2003 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Dearing (By Request)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-35-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ANY OUTSTANDING TAX LIEN ON REAL PROPERTY ACQUIRED FROM A PRIVATE OWNER BY A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY SHALL BE EXTINGUISHED, BY OPERATION OF LAW, IMMEDIATELY UPON ACQUISITION OF THE PROPERTY BY THE GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY; TO PROVIDE THAT THE RIGHTS OF A PERSON ACQUIRING SUCH PROPERTY AT A VALID TAX SALE MADE BEFORE ACQUISITION OF THE PROPERTY BY THE GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY SHALL NOT BE LIMITED OR AFFECTED; TO PROVIDE THAT A TAX SALE MADE AFTER SUCH PROPERTY IS ACQUIRED BY A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY SHALL BE VOID AS TO SUCH PROPERTY; TO AMEND SECTION 27-35-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT WHENEVER REAL PROPERTY IS ACQUIRED FROM A PRIVATE OWNER BY A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY, THE COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR SHALL REASSESS AND PRORATE THE TAXES DUE FOR THE ENSUING YEAR AND SHALL ASSESS TAXES AGAINST THE TAXPAYER ONLY FOR THAT PART OF THE YEAR PRECEDING THE DATE THAT TITLE TO THE PROPERTY IS TRANSFERRED TO THE GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROPERTY SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM TAXATION FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR; TO AMEND SECTION 27-35-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT WHENEVER REAL PROPERTY IS ACQUIRED BY A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY, THERE SHALL BE NO PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR ANY AD VALOREM TAXES THAT, AFTER THE DATE OF ACQUISITION, ARE ASSESSED UPON THE PROPERTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-35-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-35-1. (1) Taxes (state, county and municipal) assessed upon lands or personal property, excepting motor vehicles as defined by the Motor Vehicle Ad Valorem Tax Law of 1958, Sections 27-51-1 through 27-51-49, shall bind the same and be entitled to preference over all judgments, executions, encumbrances or liens whenever created; and all such taxes assessed shall be a lien upon and bind the property assessed. Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the aforesaid tax lien shall attach to all land situated within this state on January 1 of each year, and upon any personal property so situated or brought into this state at any time prior to March 1 of each year except as hereinafter provided. A tax lien shall attach to that personal property listed in an ordinance duly adopted by a county or municipality and to all heavy duty equipment at any time of the year such property is brought into or situated in this state. Such personal property shall not be subject to tax in more than one (1) county; and such county in which said property was located at the earliest taxable date shall have priority in the collection of such taxes. All taxes assessed on stock of goods or merchandise shall be based on the value of the inventory on January 1 of the tax year or the average monthly inventory during the preceding twelve (12) months from January 1 of each year and are specifically made a lien thereon regardless of changes in the items of which it may be composed; and no such property shall be exempt from distress or sale for taxes. It shall not be necessary to the validity of any assessment or of a sale of land for taxes that it shall be assessed to its true owner, but the taxes shall be a charge upon the land or personal property taxed and the sale shall be a proceeding against the thing sold and shall vest title in the purchaser without regard to who may own the land or other property when assessed, or when sold, or whether wrongfully assessed either to a person or to the state or any county, city, town or village, or subdivision of either. Provided, however, that the lien for municipal taxes shall be secondary and subordinate to the lien for state and county taxes.
(2) Heavy duty equipment shall mean any motor vehicle used primarily off the road for construction purposes whose gross weight exceeds sixteen thousand (16,000) pounds but shall not include inventory on hand for sale by duly licensed heavy equipment dealers.
(3) With respect to lands owned by the state, which lands are leased to private agricultural enterprises and taxable under Section 47-5-66, the tax lien provided for in this section shall attach and be enforceable in the same manner as are other tax liens at the time the crop is harvested.
(4) Any outstanding tax lien on real property acquired from a private person, partnership, company, corporation or other legal entity by the state, a county, a municipality or other governmental entity in its proprietary capacity or through exercise of the power of eminent domain shall be extinguished, by operation of law, immediately upon acquisition of the property by the governmental entity. The rights of a person acquiring such property at a valid tax sale made before acquisition of the property by the governmental entity shall not be limited or affected, but any tax sale made after the property is acquired by a governmental entity shall be void as to such property.
SECTION 2. Section 27-35-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-35-3. All taxable real property situated in the state acquired or held by any person before January 1 of each year, and all other taxable property so situated or brought into this state at any time prior to March 1 of each year, shall be assessed and taxes thereon paid for the ensuing year with the exception of heavy duty equipment as defined in Section 27-35-1(2). Heavy duty equipment shall be assessed and taxes thereon paid at any time such equipment is acquired or brought into this state for use as construction equipment, and such assessment shall be prorated with respect to the number of months remaining in the year. Such other property shall not be assessed by more than one (1) county, and such county in which said property was located at the earliest taxable date in any year shall have priority in the assessment of such taxes.
Provided, however, that when a municipality is created or the corporate limits thereof extended after January 1 of any year it shall have, prior to July 1 of said year, the full right and power to assess said property and collect taxes for the current year to the same extent as if it had been created or limits extended prior to January 1 of that year.
Whenever real property is acquired from a private person, partnership, company, corporation or other legal entity by the state, a county, a municipality or other governmental entity in its proprietary capacity or through exercise of the power of eminent domain, the tax assessor of the county in which the property is located shall reassess and prorate the taxes due, taking into account the amount and value of the property acquired and the date upon which title is transferred to the governmental entity. The taxpayer shall be assessed taxes only for that part of the year preceding the date that title to the property is transferred to the governmental entity, and the property shall be exempt from taxation for the remainder of the year.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the power of the state to define and declare the situs of particular species of property having no fixed situs at some place in this state.
SECTION 3. Section 27-35-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-35-5. Every lawful tax including all increases, penalties and interest which may be or become owing or assessed, levied or imposed by the state or by a county, municipality or levee board, whether ad valorem (including all school district taxes), privilege, excise, income or inheritance, is a debt due by the person or corporation owning the property or carrying on the business or profession upon which the tax is levied or imposed, whether properly assessed or not, or by the person liable for the income, inheritance or excise tax, and may be recovered by action by any officer authorized to sue for or collect same. Said increases, interest and penalties shall be recoverable as a part of the tax with respect to which they are imposed. The recovery of a personal judgment for taxes on land or personal property against the owner shall not extinguish the tax lien. In all actions for the recovery of ad valorem taxes the assessment roll shall be only prima facie correct.
Whenever real property is acquired by a governmental entity, there shall be no personal liability for any ad valorem taxes that, after the date of acquisition, are assessed upon the property.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.