2002 Regular Session
To: Local and Private; Finance
By: Senator(s) Burton
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF SCOTT COUNTY TO LEVY A TOURIST TAX LEVIED ON THE GROSS INCOME OF HOTEL AND MOTEL ROOM RENTALS IN SCOTT COUNTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION, PROMOTION AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE FOREST/SCOTT COUNTY COLISEUM AND PROMOTING TOURISM WITHIN SCOTT COUNTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
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 operation, promotion and improvement of the Forest/Scott County Coliseum and promoting tourism within Scott County, the Board of Supervisors of Scott County, Mississippi, in its discretion, may levy, assess and collect from every person, firm and corporation operating a hotel or motel in Scott 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 two percent (2%) 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 Scott County 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 funds for the operation, promotion and improvement of the Forest/Scott County Coliseum and promoting tourism within Scott County.
(6) The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by the Scott County as general fund revenues but shall be expended solely for the purposes specified in this section.
SECTION 3. Before any tax authorized under this act may be imposed, the board of supervisors 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 Scott County 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 TOURIST TAX" and, on a separate line, "AGAINST THE TOURIST 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 county 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 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 Scott 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 Board of Supervisors of Scott County. The audit shall be made and completed as soon as practicable after the close of the county's fiscal year, and expenses of such audit shall be paid from the funds derived pursuant to this act.
SECTION 5. The Board of Supervisors of Scott County 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.