2004 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation; Ways and Means
By: Representative Watson
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE CITY OF HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI, TO INCUR INDEBTEDNESS IN THE AMOUNT OF $22,000,000.00; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH INDEBTEDNESS SHALL BE PAID TO THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI EDUCATIONAL BUILDING FOUNDATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS TO FACILITIES ON THE HATTIESBURG CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI; TO REQUIRE THE CITY OF HATTIESBURG TO IMPOSE A TAX ON THE GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALES OF RESTAURANTS, ON-PREMISES ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE RETAILER PERMITTEES AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE PACKAGE RETAILER PERMITTEES, AND A TAX ON EACH HOTEL AND MOTEL OVERNIGHT RENTAL IN THE CITY BEFORE INCURRING ANY INDEBTEDNESS UNDER THIS ACT; TO REQUIRE PUBLIC NOTICE OF THE INTENT OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY TO LEVY THE TAX; TO PROVIDE THAT IF 20% OR 1500, WHICHEVER IS LESS, OF THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE CITY FILE A PETITION AGAINST THE TAX, THEN AN ELECTION SHALL BE CALLED ON THE ISSUE; TO REQUIRE THAT A MAJORITY OF THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE CITY MUST APPROVE THE TAX LEVY; TO REQUIRE THE REVENUE COLLECTED FROM THE TAX BE UTILIZED TO PAY ANY INDEBTEDNESS INCURRED UNDER THIS ACT OR TO PAY ANY OBLIGATIONS INCURRED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI EDUCATIONAL BUILDING CORPORATION IN CONSTRUCTING AUTHORIZED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this act:
(a) "City" means the City of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
(b) "Governing body" means the Mayor and City Council of the City of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
(c) "Educational Building Corporation" means the University of Southern Mississippi Educational Building Corporation, a public nonprofit corporation formed pursuant to Section 37-101-61, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(d) "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, but 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.
(e) "Projects" mean capital improvements to facilities on the Hattiesburg campus of the University of Southern Mississippi, and specifically includes the construction on the campus of a multi-level parking garage that will accommodate one thousand (1,000) vehicles.
(f) "Restaurant" means all places where prepared food and beverages are sold for consumption, whether such food is consumed on the premises or not. "Restaurant" as defined herein 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 and their families, or any restaurant having annual gross sales of less than One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00).
SECTION 2. It is determined and declared to be in the best interest of the people of the city and the surrounding area to improve facilities on the Hattiesburg campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
SECTION 3. The governing body is authorized to incur indebtedness of the city in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed Twenty-two Million Dollars ($22,000,000.00) for the purpose of funding projects; however, before any indebtedness may be incurred pursuant to this act, the governing body shall impose the taxes authorized under Section 4 of this act. Of this aggregate principal amount, the sum of Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00) shall be used for the specific purpose of constructing on the campus a multi-level parking garage that will accommodate one thousand (1,000) vehicles. The indebtedness shall not be considered when computing any limitation of indebtedness of the city established by law. The proceeds of any indebtedness incurred by the city shall be paid by the city to the Educational Building Corporation to pay the cost of projects. The city may utilize the proceeds of the special taxes levied pursuant to Section 4 of this act to pay obligations incurred by the Educational Building Corporation for projects without incurring debt; however, the amount of any proceeds so utilized shall be deducted from the aggregate principal indebtedness authorized to be incurred under this section. In no event may the total of the aggregate amount of debt incurred by the city and the amount of the proceeds utilized by the city without incurring debt exceed Twenty-two Million Dollars ($22,000,000.00).
SECTION 4. (1) For the purpose of providing funds to retire any indebtedness incurred by the city under this act or for the purpose of paying obligations incurred by the Educational Building Corporation for projects, there is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected from every person engaging in or doing business in the city, as specified herein, the following taxes which shall be in addition to all other taxes now imposed:
(a) A tax which shall be in an amount not to exceed one percent (1%) of the gross income of:
(ii) On-premises alcoholic beverage retailer permittees; and
(iii) Alcoholic beverage package retailer permittees.
(b) A tax which shall be in the amount of one percent (1%) of the gross proceeds from room rentals of hotels and motels, excluding charges for food, telephone, laundry, beverages and similar charges.
Before the tax authorized by this act may be imposed, the governing body must adopt a resolution declaring its intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of the 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 the City of Hattiesburg, the first publication of which shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date on which the tax initially is to 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 the City of Hattiesburg file a written petition against the levy of the tax, then the tax shall not be levied unless authorized by a majority of the qualified electors of the City of Hattiesburg voting at an election to be called and held for that purpose. At least thirty (30) days before the effective date of the tax, the governing body shall furnish to the State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolution evidencing such tax.
SECTION 5. (1) On or before the fifteenth day before the imposition of the special tax authorized in Section 4 of this act, the governing body shall give written notification to the Chairman of the State Tax Commission of the date on which the special tax will become effective.
(2) Such tax shall be collected in the same manner as the state sales tax imposed by Title 27, Chapter 65, Mississippi Code of 1972, and shall be accounted for separately from the amount of sales tax collected for the state in the city. All provisions of the State Sales Tax Law applicable to filing of such returns, discounts to the taxpayer, remittances to the State Tax Commission and retainage thereby of sums to defray the costs of collection, collection enforcement, rights of taxpayers, recovery of improper taxes, refunds of overpaid taxes or other provisions of said chapter providing for imposition and collection of the sales tax shall apply to the tax authorized by this act.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in Section 27-3-58, the revenue from the special tax collected under the provisions of this section during the preceding month shall be paid to the city on or before the fifteenth day of each month.
(4) The proceeds of such taxes shall be placed into a separate fund apart from the municipal general fund and any other funds of the city, and shall be expended by the city solely for the purposes of paying any indebtedness or paying obligations incurred by the Educational Building Corporation for projects.
(5) Persons liable for the taxes imposed herein shall add the amount of tax to the sales price or gross income, and in addition thereto shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by him from the person receiving the services or goods at the time of payment therefor.
(6) The proceeds of the tax shall be used by the city only to retire indebtedness incurred under this act or to pay obligations incurred by the Educational Building Corporation for authorized projects.
(7) The special tax shall stand repealed on the first day of the month immediately succeeding the date the indebtedness incurred pursuant to this act, including interest, is retired, or in the event the city incurs no indebtedness, the first day of the month after the total amount of the revenue collected from the special tax reaches Twenty-two Million Dollars ($22,000,000.00). SECTION 6. The governing body 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 7. 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.