1999 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Williams
House Bill 580
(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; TO PROVIDE THAT ANY ASSESSMENT OR TAX PROPOSED IN A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT PLAN OR IN A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO SUCH A PLAN MUST BE APPROVED BY SIXTY PERCENT OF THE PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE DISTRICT BEFORE ANY SUCH ASSESSMENT OR TAX WILL BE MADE PART OF THE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRCIT PLAN; TO AMEND SECTION 21-43-123, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; 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. Section 21-43-123, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
21-43-123. (1) Subject to the provisions of Sections 21-43-117 and 21-43-119, a business improvement district may be funded in whole or in part by an assessment authorized pursuant to this section. Such assessment shall be in addition to any taxes or assessments that may be imposed on property that is included in the district.
(2) The assessment shall be levied on the property in the district based upon the gross square footage of the property. The district plan shall set the amount that shall be assessed on each square foot of property. A district plan may authorize that the assessment per square foot for buildings may be at a different rate than that for land; provided, however, that the square foot rate for each type of property shall be uniform.
(3) Upon presentation of a district plan by a district created pursuant to Sections 21-43-101 through 21-43-133, the governing authorities of a municipality shall, at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem taxes are levied, levy the assessment provided for in this section on the property in the district in the amount specified in the district plan.
(4) Assessments shall constitute a lien upon the respective lots or parcels of land and other real property upon which they are levied, superior to all other liens except those for state and county taxes.
(5) In addition to the assessment authorized under this section, a business improvement district shall also be authorized and empowered to apply for and receive public and private grants and to accept any monetary contribution or donation of real or personal property.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.