2000 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representatives Cameron, Davis, Moak, Reeves, Smith (39th)
House Bill 745
AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 27-19-56.15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF DISTINCTIVE LICENSE TAGS AND LICENSE TAG DECALS IN SUPPORT OF ANIMAL CARE AND ANIMAL CARE ORGANIZATIONS; TO PROVIDE FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE TO BE IMPOSED FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH TAGS; TO CREATE A SPECIAL FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY IN WHICH SHALL BE DEPOSITED A PORTION OF THE ADDITIONAL FEES COLLECTED FROM THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH DISTINCTIVE TAGS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE MISSISSIPPI BOARD OF ANIMAL HEALTH SHALL ADMINISTER THE SPECIAL FUND AND SHALL DISTRIBUTE MONIES IN THE FUND TO THE BOARDS OF SUPERVISORS AND GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF MUNICIPALITIES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE BOARDS OF SUPERVISORS AND THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF MUNICIPALITIES MAY EXPEND SUCH MONIES FOR THE OPERATION AND SUPPORT OF COUNTY OR MUNICIPAL AGENCIES, BOARDS OR DEPARTMENTS THAT PROVIDE CARE, FOR LOST, ABANDONED OR UNWANTED PETS OR MAY DONATE SUCH MONIES TO NONPROFIT GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS THAT OPERATE SIMILAR PROGRAMS; TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI BOARD OF ANIMAL HEALTH TO ADOPT RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF THE ANIMAL CARE FUND, AND ESTABLISHING GUIDELINES AND CRITERIA FOR THE DISTRIBUTION AND ALLOCATION OF MONIES IN THE FUND; TO AMEND SECTION 69-15-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 27-19-56.15, Mississippi Code of 1972:
27-19-56.15. (1) Any owner of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, upon payment of the road and bridge privilege taxes, ad valorem taxes and registration fees as prescribed by law for private carriers of passengers, pickup trucks and other noncommercial motor vehicles, and upon payment of an additional fee in the amount provided in subsection (4) of this section, shall be issued a distinctive license tag for each motor vehicle registered in his name, which license tag shall depict the silhouettes of a dog and a cat and within a heart, and shall be produced in such color and design as the State Tax Commission may prescribe. The words "I Care for Animals" shall be centered at the bottom of the license tag, with a silhouette on each side. The State Tax Commission shall prescribe such letters or numbers, or both, as may be necessary to distinguish each license tag.
(2) Each person to whom a distinctive license tag is issued under this section also shall be issued one (1) decal for placement upon the distinctive license tag. The decal shall be issued at the time that the distinctive license tag is issued and, upon request of the applicant, once annually at the time of renewal registration. The State Tax Commission shall design, produce and provide to the county tax collectors for distribution a variety of decals, with each decal depicting the silhouette of a dog, a cat, a horse or any other animal that the commission deems appropriate and desirable. The applicant shall indicate to the tax collector his or her choice of the decal to be issued. The State Tax Commission shall adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to prescribe proper placement of the decal on the distinctive license tag. The decals may not be placed upon any license tag except the distinctive license tag authorized to be issued under this section.
(3) Application for the distinctive license tags authorized by this section shall be made to the county tax collector on forms prescribed by the State Tax Commission. The application and the additional fee imposed under subsection (4) of this section, less five percent (5%) thereof to be retained by the tax collector, shall be remitted to the State Tax Commission within seven (7) days of the date the application is made. The portion of the additional fee retained by the tax collector shall be deposited into the county general fund.
(4) Beginning with any registration year commencing on or after July 1, 2000, any person applying for a distinctive license tag under this section shall pay an additional fee in the amount of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for each distinctive license tag applied for under this section, which shall be in addition to all other taxes and fees. The additional fee paid shall be for a period of time to run concurrent with the vehicle's established license tag year. The additional fee is due and payable at the time the original application is made for a distinctive license tag under this section and thereafter annually at the time of renewal registration as long as the owner retains the distinctive license tag. If the owner does not wish to retain the distinctive license tag, he must surrender it to the local county tax collector.
(5) The State Tax Commission shall deposit all fees into the State Treasury on the day collected. At the end of each month, the State Tax Commission shall certify to the State Treasurer the total fees collected under this section from the issuance of the distinctive license tags issued under this section. The State Treasurer shall distribute an amount equal to Seven Dollars ($7.00) of the additional fees collected for each such distinctive license tag issued under this section to the State General Fund, and the remainder of such additional fees collected shall be deposited by the State Treasurer into the special fund created in Section 2 of this act.
(6) A regular license tag must be properly displayed as required by law until replaced by a distinctive license tag under this section. The regular license tag must be surrendered to the tax collector upon issuance of the distinctive license tag under this section. The tax collector shall issue up to two (2) month and year license decals for each distinctive license tag issued under this section, which will expire the same month and year as the license tag.
(7) In the case of loss or theft of a distinctive license tag issued under this section, the owner may make application and affidavit for a replacement distinctive license tag as provided by Section 27-19-37. The fee for a replacement distinctive license tag shall be Ten Dollars ($10.00). The tax collector receiving such application and affidavit shall be entitled to retain and deposit into the county general fund five percent (5%) of the fee for such replacement license tag and the remainder shall be distributed in the same manner as funds from the sale of regular distinctive license tags issued under this section.
SECTION 2. (1) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be known and designated as the "Animal Care Fund." There shall be deposited in the fund (a) the additional fees collected from the issuance of distinctive license tags under Section 27-19-56.15, (b) any gifts, grants, donations or matching money from federal, state or local governmental bodies and private persons, associations, groups or corporations making contributions to the fund; and (c) such other monies as the Legislature may appropriate or authorize to be deposited therein.
(2) The special fund created under subsection (1) of this section shall be administered by the Mississippi Board of Animal Health. Monies in the special fund shall be allocated and distributed by the Mississippi Board of Animal Health to and among the boards of supervisors of each of the counties and the governing authorities of municipalities in the state. Monies allocated, distributed and received by the boards of supervisors and governing authorities (a) may be expended for the operation and support of county or municipal agencies, boards or departments that provide food, shelter and care, and/or spaying and neutering, of lost, abandoned or unwanted pets; (b) may be expended for the creation, development or expansion of such agencies, boards or departments; or (c) may be donated by the boards of supervisors and governing authorities to nonprofit groups, organizations and associations that operate similar programs. However, priority for expenditure of such monies shall be given to spaying and neutering programs. None of such monies may be expended for euthanasia.
(3) The Mississippi Board of Animal Health shall adopt rules and regulations governing the proper administration of the Animal Care Fund, and establishing guidelines and criteria for the distribution and allocation of monies in the fund, including qualifications for those groups, organizations and associations to which boards of supervisors and governing authorities may make donations.
SECTION 3. Section 69-15-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
69-15-9. The Board of Animal Health shall have plenary power to deal with all contagious and infectious diseases of animals as in the opinion of the board may be prevented, controlled or eradicated, and with full power to make, promulgate and enforce such rules and regulations as in the judgment of the board may be necessary to control, eradicate and prevent the introduction and spread of anthrax, tuberculosis, hog cholera, Texas and splenic fever and the fever-carrying tick (margaropus annulatus), cattle brucellosis, anaplasmosis, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, muscosal disease, cattle viral diarrhea, cattle scabies, sheep scabies, hog cholera, swine erysipelas, swine brucellosis, equine encephalomyelitis, rabies, vesicular diseases, salmonella group, newcastle disease, infectious laryngotracheitis, ornithosis-psittacosis, mycoplasma group and any suspected new and/or foreign diseases of livestock and poultry and all other diseases of animals in this state, and the board is hereby vested with full authority to establish and maintain quarantine lines and to quarantine by county, supervisors district, parcel of land or herd. The State Veterinarian shall appoint as many inspectors and range riders as may be deemed necessary, and the funds at his disposal will permit, and shall delegate authority to said inspectors and range riders, to enter premises to inspect and disinfect livestock and premises, and enforce quarantine including counties, farms, pens, stables and other premises.
No officer or agent of the State Veterinarian may enter the actual enclosures of any person except (1) with the consent of the person lawfully in possession thereof or (2) in the absence of such consent, with a proper writ obtained as in other cases of searches and seizures under constitutional law. When such officers and agents are lawfully on the premises, either by permission or writ, they shall be authorized to inspect the premises and the livestock and animals found thereon by entering the enclosures and buildings and they are authorized to check livestock and poultry found therein for any contagious diseases and take proper action to control or eradicate any such diseases that may be found. While such officers and agents are performing their duties hereunder, they shall not be personally liable except for gross negligence. The refusal without lawful reason of any person to give the consent aforesaid shall be deemed a misdemeanor and shall be punishable as for violations of Article 5 of this chapter as provided for in Section 69-15-115.
The Board of Animal Health shall administer the special fund created in Section 2 of this act.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2000.