2004 Regular Session
To: Local and Private; Finance
By: Senator(s) King, Morgan, Harvey, Lee (47th), Cuevas, Dearing
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE CITY OF HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI, TO INCUR INDEBTEDNESS IN THE AMOUNT OF $12,000,000.00; 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 PRIOR TO INCURRING ANY INDEBTEDNESS UNDER THIS ACT; TO REQUIRE THE REVENUE COLLECTED FROM SUCH TAX TO 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 SUCH 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 and includes any establishment engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms intended or designed for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes to transient guest, 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" means capital improvements to facilities on the Hattiesburg campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
(f) "Restaurant" means and includes 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 hereby 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 hereby authorized to incur indebtedness of the city in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed Twelve Million Dollars ($12,000,000.00) 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. 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 Twelve Million Dollars ($12,000,000.00).
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.
(2) (a) Before any tax authorized under this act may be imposed, the governing authorities shall adopt a resolution declaring their intention to levy the taxes, setting forth the amount of such tax to be imposed, the date upon which such taxes shall become effective and calling for a referendum to be held on the question. The referendum shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2004. 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 referendum and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days before the referendum. At the referendum, all qualified electors of the city may vote, and the ballots used in the referendum shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purposes of the proposed tax levy and the words "FOR THE TAX TO FUND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS ON HATTIESBURG CAMPUS OF UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI" and, on a separate line, "AGAINST THE TAX TO FUND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS ON HATTIESBURG CAMPUS OF UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI", and the voters shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check (√) opposite their choice on the proposition. When the results of any such referendum shall have been canvassed by the election commission and certified, the city may levy the taxes beginning on the first day of the second month following the referendum, only if at least sixty percent (60%) of the qualified electors who vote in the election vote in favor of the tax. No public funds shall be used for the purpose of promoting the adoption of the referendum, and no city employees other than an elected city official shall promote the referendum during business hours. At least thirty (30) days before the effective date of the taxes, the governing authorities shall furnish to the State Tax Commission a certified copy of the resolution evidencing the taxes.
(b) If a referendum has been held under the provisions of paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), and the authority of the city to impose taxes for capital improvements on the Hattiesburg campus of the University of Southern Mississippi has been denied by the electors of the city, a subsequent referendum on the issue may be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2006. If a second referendum is held, and the authority to impose the convention center taxes has been denied again by the electors of the city, no further referendum may be held.
SECTION 5. (1) On or before the fifteenth day prior to 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 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 Twelve Million Dollars ($12,000,000.00).
SECTION 6. The provisions of this act shall be repealed in the event that two (2) referenda on the question of imposing convention center taxes have been denied by the electors of the city. If this event occurs, the Clerk of the City of Hattiesburg shall notify the Chairmen of the Local and Private Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Mississippi State Legislature.
SECTION 7. 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 8. 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.