MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2005 Regular Session

To: Gaming; Ways and Means

By: Representative Miles

House Bill 215

(As Passed the House)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 75-76-129, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REDISTRIBUTE A PORTION OF THE STATE'S SHARE OF GAMING LICENSE FEES TO SPECIAL FUNDS, THE PROCEEDS OF WHICH MAY BE USED FOR THE LOCAL SYSTEM BRIDGE REPLACEMENT AND REHABILITATION PROGRAM AND THE LOCAL SYSTEM ROAD PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTION 65-37-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DELETE THE PROVISIONS THAT REQUIRE THE LEGISLATURE TO APPROPRIATE MONIES TO THE LOCAL SYSTEM BRIDGE REPLACEMENT AND REHABILITATION FUND; TO AMEND SECTION 65-18-9 AND 65-18-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE THE LOCAL SYSTEM ROAD FUND; TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE ENGINEER TO ALLOCATE MONIES IN THE FUND TO EACH COUNTY FOR CONSTRUCTING, RECONSTRUCTING OF LOCAL SYSTEM ROADS; TO AMEND SECTION 27-5-101, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE PAYMENT OF A PORTION OF THE REVENUES DERIVED FROM MOTOR FUEL TAXES TO BE DEPOSITED INTO THE GAMING COUNTIES BOND SINKING FUND FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING THE DEBT SERVICE ON BONDS ISSUED IN SUPPORT OF THE GAMING COUNTIES INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTIONS 75-76-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "LICENSE FEES" UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING CONTROL ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE TERM INCLUDES FEES REQUIRED FOR INVESTIGATION OF APPLICANTS FOR GAMING LICENSES; TO AMEND SECTION 75-76-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH FEES SHALL BE DISTRIBUTED AS OTHER FEES COLLECTED UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING CONTROL ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 75-76-129, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

[Through June 30, 2022, this section shall read as follows:]

75-76-129. On or before the last day of each month all taxes, fees, interest, penalties, damages, fines or other monies collected by the State Tax Commission during that month under the provisions of this chapter, with the exception of (a) the local government fees imposed under Section 75-76-195, and (b) an amount equal to Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00) of the revenue collected pursuant to the fee imposed under Section 75-76-177(1)(c), or an amount equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the revenue collected pursuant to the fee imposed under Section 75-76-177(1)(c), whichever is the greater amount, shall be paid by the State Tax Commission to the State Treasurer to be deposited in the State General Fund. The local government fees shall be distributed by the State Tax Commission pursuant to Section 75-76-197. * * * An amount equal to Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00) of the revenue collected during that month pursuant to the fee imposed under Section 75-76-177(1)(c) shall be deposited by the State Tax Commission into the bond sinking fund created in Section 65-39-3. * * * The revenue collected during that month pursuant to the fee imposed under Section 75-76-177(1)(c) that is in excess of Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00), but is less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the amount of revenue collected during that month, shall be distributed as follows:

(a) One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00) shall be deposited each month into the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Fund created under Section 65-37-13.

(b) The amount each month that exceeds One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00) shall be deposited each month into the Local System Road Fund created under Section 65-18-9.

[From and after July 1, 2022, this section shall read as follows:]

75-76-129. On or before the last day of each month, all taxes, fees, interest, penalties, damages, fines or other monies collected by the State Tax Commission during that month under the provisions of this chapter, with the exception of the local government fees imposed under Section 75-76-195, shall be paid by the State Tax Commission to the State Treasurer to be deposited in the State General Fund. The local government fees shall be distributed by the State Tax Commission pursuant to Section 75-76-197.

SECTION 2. Section 65-37-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

65-37-13. (1) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the "Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Fund." The fund shall consist of the monies directed to be deposited into the fund under Section 75-76-129, and such other monies as the Legislature may designate for deposit into the fund. Monies in the fund may be expended upon legislative appropriation in accordance with the provisions of Sections 65-37-1 through 65-37-15.

 * * *

(2) Such monies as are deposited into the fund under the provisions of this section may be expended upon requisition therefor by the State Aid Engineer in accordance with the provisions of Sections 65-37-1 through 65-37-15. The Office of State Aid Road Construction shall be entitled to reimbursement from monies in the fund, upon requisitions therefor by the State Aid Engineer, for the actual expenses incurred by the office in administering the provisions of the local system bridge replacement and rehabilitation program. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund.

(3) Monies in the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Fund shall be allocated and become available for distribution to counties in accordance with the formula prescribed in Section 65-37-4 beginning January 1, 1995, on a project-by-project basis. Monies in the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Fund may not be used or expended for any purpose except as authorized under Sections 65-37-1 through 65-37-15.

(4) Monies in the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Fund may be credited to a county in advance of the normal accrual to finance certain projects, subject to the approval of the State Aid Engineer and subject further to the following limitations:

(a) That the maximum amount of such monies that may be advanced to any county shall not exceed ninety percent (90%) of the funds estimated to accrue to such county during the remainder of the term of office of the board of supervisors of such county;

(b) That no advance credit of funds will be made to any county when the unobligated balance in the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Fund is less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00); and

(c) That such advance crediting of funds be effected by the State Aid Engineer at the time of the approval of the plans and specifications for the proposed projects.

It is the intent of this provision to utilize to the fullest practicable extent the balance of monies in the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Fund on hand at all times.

SECTION 3. Section 65-18-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

65-18-9. (1) The State Aid Engineer shall allocate annually the amount of the state aid road allocation of a county that is requested by such county for use in the construction, reconstruction and paving of local system roads in the county if the county has met the requirements of this chapter; provided, however, that the State Aid Engineer shall not allocate more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the annual state aid road allocation of a county for such purposes.

(2) The State Aid Engineer shall allocate annually the amount of the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program allocation of a county that is requested by such county for use in the construction, reconstruction and paving of local system roads in the county if:

(a) The State Aid Engineer has certified, pursuant to Section 65-37-7, that all the local system bridges within the county have a sufficiency rating of greater than fifty (50) or that all such bridges within the county with a sufficiency rating of fifty (50) or less are currently under contract for replacement or rehabilitation; and

(b) The county has met the requirements of this chapter.

(3) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the "Local System Road Fund." The fund shall consist of the monies directed to be deposited into the fund under Section 75-76-129 and such other monies as the Legislature may designate for deposit into the fund. The State Aid Engineer shall allocate annually to each county monies in the fund according to state aid road formula under Section 27-65-75(4). Monies allocated to a county under this subsection shall be used by a county in the construction, reconstruction and paving of local system roads in the county if the county meets the requirements of this chapter.

(4) The State Aid Engineer shall establish specific designs and standards to be followed by such counties in the construction, reconstruction and paving of local system roads. The specific designs and standards shall be based upon policies on geometric design of local rural roads, highways and streets adopted and published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

SECTION 4. Section 65-18-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

65-18-11. (1) In order for a county to be eligible to utilize its Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program allocation, any of its state aid road funds, or any of the monies allocated to it from the Local System Road Fund, for the Local System Road Program, a county must meet the following conditions:

(a) The county has employed a county engineer, together with such other technical assistance as is necessary to carry out the duties of this chapter, the same as provided under the provisions of Section 65-9-15, for its state aid road system and, through its official minutes, has authorized the county engineer to perform the necessary engineering services connected with the Local System Road Program. The county engineer shall prepare the necessary plans and designs for all construction projects, including state aid projects and projects provided under this chapter. He also shall provide engineering supervision for the construction of such projects and shall approve all estimate payments made on the projects. Engineering cost for any project performed under the Local System Road Program may be paid from any funds allocated to a county under the program; however, the maximum fee paid to an engineer shall not exceed twelve percent (12%) of the final construction cost. No such cost shall be reimbursed to the county before the letting of the project; and

(b) The county has presented a plan for the construction, reconstruction and paving of a local system road which plan has been made and approved by the county engineer of the county, showing the specific road or project to be improved, stating the condition of the existing roadbed, drainage and bridges and outlining the type of construction or reconstruction to be made and the designs and specifications therefor, including the paving of the road and the sources of revenue to be used and the sources and types of material to be used thereon. The plan shall be presented to the State Aid Engineer for the initial approval of the beginning of a project to receive monies.

(2) After the initial approval of the plan and plans as specified in subsection (1)(b) of this section has been made by the State Aid Engineer, the county shall be eligible to receive all funds made available to the county under the Local System Road Program to be used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction or paving of the local system road. The project may be done either by contract or by using county equipment and employees. It shall be according to the original plan or any amendments thereto which have been approved by the State Aid Engineer. The board may use county equipment and employees if the construction can be accomplished at a more reasonable cost than can be achieved by contract.

SECTION 5. Section 27-5-101, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

[With regard to any county which is exempt from the provisions of Section 19-2-3, this section shall read as follows:]

27-5-101. Unless otherwise provided in this section, on or before the fifteenth day of each month, all gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes which are levied under the laws of this state and collected during the previous month shall be paid and apportioned by the State Tax Commission as follows:

(a) (i) Except as otherwise provided in Section 31-17-127, from the gross amount of gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes produced by the state, there shall be deducted an amount equal to one-sixth (1/6) of principal and interest certified by the State Treasurer to the State Tax Commission to be due on the next semiannual bond and interest payment date, as required under the provisions of Chapter 130, Laws of 1938, and subsequent acts authorizing the issuance of bonds payable from gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax revenue on a parity with the bonds issued under authority of said Chapter 130. The State Treasurer shall certify to the State Tax Commission on or before the fifteenth day of each month the amount to be paid to the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund" as provided by said Chapter 130, Laws of 1938, and subsequent acts authorizing the issuance of bonds payable from gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax revenue, on a parity with the bonds issued under authority of said Chapter 130; and the State Tax Commission shall, on or before the twenty-fifth day of each month, pay into the State Treasury for credit to the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund" the amount so certified to him by the State Treasurer due to be paid into such fund each month. The payments to the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund" shall be made out of gross gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax collections before deductions of any nature are considered; however, such payments shall be deducted from the allocation to the Mississippi Department of Transportation under paragraph (c) of this section.

(ii) From collections derived from the portion of the gasoline excise tax that exceeds Seven Cents (7) per gallon, from the portion of the tax on aviation gas under Section 27-55-11 that exceeds Six and Four-tenths Cents (6.4) per gallon, from the portion of the special fuel tax levied under Sections 27-55-519 and 27-55-521, at Eighteen Cents (18) per gallon that exceeds Ten Cents (10) per gallon, from the portion of the taxes levied under Section 27-55-519, at Five and Three-fourths Cents (5.75) per gallon that exceeds One Cent (1) per gallon on special fuel and Five and One-fourth Cents (5.25) per gallon on special fuel used as aircraft fuel, from the portion of the excise tax on compressed gas used as a motor fuel that exceeds the rate of tax in effect on June 30, 1987, and from the portion of the gasoline excise tax in excess of Seven Cents (7) per gallon and the diesel excise tax in excess of Ten Cents (10) per gallon under Section 27-61-5 there shall be deducted:

1. An amount as provided in Section 27-65-75(4) to the credit of a special fund designated as the "Office of State Aid Road Construction."

2. An amount equal to the tax collections derived from Two Cents (2) per gallon of the gasoline excise tax for distribution to the State Highway Fund to be used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of highways of the State of Mississippi or the payment of interest and principal on bonds when specifically authorized by the Legislature for that purpose.

3. The balance shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the State Highway Fund.

(b) Subject to the provisions that said basis of distribution shall in nowise affect adversely the amount specifically pledged in paragraph (a) of this section to be paid into the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund," the following shall be deducted from the amount produced by the state tax on gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax collections, excluding collections derived from the portion of the gasoline excise tax that exceeds Seven Cents (7) per gallon, from the portion of the tax on aviation gas under Section 27-55-11 that exceeds Six and Four-tenths Cents (6.4) per gallon, from the portion of the special fuel tax levied under Sections 27-55-519 and 27-55-521, at Eighteen Cents (18) per gallon that exceeds Ten Cents (10) per gallon, from the portion of the taxes levied under Section 27-55-519, at Five and Three-fourths Cents (5.75) per gallon that exceeds One Cent (1) per gallon on special fuel and Five and One-fourth Cents (5.25) per gallon on special fuel used as aircraft fuel, from the portion of the excise tax on compressed gas used as a motor fuel that exceeds the rate of tax in effect on June 30, 1987, and from the portion of the gasoline excise tax in excess of Seven Cents (7) per gallon and the diesel excise tax in excess of Ten Cents (10) per gallon under Section 27-61-5:

(i) Twenty percent (20%) of such amount which shall be earmarked and set aside for the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of the highways and roads of the state, provided that if such twenty percent (20%) should reduce any county to a lesser amount than that received in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1966, then such twenty percent (20%) shall be reduced to a percentage to provide that no county shall receive less than its portion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1966;

(ii) The amount allowed as refund on gasoline or as tax credit on diesel fuel or kerosene used for agricultural, maritime, industrial, domestic, and nonhighway purposes;

(iii) Five percent (5%) of such amount shall be paid to the State Highway Fund;

(iv) The amount or portion thereof authorized by legislative appropriation to the Fisheries and Wildlife Fund created under Section 59-21-25;

(v) The amount for deposit into the special aviation fund under paragraph (d) of this section; and

(vi) The remainder shall be divided on a basis of nine-fourteenths (9/14) and five-fourteenths (5/14) (being the same basis as Four and One-half Cents (4-1/2) and Two and One-half Cents (2-1/2) is to Seven Cents (7) on gasoline, and six and forty-three one-hundredths (6.43) and three and fifty-seven one-hundredths (3.57) is to Ten Cents (10) on diesel fuel or kerosene). The amount produced by the nine-fourteenths (9/14) division shall be allocated to the Transportation Department and paid into the State Treasury as provided in this section and in Section 27-5-103 and the five-fourteenths (5/14) division shall be returned to the counties of the state on the following basis:

1. In each fiscal year, each county shall be paid each month the same percentage of the monthly total to be distributed as was paid to that county during the same month in the fiscal year which ended April 9, 1960, until the county receives One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00) in such fiscal year, at which time funds shall be distributed under the provisions of paragraph (b)(vi)4 of this section.

2. If after payments in 1 above, any county has not received a total of One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00) at the end of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1961, and each fiscal year thereafter, then any available funds not distributed under 1 above shall be used to bring such county or counties up to One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00) or such funds shall be divided equally among such counties not reaching One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00) if there is not sufficient money to bring all the counties to said One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00).

3. When a county has been paid an amount equal to the total which was paid to the same county during the fiscal year ended April 9, 1960, such county shall receive no further payments during the then current fiscal year until the last month of such current fiscal year, at which time distribution will be made under 2 above, except as set out in 4 below.

4. During the last month of the current fiscal year, should it be determined that there are funds available in excess of the amount distributed for the year under 1 and 2 above, then such excess funds shall be distributed among the various counties as follows:

One-third (1/3) of such excess to be divided equally among the counties;

One-third (1/3) of such excess to be paid to the counties in the proportion which the population of each county bears to the total population of the state according to the last federal census;

One-third (1/3) of such excess to be paid to the counties in the proportion which the number of square miles of each county bears to the total square miles in the state.

5. It is the declared purpose and intent of the Legislature that no county shall be paid less than was paid during the year ended April 9, 1960, unless the amount to be distributed to all counties in any year is less than the amount distributed to all counties during the year ended April 9, 1960.

The Municipal Aid Fund as established by Section 27-5-103 shall not participate in any portion of any funds allocated to any county hereunder over and above One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00).

In any county having countywide road or bridge bonds, or supervisors district or district road or bridge bonds outstanding, which exceed, in the aggregate, twelve percent (12%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county or district, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to set aside not less than sixty percent (60%) of such county's share or district's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes to be used in paying the principal and interest on such road or bridge bonds as they mature.

In any county having such countywide road or bridge bonds or district road or bridge bonds outstanding which exceed, in the aggregate, eight percent (8%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, but which do not exceed, in the aggregate, twelve percent (12%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to set aside not less than thirty-five percent (35%) of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes to be used in paying the principal and interest of such road or bridge bonds as they mature.

In any county having such countywide road or bridge bonds or district road or bridge bonds outstanding which exceed, in the aggregate, five percent (5%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, but which do not exceed, in the aggregate, eight percent (8%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to set aside not less than twenty percent (20%) of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes to be used in paying the principal and interest of such road and bridge bonds as they mature.

In any county having such countywide road or bridge bonds or district road or bridge bonds outstanding which do not exceed, in the aggregate, five percent (5%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to set aside not less than ten percent (10%) of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes to be used in paying the principal and interest on such road or bridge bonds as they mature.

The portion of any such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes thus set aside for the payment of the principal and interest of road or bridge bonds, as provided for in this section, shall be used first in paying the currently maturing installments of the principal and interest of such countywide road or bridge bonds, if there be any such countywide road or bridge bonds outstanding, and secondly, in paying the currently maturing installments of principal and interest of district road or bridge bonds outstanding. It shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to pay bonds and interest maturing in each supervisors district out of the supervisors district's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes of such district.

The remaining portion of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes, after setting aside the portion above provided for the payment of the principal and interest of bonds, shall be used in the construction and maintenance of any public highways, bridges, or culverts of the county, including the roads in special or separate road districts, in the discretion of the board of supervisors, or in paying the interest and principal of county road and bridge bonds or district road and bridge bonds, in the discretion of the board of supervisors.

In any county having no countywide road or bridge bonds or district road or bridge bonds outstanding, all such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes shall be used in the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of the public highways, bridges, or culverts of the county as the board of supervisors may determine.

In every county in which there are county road bonds or seawall or road protection bonds outstanding which were issued for the purpose of building bridges or constructing public roads or seawalls, such funds shall be used in the manner provided by law.

(c) From the amount produced by the nine-fourteenths (9/14) division allocated to the Transportation Department, there shall be deducted:

(i) The amount paid to the State Treasurer for the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund" under paragraph (a) of this section;

(ii) Any amounts due counties in accordance with Section 65-33-45 which have outstanding bonds issued for seawall or road protection purposes, issued under provisions of Chapter 319, Laws of 1924, and amendments thereto;

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(iii) Except as otherwise provided in Section 31-17-127, the remainder shall be paid by the State Tax Commission to the State Treasurer on the fifteenth day of each month next succeeding the month in which the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes were collected to the credit of the State Highway Fund.

The funds allocated for the construction, reconstruction, and improvement of state highways, bridges, and culverts, or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall first be used in conjunction with funds supplied by the federal government for such purposes and allocated to the State Transportation Department to be expended on the state highway system. It is specifically provided hereby that the necessary portion of such funds hereinabove allocated to the State Transportation Department may be used for the prompt payment of principal and interest on highway bonds heretofore issued, including such bonds issued or to be issued under the provisions of Chapter 312, Laws of 1956, and amendments thereto.

Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to reduce the amount of such gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene excise taxes levied by the state, allotted under the provisions of Title 65, Chapter 33, Mississippi Code of 1972, to counties in which there are outstanding bonds issued for seawall or road protection purposes issued under the provisions of Chapter 319, Laws of 1924, and amendments thereto; the amount of said gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene excise taxes designated in this section for the payment of bonds and interest authorized and issued or to be issued under the provisions of Chapter 130, Laws of 1938, and subsequent acts authorizing the issuance of bonds payable from gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax revenue, shall, in such counties, be considered as being paid "into the State Treasury to the credit of the State Highway Fund" within the meaning of Section 65-33-45 in computing the amount to be paid to such counties under the provisions of said section, and this section shall be administered in connection with Title 65, Chapter 33, Mississippi Code of 1972, and Sections 65-33-45, 65-33-47 and 65-33-49 dealing with seawalls, as if made a part of this section.

(d) The proceeds of the Five and One-fourth Cents (5.25) of the tax per gallon on oils used as a propellant for jet aircraft engines, and Six and Four-tenths Cents (6.4) of the tax per gallon on aviation gasoline and the tax of One Cent (1) per gallon for each gallon of gasoline for which a refund has been made pursuant to Section 27-55-23 because such gasoline was used for aviation purposes, shall be paid to the State Treasury into a special fund to be used exclusively, pursuant to legislative appropriation, for the support and development of aeronautics as defined in Section 61-1-3.

(e) State highway funds in an amount equal to the difference between Forty-two Million Dollars ($42,000,000.00) and the annual debt service payable on the state's highway revenue refunding bonds, Series 1985, shall be expended for the construction or reconstruction of highways designated under the highway program created under Section 65-3-97.

(f) "Gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes" as used in this section shall be deemed to mean and include state gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes levied and imposed on distributors of gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene, and all state excise taxes derived from any fuel used to propel vehicles upon the highways of this state, when levied by any statute.

[With regard to any county which is required to operate on a countywide system of road administration as described in Section 19-2-3, this section shall read as follows:]

27-5-101. Unless otherwise provided in this section, on or before the fifteenth day of each month, all gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes which are levied under the laws of this state and collected during the previous month shall be paid and apportioned by the State Tax Commission as follows:

(a) (i) Except as otherwise provided in Section 31-17-127, from the gross amount of gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes produced by the state, there shall be deducted an amount equal to one-sixth (1/6) of principal and interest certified by the State Treasurer to the State Tax Commission to be due on the next semiannual bond and interest payment date, as required under the provisions of Chapter 130, Laws of 1938, and subsequent acts authorizing the issuance of bonds payable from gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax revenue on a parity with the bonds issued under authority of said Chapter 130. The State Treasurer shall certify to the State Tax Commission on or before the fifteenth day of each month the amount to be paid to the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund" as provided by said Chapter 130, Laws of 1938, and subsequent acts authorizing the issuance of bonds payable from gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax revenue, on a parity with the bonds issued under authority of said Chapter 130; and the State Tax Commission shall, on or before the twenty-fifth day of each month, pay into the State Treasury for credit to the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund" the amount so certified to him by the State Treasurer due to be paid into such fund each month. The payments to the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund" shall be made out of gross gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax collections before deductions of any nature are considered; however, such payments shall be deducted from the allocation to the Transportation Department under paragraph (c) of this section.

(ii) From collections derived from the portion of the gasoline excise tax that exceeds Seven Cents (7) per gallon, from the portion of the tax on aviation gas under Section 27-55-11 that exceeds Six and Four-tenths Cents (6.4) per gallon, from the portion of the special fuel tax levied under Sections 27-55-519 and 27-55-521, at Eighteen Cents (18) per gallon that exceeds Ten Cents (10) per gallon, from the portion of the taxes levied under Section 27-55-519, at Five and Three-fourths Cents (5.75) per gallon that exceeds One Cent (1) per gallon on special fuel and Five and One-fourth Cents (5.25) per gallon on special fuel used as aircraft fuel, from the portion of the excise tax on compressed gas used as a motor fuel that exceeds the rate of tax in effect on June 30, 1987, and from the portion of the gasoline excise tax in excess of Seven Cents (7) per gallon and the diesel excise tax in excess of Ten Cents (10) per gallon under Section 27-61-5 there shall be deducted:

1. An amount as provided in Section 27-65-75(4) to the credit of a special fund designated as the "Office of State Aid Road Construction."

2. An amount equal to the tax collections derived from Two Cents (2) per gallon of the gasoline excise tax for distribution to the State Highway Fund to be used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of highways of the State of Mississippi or the payment of interest and principal on bonds when specifically authorized by the Legislature for that purpose.

3. The balance shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the State Highway Fund.

(b) Subject to the provisions that said basis of distribution shall in nowise affect adversely the amount specifically pledged in paragraph (a) of this section to be paid into the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund," the following shall be deducted from the amount produced by the state tax on gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax collections, excluding collections derived from the portion of the gasoline excise tax that exceeds Seven Cents (7) per gallon, from the portion of the tax on aviation gas under Section 27-55-11 that exceeds Six and Four-tenths Cents (6.4) per gallon, from the portion of the special fuel tax levied under Sections 27-55-519 and 27-55-521, at Eighteen Cents (18) per gallon, that exceeds Ten Cents (10) per gallon, from the portion of the taxes levied under Section 27-55-519, at Five and Three-fourths Cents (5.75) that exceeds One Cent (1) per gallon on special fuel and Five and One-fourth Cents (5.25) per gallon on special fuel used as aircraft fuel, from the portion of the excise tax on compressed gas used as a motor fuel that exceeds the rate of tax in effect on June 30, 1987, and from the portion of the gasoline excise tax in excess of Seven Cents (7) per gallon and the diesel excise tax in excess of Ten Cents (10) per gallon under Section 27-61-5:

(i) Twenty percent (20%) of such amount which shall be earmarked and set aside for the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of the highways and roads of the state, provided that if such twenty percent (20%) should reduce any county to a lesser amount than that received in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1966, then such twenty percent (20%) shall be reduced to a percentage to provide that no county shall receive less than its portion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1966;

(ii) The amount allowed as refund on gasoline or as tax credit on diesel fuel or kerosene used for agricultural, maritime, industrial, domestic and nonhighway purposes;

(iii) Five percent (5%) of such amount shall be paid to the State Highway Fund;

(iv) The amount or portion thereof authorized by legislative appropriation to the Fisheries and Wildlife Fund created under Section 59-21-25;

(v) The amount for deposit into the special aviation fund under paragraph (d) of this section; and

(vi) The remainder shall be divided on a basis of nine-fourteenths (9/14) and five-fourteenths (5/14) (being the same basis as Four and One-half Cents (4-1/2) and Two and One-half Cents (2-1/2) is to Seven Cents (7) on gasoline, and six and forty-three one-hundredths (6.43) and three and fifty-seven one-hundredths (3.57) is to Ten Cents (10) on diesel fuel or kerosene). The amount produced by the nine-fourteenths (9/14) division shall be allocated to the Transportation Department and paid into the State Treasury as provided in this section and in Section 27-5-103 and the five-fourteenths (5/14) division shall be returned to the counties of the state on the following basis:

1. In each fiscal year, each county shall be paid each month the same percentage of the monthly total to be distributed as was paid to that county during the same month in the fiscal year which ended April 9, 1960, until the county receives One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00) in such fiscal year, at which time funds shall be distributed under the provisions of paragraph (b)(vi)4 of this section.

2. If after payments in 1 above, any county has not received a total of One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00) at the end of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1961, and each fiscal year thereafter, then any available funds not distributed under 1 above shall be used to bring such county or counties up to One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00) or such funds shall be divided equally among such counties not reaching One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00) if there is not sufficient money to bring all the counties to said One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00).

3. When a county has been paid an amount equal to the total which was paid to the same county during the fiscal year ended April 9, 1960, such county shall receive no further payments during the then current fiscal year until the last month of such current fiscal year, at which time distribution will be made under 2 above, except as set out in 4 below.

4. During the last month of the current fiscal year, should it be determined that there are funds available in excess of the amount distributed for the year under 1 and 2 above, then such excess funds shall be distributed among the various counties as follows:

One-third (1/3) of such excess to be divided equally among the counties;

One-third (1/3) of such excess to be paid to the counties in the proportion which the population of each county bears to the total population of the state according to the last federal census;

One-third (1/3) of such excess to be paid to the counties in the proportion which the number of square miles of each county bears to the total square miles in the state.

5. It is the declared purpose and intent of the Legislature that no county shall be paid less than was paid during the year ended April 9, 1960, unless the amount to be distributed to all counties in any year is less than the amount distributed to all counties during the year ended April 9, 1960.

The Municipal Aid Fund as established by Section 27-5-103 shall not participate in any portion of any funds allocated to any county hereunder over and above One Hundred Ninety Thousand Dollars ($190,000.00).

In any county having road or bridge bonds outstanding which exceed, in the aggregate, twelve percent (12%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to set aside not less than sixty percent (60%) of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes to be used in paying the principal and interest on such road or bridge bonds as they mature.

In any county having such road or bridge bonds outstanding which exceed, in the aggregate, eight percent (8%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, but which do not exceed, in the aggregate, twelve percent (12%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to set aside not less than thirty-five percent (35%) of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes to be used in paying the principal and interest of such road or bridge bonds as they mature.

In any county having such road or bridge bonds outstanding which exceed, in the aggregate, five percent (5%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, but which do not exceed, in the aggregate, eight percent (8%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to set aside not less than twenty percent (20%) of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes to be used in paying the principal and interest of such road and bridge bonds as they mature.

In any county having such road or bridge bonds outstanding which do not exceed, in the aggregate, five percent (5%) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property of the county, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to set aside not less than ten percent (10%) of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes to be used in paying the principal and interest on such road or bridge bonds as they mature.

The portion of any such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes thus set aside for the payment of the principal and interest of road or bridge bonds, as provided for in this section, shall be used in paying the currently maturing installments of the principal and interest of such road or bridge bonds, if there be any such road or bridge bonds outstanding.

The remaining portion of such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes, after setting aside the portion above provided for the payment of the principal and interest of bonds, shall be used in the construction and maintenance of any public highways, bridges or culverts of the county, in the discretion of the board of supervisors.

In any county having no road or bridge bonds outstanding, all such county's share of the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes shall be used in the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of the public highways, bridges or culverts of the county, as the board of supervisors may determine.

In every county in which there are county road bonds or seawall or road protection bonds outstanding which were issued for the purpose of building bridges or constructing public roads or seawalls, such funds shall be used in the manner provided by law.

(c) From the amount produced by the nine-fourteenths (9/14) division allocated to the Transportation Department, there shall be deducted:

(i) The amount paid to the State Treasurer for the "Highway Bonds Sinking Fund" under paragraph (a) of this section;

(ii) Any amounts due counties in accordance with Section 65-33-45 which have outstanding bonds issued for seawall or road protection purposes, issued under provisions of Chapter 319, Laws of 1924, and amendments thereto; and

 * * *

(iii) Except as otherwise provided in Section 31-17-127, the remainder shall be paid by the State Tax Commission to the State Treasurer on the fifteenth day of each month next succeeding the month in which the gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes were collected to the credit of the State Highway Fund.

The funds allocated for the construction, reconstruction and improvement of state highways, bridges and culverts, or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall first be used in conjunction with funds supplied by the federal government for such purposes and allocated to the Transportation Department to be expended on the state highway system. It is specifically provided hereby that the necessary portion of such funds hereinabove allocated to the Transportation Department may be used for the prompt payment of principal and interest on highway bonds heretofore issued, including such bonds issued or to be issued under the provisions of Chapter 312, Laws of 1956, and amendments thereto.

Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to reduce the amount of such gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene excise taxes levied by the state, allotted under the provisions of Title 65, Chapter 33, Mississippi Code of 1972, to counties in which there are outstanding bonds issued for seawall or road protection purposes issued under the provisions of Chapter 319, Laws of 1924, and amendments thereto; the amount of said gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene excise taxes designated in this section for the payment of bonds and interest authorized and issued or to be issued under the provisions of Chapter 130, Laws of 1938, and subsequent acts authorizing the issuance of bonds payable from gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene tax revenue, shall, in such counties, be considered as being paid "into the State Treasury to the credit of the State Highway Fund" within the meaning of Section 65-33-45 in computing the amount to be paid to such counties under the provisions of said section, and this section shall be administered in connection with Title 65, Chapter 33, Mississippi Code of 1972, and Sections 65-33-45, 65-33-47 and 65-33-49 dealing with seawalls, as if made a part of this section.

(d) The proceeds of the Five and One-fourth Cents (5.25) of the tax per gallon on oils used as a propellant for jet aircraft engines, and Six and Four-tenths Cents (6.4) of the tax per gallon on aviation gasoline and the tax of One Cent (1) per gallon for each gallon of gasoline for which a refund has been made pursuant to Section 27-55-23 because such gasoline was used for aviation purposes, shall be paid to the State Treasury into a special fund to be used exclusively, pursuant to legislative appropriation, for the support and development of aeronautics as defined in Section 61-1-3.

(e) State highway funds in an amount equal to the difference between Forty-two Million Dollars ($42,000,000.00) and the annual debt service payable on the state's highway revenue refunding bonds, Series 1985, shall be expended for the construction or reconstruction of highways designated under the highway program created under Section 65-3-97.

(f) "Gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes" as used in this section shall be deemed to mean and include state gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene taxes levied and imposed on distributors of gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene, and all state excise taxes derived from any fuel used to propel vehicles upon the highways of this state, when levied by any statute.

SECTION 6. Section 75-76-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

75-76-5. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

(a) "Applicant" means any person who has applied for or is about to apply for a state gaming license, registration or finding of suitability under the provisions of this chapter or approval of any act or transaction for which approval is required or permitted under the provisions of this chapter.

(b) "Application" means a request for the issuance of a state gaming license, registration or finding of suitability under the provisions of this chapter or for approval of any act or transaction for which approval is required or permitted under the provisions of this chapter but does not include any supplemental forms or information that may be required with the application.

(c) "Associated equipment" means any equipment or mechanical, electromechanical or electronic contrivance, component or machine used remotely or directly in connection with gaming or with any game, race book or sports pool that would not otherwise be classified as a gaming device, including dice, playing cards, links which connect to progressive slot machines, equipment which affects the proper reporting of gross revenue, computerized systems of betting at a race book or sports pool, computerized systems for monitoring slot machines, and devices for weighing or counting money.

(d) "Chairman," through September 30, 1993, means the Chairman of the State Tax Commission, and thereafter means the Chairman of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

(e) "Commission" or "Mississippi Gaming Commission," through September 30, 1993, means the State Tax Commission, and thereafter means the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

(f) "Commission member," through September 30, 1993, means a member of the State Tax Commission, and thereafter means a member of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

(g) "Credit instrument" means a writing which evidences a gaming debt owed to a person who holds a license at the time the debt is created, and includes any writing taken in consolidation, redemption or payment of a prior credit instrument.

(h) "Enforcement division" means a particular division supervised by the executive director that provides enforcement functions.

(i) "Establishment" means any premises wherein or whereon any gaming is done.

(j) "Executive director," through September 30, 1993, means the director appointed by the State Tax Commission pursuant to Section 75-76-15(1), and thereafter means the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

(k) Except as otherwise provided by law, "game," or "gambling game" means any banking or percentage game played with cards, with dice or with any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device or machine for money, property, checks, credit or any representative of value, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, faro, monte, roulette, keno, fan-tan, twenty-one, blackjack, seven-and-a-half, big injun, klondike, craps, poker, chuck-a-luck (dai shu), wheel of fortune, chemin de fer, baccarat, pai gow, beat the banker, panguingui, slot machine, or any other game or device approved by the commission. However, "game" or "gambling game" shall not include bingo games or raffles which are held pursuant to the provisions of Section 97-33-51.

The commission shall not be required to recognize any game hereunder with respect to which the commission determines it does not have sufficient experience or expertise.

(l) "Gaming" or "gambling" means to deal, operate, carry on, conduct, maintain or expose for play any game as defined in this chapter.

(m) "Gaming device" means any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic contrivance, component or machine used in connection with gaming or any game which affects the result of a wager by determining win or loss. The term includes a system for processing information which can alter the normal criteria of random selection, which affects the operation of any game, or which determines the outcome of a game. The term does not include a system or device which affects a game solely by stopping its operation so that the outcome remains undetermined, and does not include any antique coin machine as defined in Section 27-27-12.

(n) "Gaming employee" means any person connected directly with the operation of a gaming establishment licensed to conduct any game, including:

(i) Boxmen;

(ii) Cashiers;

(iii) Change personnel;

(iv) Counting room personnel;

(v) Dealers;

(vi) Floormen;

(vii) Hosts or other persons empowered to extend credit or complimentary services;

(viii) Keno runners;

(ix) Keno writers;

(x) Machine mechanics;

(xi) Security personnel;

(xii) Shift or pit bosses;

(xiii) Shills;

(xiv) Supervisors or managers; and

(xv) Ticket writers.

The term "gaming employee" also includes employees of manufacturers or distributors of gaming equipment within this state whose duties are directly involved with the manufacture, repair or distribution of gaming equipment.

"Gaming employee" does not include bartenders, cocktail waitresses or other persons engaged in preparing or serving food or beverages unless acting in some other capacity.

(o) "Gaming license" means any license issued by the state which authorizes the person named therein to engage in gaming.

(p) "Gross revenue" means the total of all of the following, less the total of all cash paid out as losses to patrons and those amounts paid to purchase annuities to fund losses paid to patrons over several years by independent financial institutions:

(i) Cash received as winnings;

(ii) Cash received in payment for credit extended by a licensee to a patron for purposes of gaming; and

(iii) Compensation received for conducting any game in which the licensee is not party to a wager.

For the purposes of this definition, cash or the value of noncash prizes awarded to patrons in a contest or tournament are not losses.

The term does not include:

(i) Counterfeit money or tokens;

(ii) Coins of other countries which are received in gaming devices;

(iii) Cash taken in fraudulent acts perpetrated against a licensee for which the licensee is not reimbursed; or

(iv) Cash received as entry fees for contests or tournaments in which the patrons compete for prizes.

(q) "Hearing examiner" means a member of the Mississippi Gaming Commission or other person authorized by the commission to conduct hearings.

(r) "Investigation division" means a particular division supervised by the executive director that provides investigative functions.

(s) "License" means a gaming license or a manufacturer's, seller's or distributor's license.

(t) "Licensee" means any person to whom a valid license has been issued.

(u) "License fees" means monies required by law to be paid to obtain or continue a gaming license or a manufacturer's, seller's or distributor's license including, but not limited to, any fees required under Section 75-76-33.

(v) "Licensed gaming establishment" means any premises licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter wherein or whereon gaming is done.

(w) "Manufacturer's," "seller's" or "distributor's" license means a license issued pursuant to Section 75-76-79.

(x) "Navigable waters" shall have the meaning ascribed to such term under Section 27-109-1.

(y) "Operation" means the conduct of gaming.

(z) "Party" means the Mississippi Gaming Commission and any licensee or other person appearing of record in any proceeding before the commission; or the Mississippi Gaming Commission and any licensee or other person appearing of record in any proceeding for judicial review of any action, decision or order of the commission.

(aa) "Person" includes any association, corporation, firm, partnership, trust or other form of business association as well as a natural person.

(bb) "Premises" means land, together with all buildings, improvements and personal property located thereon, and includes all parts of any vessel or cruise vessel.

(cc) "Race book" means the business of accepting wagers upon the outcome of any event held at a track which uses the pari-mutuel system of wagering.

(dd) "Regulation" means a rule, standard, directive or statement of general applicability which effectuates law or policy or which describes the procedure or requirements for practicing before the commission. The term includes a proposed regulation and the amendment or repeal of a prior regulation but does not include:

(i) A statement concerning only the internal management of the commission and not affecting the rights or procedures available to any licensee or other person;

(ii) A declaratory ruling;

(iii) An interagency memorandum;

(iv) The commission's decision in a contested case or relating to an application for a license; or

(v) Any notice concerning the fees to be charged which are necessary for the administration of this chapter.

(ee) "Respondent" means any licensee or other person against whom a complaint has been filed with the commission.

(ff) "Slot machine" means any mechanical, electrical or other device, contrivance or machine which, upon insertion of a coin, token or similar object, or upon payment of any consideration, is available to play or operate, the play or operation of which, whether by reason of the skill of the operator or application of the element of chance, or both, may deliver or entitle the person playing or operating the machine to receive cash, premiums, merchandise, tokens or anything of value, whether the payoff is made automatically from the machine or in any other manner. The term does not include any antique coin machine as defined in Section 27-27-12.

(gg) "Sports pool" means the business of accepting wagers on sporting events, except for athletic events, by any system or method of wagering other than the system known as the "pari-mutuel method of wagering."

(hh) "Temporary work permit" means a work permit which is valid only for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days from its date of issue and which is not renewable.

(ii) "Vessel" or "cruise vessel" shall have the meanings ascribed to such terms under Section 27-109-1.

(jj) "Work permit" means any card, certificate or permit issued by the commission, whether denominated as a work permit, registration card or otherwise, authorizing the employment of the holder as a gaming employee. A document issued by any governmental authority for any employment other than gaming is not a valid work permit for the purposes of this chapter.

(kk) "School or training institution" means any school or training institution which is licensed by the commission to teach or train gaming employees pursuant to Section 75-76-34.

(ll) "Cheat" means to alter the selection of criteria that determine:

(i) The rules of a game; or

(ii) The amount or frequency of payment in a game.

SECTION 7. Section 75-76-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

75-76-33. (1) The commission shall, from time to time, adopt, amend or repeal such regulations, consistent with the policy, objects and purposes of this chapter, as it may deem necessary or desirable in the public interest in carrying out the policy and provisions of this chapter.

(2) These regulations shall, without limiting the general powers herein conferred, include the following:

(a) Prescribing the method and form of application which any applicant for a license or for a manufacturer's, seller's or distributor's license must follow and complete before consideration of his application by the executive director or the commission.

(b) Prescribing the information to be furnished by any applicant or licensee concerning his antecedents, habits, character, associates, criminal record, business activities and financial affairs, past or present.

(c) Prescribing the information to be furnished by a licensee relating to his employees.

(d) Requiring fingerprinting of an applicant or licensee, and gaming employees of a licensee, or other methods of identification and the forwarding of all fingerprints taken pursuant to regulation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(e) Prescribing the manner and procedure of all hearings conducted by the commission or any hearing examiner of the commission, including special rules of evidence applicable thereto and notices thereof.

(f) Requiring any applicant to pay all or any part of the fees and costs of investigation of such applicant as may be determined by the commission, except that no applicant for an initial license shall be required to pay any part of the fees or costs of the investigation of the applicant with regard to the initial license. The proceeds derived from such fees shall be distributed pursuant to Section 75-76-129.

(g) Prescribing the manner and method of collection and payment of fees and issuance of licenses.

(h) Prescribing under what conditions a licensee may be deemed subject to revocation or suspension of his license.

(i) Requiring any applicant or licensee to waive any privilege with respect to any testimony at any hearing or meeting of the commission, except any privilege afforded by the Constitution of the United States or this state.

(j) Defining and limiting the area, games and devices permitted, and the method of operation of such games and devices, for the purposes of this chapter.

(k) Prescribing under what conditions the nonpayment of a gambling debt by a licensee shall be deemed grounds for revocation or suspension of his license.

(l) Governing the use and approval of gambling devices and equipment.

(m) Prescribing the qualifications of, and the conditions under which, attorneys, accountants and others are permitted to practice before the commission.

(n) Restricting access to confidential information obtained under this chapter and ensuring that the confidentiality of such information is maintained and protected.

(o) Prescribing the manner and procedure by which the executive director on behalf of the commission shall notify a county or a municipality wherein an applicant for a license desires to locate.

(p) Prescribing the manner and procedure for an objection to be filed with the commission and the executive director by a county or municipality wherein an applicant for a license desires to locate.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each licensee shall be required to comply with the following regulations:

(a) No wagering shall be allowed on the outcome of any athletic event, nor on any matter to be determined during an athletic event, nor on the outcome of any event which does not take place on the premises.

(b) No wager may be placed by, or on behalf of, any individual or entity or group, not present on a licensed vessel or cruise vessel.

SECTION 8. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.