2002 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation; Ways and Means
By: Representative Cummings
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 944, LAWS OF 1993, TO AUTHORIZE AN INCREASE IN THE TOURIST TAX LEVIED ON THE GROSS INCOME OF HOTEL AND MOTEL ROOM RENTALS IN TISHOMINGO COUNTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FUNDS FOR THE PROMOTION OF TOURISM AND RETIREMENT IN THE COUNTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 944, Laws of 1993, is amended as follows:
Section 1. As used in this act, the term "hotel" or "motel" means any establishment engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms intended or designed for lodging or sleeping purposes for transient guests, which establishment consists of five (5) or more guest rooms and does not encompass any hospital, convalescent or nursing home, or sanitarium, or any hotel-like facility operated by or in connection with a hospital or medical clinic providing rooms exclusively for patients and their families.
Section 2. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the promotion of tourism and retirement, the Board of Supervisors of Tishomingo County, Mississippi, in its discretion, may levy, assess and collect from every person, firm and corporation operating a hotel or motel in Tishomingo County a tax that may be cited as a "tourist tax," which shall be in addition to all other taxes and assessments imposed by the county, as provided in this act.
(2) Such tax shall be an amount not to exceed three percent (3%) of the gross proceeds from room rentals of hotels and motels in the county, excluding charges for telephone, laundry and similar services. The tax shall not be levied upon or collected from gross proceeds of nontaxable rooms, room rentals for day meetings that do not serve as overnight sleeping accommodations or room rentals to residential guests of a hotel or motel.
(3) Persons liable for the tax imposed pursuant to this act shall add the amount of tax to the gross proceeds from room rentals and shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by him from the person receiving the services at the time of payment for the services.
(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 the tax, less three percent (3%) to be retained by the State Tax Commission to defray the costs of collection, shall be paid to the Tishomingo Development Foundation on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected by the State Tax Commission for the purpose of providing operating funds for the foundation to promote and enhance the development of tourism and retirement in Tishomingo County.
(6) The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by the county as general fund revenues but shall be paid directly to the Tishomingo Development Foundation and dedicated solely for the purpose of carrying out programs and activities which are designated by the Tishomingo Development Foundation and designed to attract tourists and retirees to Tishomingo County, Mississippi.
Section 3. Before the tax authorized by this act shall be imposed, the board of supervisors shall adopt a resolution declaring their intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of such tax, and establishing the date on which this tax initially shall be levied and collected. Notice of the tax shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in Tishomingo County, the first publication of which shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date on which the tax initially shall be levied and collected. If, within the time of giving notice, twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of Tishomingo County, Mississippi, 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 Tishomingo County voting at an election to be called and held for that purpose. At least thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of the tax as herein provided, the board of supervisors shall furnish to the State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolution evidencing such tax.
Section 4. Before the expenditure of the proceeds of any taxes authorized by this act, a budget reflecting the anticipated receipts and expenditures shall be approved by the Board of Supervisors of Tishomingo County. The first budget of receipts and expenditures shall cover the period beginning with the effective date of the tax and ending with the end of the county's fiscal year, and thereafter, the budget shall be on the same fiscal basis as the budget of Tishomingo County.
Section 5. Accounting for receipts and expenditures of the funds derived from the proceeds of the tax authorized by this act shall be made separately from the accounting of receipts and expenditures of the general fund and any other funds of Tishomingo County. The records reflecting the receipts and expenditures of these funds shall be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant, and the accountant shall make a written report of his audit to the Tishomingo Development Foundation. The audit shall be made and completed as soon as practicable after the close of the county's fiscal year, and copies of the report of the audit shall be filed with the clerk of the board of supervisors within fifteen (15) days after receipt thereof by the Tishomingo Development Foundation. The expenses of this audit may be paid from the funds derived pursuant to Section 2 of this act.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.