1998 Regular Session
To: Local and Private; Finance
By: Senator(s) Blackmon
Senate Bill 3310
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 860, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1992, AS AMENDED, WHICH CREATES THE YAZOO COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU AND PRESCRIBES ITS POWERS AND DUTIES, AND AUTHORIZES THE IMPOSITION OF A TOURIST AND CONVENTION TAX ON THE GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALES OF RESTAURANTS, HOTELS AND MOTELS IN THE COUNTY; TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "RESTAURANT" FOR PURPOSES OF THE TOURIST AND CONVENTION TAX; TO EXTEND TO THE REPEALER ON THE YAZOO COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU AND THE TOURIST AND CONVENTION TAX TO JANUARY 1, 1999, UNLESS THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF YAZOO COUNTY VOTE TO CONTINUE THE YAZOO COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU AND THE TOURIST AND CONVENTION TAX BEYOND JANUARY 1, 1999; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 860, Local and Private Laws of 1992, as amended by Chapter 956, Local and Private Laws of 1996, is amended as follows:
Section 1. As used in this act, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context in which they are used:
(a) "Bureau" means the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
(b) "Governing authorities" means the Board of Supervisors of Yazoo County, Mississippi.
(c) "Hotel" or "motel" means and includes a place of lodging that at any one (1) time will accommodate transient guests on a daily or weekly basis and that is known to the trade as such. Such terms shall not include a place of lodging with ten (10) or less rental units.
(d) "Restaurant" means and includes all places where prepared food is sold, either to be served for consumption at the establishment or to be taken from the establishment for consumption * * *.
Section 2. There is hereby created the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau, to be composed of five (5) members to be constituted and appointed as provided in Section 3 of this act.
Section 3. The Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau shall consist of five (5) members, who shall each be appointed by the governing authorities for a term of one (1) year.
(1) Any vacancy which may occur shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment and shall be made for the unexpired term. Each member of the bureau shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified.
(2) Any member may be disqualified and removed from office for any one (1) of the following reasons:
(a) Conviction of a felony; or
(b) Failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings without just cause.
(3) If a member of the bureau is removed for one (1) of the above reasons, the vacancy shall be filled in the manner prescribed in this section.
Section 4. Before entering upon the duties of the office, each appointed member of the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau shall enter into and give bond to be approved by the Secretary of 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 bureau.
Section 5. (1) When the members of the bureau shall have been appointed and qualified as set forth herein, they shall establish quarters and conduct a meeting after giving not less than ten (10) days' notice of the time and place of such meeting by registered mail, postage prepaid, directed to each appointed member of the bureau at his regular address given the Secretary of State at the time of his qualification and posting bond. At such meeting a quorum shall consist of three (3) members of the bureau and a majority of those members of the bureau shall 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.
(2) The bureau is further authorized to contract for the employment of personnel, supplies, furnishing and other facilities necessary to administer the affairs and duties of the bureau and to pay for same out of the revenue provided in this act.
Section 6. (1) The bureau shall have jurisdiction and authority over all matters relating to the establishment, promotion and development of tourism and conventions and related matters within Yazoo County, Mississippi.
(2) The bureau is authorized to contract for the furnishings, equipping and operation of any and all facilities necessary or useful in the promotion of tourism and conventions and to receive and expend, subject to the provisions of this act, revenues from any source and to purchase or lease real property and personal properties necessary or useful in the promotion of tourism and conventions.
Section 7. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the promotion of tourism and conventions, there is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected from every person engaging in or doing business in Yazoo County, Mississippi, as specified herein, a tax which may be cited as a "tourist and convention tax," which shall be in addition to all other taxes now imposed, as hereinafter provided.
(2) Such tax shall be in the amount of two percent (2%) of the gross proceeds of sales of restaurants, and gross proceeds of sales derived from hotel and motel room rentals, including, but not limited to, sales of beer and alcoholic beverages sold to be consumed on the premises * * *.
(3) Persons liable for the tax imposed herein shall add the amount of tax to the sales price or gross income, and in addition thereto shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by him from the person receiving the services or goods at the time of payment therefor.
(4) Such 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 such tax, less three percent (3%) to be retained by the State Tax Commission to defray the cost of collection, shall be paid to the bureau directly on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected.
(6) The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by Yazoo County as general fund revenues, but shall be dedicated solely for the purpose of carrying out programs and activities which are designated by the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau and which are designed to attract conventions and tourists into Yazoo County. The bureau shall allot not more than Forty-five Thousand Dollars ($45,000.00) annually to the Yazoo Recreation Commission, to be paid in quarterly installments on October 1, January 1, April 1 and July 1. The amount of such allotment shall be determined by the governing authorities. The governing authorities may also determine the use to be made of the allotted funds by the Yazoo Recreation Commission.
Section 8. Before the taxes authorized by this act shall be imposed, the governing authorities shall adopt a resolution declaring their intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of such tax and the date on which this tax initially shall be levied and collected. This date shall be not earlier than the first day of the second month from the date of adoption of the resolution.
The resolution shall be published in a local newspaper at least twice during the period between the adoption of the resolution and the effective date of the taxation prescribed in this act, with the last publication being made no later than ten (10) days prior to the effective date of such taxation. If, within the time of giving notice, twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of Yazoo 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 the 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 State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolution evidencing such tax levy.
Section 9. Before the expenditure of funds herein prescribed, a budget reflecting the anticipated receipts and expenditures for such purposes as promotion advertising and operation shall be approved by the governing authorities. The first budget of receipts and expenditures shall cover the period beginning with the effective date of the tax authorized by this act and ending with the end of the city's fiscal year, and thereafter the budget shall be on the same fiscal basis as the budget of Yazoo County.
Section 10. Accounting for receipts and expenditures of the funds herein described shall be made separately from the accounting of receipts and expenditures of the general fund and any other funds of Yazoo County. The records reflecting the receipts and expenditures of the funds prescribed herein shall be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant, and the accountant shall make a written report of his audit to the governing authorities and to the bureau. Such audit shall be made and completed as soon as practicable after the close of the fiscal year, and the expenses of such audit may be paid from the funds derived under Section 7 of this act.
Section 11. A report of the activities of the bureau shall be made to the governing authorities every six (6) months. Subsequent to each six-month report, the governing authorities shall have the authority to maintain or decrease the rate of tax or to terminate the operations of the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Section 12. This act shall stand repealed on January 1, 1999, unless a majority of the qualified electors of Yazoo County, voting at an election vote to continue the provisions of this act beyond January 1, 1999. Such election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1998, and shall be held, as far as is practicable, in the same manner as other elections are held in the county. Notice of the election on the question of continuing the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the tourist and convention tax shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county. 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 of the notice shall be made not more than seven (7) days prior to the date fixed for such election. The ballots used at such election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the proposition, and the words "FOR CONTINUING THE YAZOO COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU AND THE TOURIST AND CONVENTION TAX" and "AGAINST CONTINUING THE YAZOO COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU AND THE TOURIST AND CONVENTION TAX." The voters shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check mark (U) opposite their choice on the proposition. This act shall stand repealed on January 1, 1999, unless the continuation of the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the tourist and convention tax is approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting at such election.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.