2002 Regular Session
To: Local and Private; Finance
By: Senator(s) Stogner, Harvey
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF THE CITY OF COLUMBIA TO LEVY A TAX UPON THE GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALES FROM HOTEL AND MOTEL ROOM RENTALS IN THE CITY AND GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALES OF RESTAURANTS AND SUCH OTHER BUSINESSES WHERE PREPARED FOOD AND DRINK IS SOLD TO THE PUBLIC; TO PROVIDE FOR A PETITION ELECTION ON THE QUESTION OF IMPOSING THE TAX; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH TAX SHALL BE USED TO FUND THE PROMOTION, DEVELOPMENT, FURNISHING AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE COLUMBIA EXPOSITION CENTER, AND THE PROMOTION, ESTABLISHMENT, DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING OF A MULTIPURPOSE SPORTS COMPLEX; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this act, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this section unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context in which they are used:
(a) "City clerk" means the City Clerk for the City of Columbia, Mississippi.
(b) "Governing authorities" means the governing authorities of the City of Columbia, Mississippi.
(c) "Hotel" or "motel" means any establishment engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms intended or designed for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes to transient guests, which establishment 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.
(d) "Prepared food" means food prepared on the premises of a restaurant.
(e) "Restaurant" means all places where prepared food and beverages are sold for consumption, whether such food is consumed on the premises or not. Such term does not include any school, hospital, convalescent or nursing home, or any restaurant-like facility operated by or in connection with a school, hospital, medical clinic, convalescent or nursing home providing food for students, patients, visitors or their families.
SECTION 2. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the promotion, establishment, development, furnishing, equipping and erection of improvements to the Columbia Exposition Center, and the promotion, establishment, development, furnishing, equipping and erection of a multipurpose sports complex for the City of Columbia, the governing authorities, in their discretion, may levy and collect from persons, firms or corporations specified in this act, a tax, which shall be in addition to all of the taxes and assessments imposed. The tax shall be imposed upon the following:
(a) A tax upon every person, firm or corporation operating a hotel or motel in the City of Columbia, at a rate not to exceed two percent (2%) of the gross proceeds of sales from room rentals for each such hotel or motel.
(b) A tax upon every person, firm or corporation operating a restaurant or such other business in the City of Columbia, where prepared food and drink is sold to the public, at a rate not to exceed two percent (2%) of the gross proceeds of the sales of such restaurant or business.
(2) Persons, firms or corporations liable for the tax under this section shall add the amount of the tax to the sales price and, in addition, shall collect, insofar as is practicable, the amount of the tax due by them from the person receiving the services or product at the time of payment therefor.
(3) 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 tax is 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.
(4) The proceeds of such tax, less three percent (3%) thereof which shall be retained by the State Tax Commission to defray the cost of collection, shall be paid to the city clerk for and on behalf of the City of Columbia on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected.
(5) The proceeds of such tax shall not be considered by the City of Columbia as general fund revenues but shall be dedicated to and expended solely for the purposes specified in this section.
SECTION 3. Before any tax authorized under this act may be imposed, the governing authorities shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of such tax to be imposed, the date upon which such tax shall become effective and calling for a referendum to be held on the question. The date of the election shall be the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2002. Notice of such intention shall be published once each 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 before the date fixed in the resolution for the election and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days before the election. At the election, all qualified electors of the City of Columbia may vote, and the ballots used in such election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purposes of the proposed tax levy and the words "FOR THE TOURISM PROMOTION TAX" and, on a separate line, "AGAINST THE TOURISM PROMOTION TAX" and the voters shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check (√) opposite their choice on the proposition. When the results of any such election shall have been canvassed and certified, the city may levy the tax beginning on the first day of January 2003, if a majority of the qualified electors who vote in the election vote in favor of the tax. At least thirty (30) days before the effective date of the tax provided in this section, the governing authorities shall furnish to the State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolution evidencing such tax.
SECTION 4. Accounting for receipts and expenditures of the funds described in this act shall be made separately from the accounting of receipts and expenditures of the general fund and any other funds of the City of Columbia. 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. The audit shall be made and completed as soon as practicable after the close of the fiscal year, and expenses of such audit shall be paid from the funds derived pursuant to this act.
SECTION 5. The governing authorities of the City of Columbia shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.