the full enforcement provisions and all other provisions of Chapter 119, Laws of 1934, as amended, shall apply as necessary to the implementation and administration of this act.
(d) The levy authorized by this section as it existed before May 1, 1989, shall not be revoked or diminished until such time as any loan or loans incurred by the commission are fully paid out, both principal and interest.
(e) Before levying the additional assessments authorized by the amendments to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section by House Bill No. 1469, 1989 Regular Session, the Board of Supervisors of Adams County and the governing authorities of the City of Natchez shall, by joint resolution spread upon their minutes, declare their intention to levy the additional assessments and shall state in such resolution the amount of such additional assessments. Notice of such intention shall be published by the Board of Supervisors of Adams County once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in the county, with the first publication of such notice to be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed in the resolution declaring the intent to levy such additional assessments and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date. If, on or before the date specified in the resolution, twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500) whichever is less, of the qualified electors of Adams County shall file a written protest against the levying of such additional assessments, then an election thereon shall be called and held as hereby provided. If no such protest shall be filed, then the additional assessments may be levied without an election thereon at any time within a period of two (2) years after the date specified in the resolution. If an election is required by the protest of the appropriate number of qualified electors of the county, then an election shall be held under applicable laws. Provided, however, that nothing in this act shall prevent the board from calling an election, whether required by twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors, in which event it shall not be necessary to publish the resolution of intent above described.
At any such election, all qualified electors of the county may vote, and the ballots used in such election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purposes of the proposed additional assessments and the words "FOR THE ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENTS" and "AGAINST THE ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENTS," and the voters shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check (V) opposite their choice on the proposition.
When the results of any such election shall have been canvassed by the election commission of the county and certified, the Board of Supervisors of Adams County and the governing authorities of the City of Natchez may levy the additional assessments if a majority of the qualified electors who vote in such election vote in favor of the additional assessments.
(f) All of the revenue derived from the additional assessments authorized by the amendments to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section by House Bill No. 1469, 1989 Regular Session, shall be set aside and earmarked by the commission, and shall be paid on a quarterly basis equally to the City of Natchez and to Adams County, Mississippi, to be used for the acquisition of rights-of-way, and for the cost of providing and constructing infrastructure and other capital improvements, all as required of, or as needed by, the City of Natchez and Adams County in meeting their in-kind contributions and other costs in compliance with Public Law 100-479, which authorizes the establishment of the Natchez National Historical Park, and provisions of applicable National Park Service or other federal requirements for the Natchez National Historical Park and the Natchez Trace. From and after the effective date of House Bill No. 1883, 1998 Regular Session, all of the revenue from such additional assessments shall be set aside and earmarked by the commission, and shall be paid on a quarterly basis to the City of Natchez for use according to the provisions of this paragraph (f). The City of Natchez shall assume all responsibility hereafter for the in-kind contributions of the City of Natchez and Adams County as well as other costs in compliance with Public Law 100-479, and Adams County will have no further responsibility or obligation therefor.
Section 7. The revenue derived from the levy of room tax as set forth in Section 6 herein as it existed before May 1, 1989, shall be used only for the financing, construction, operation, maintenance and promotion of the use of a convention or civic center, the city auditorium and for the operations of the commission.
Section 8. In carrying out the purposes set out herein, the commission shall have no power to regulate or control any existing, privately owned and operated organizations or facilities presently engaged in tourism.
Section 9. Definition. "Hotel" or "motel" shall mean and include any place of lodging, including bed and breakfast operations, that will accommodate transient guests on a daily basis and are known to the trade as such.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.