MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2005 Regular Session

To: Medicaid; Ways and Means

By: Representative Morris, Holland, Whittington, Brown, Compretta, Eaton, Flaggs, Mayo, McCoy, Miles, Moak, Peranich, Stringer, Watson

House Bill 410

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-13-115, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REINSTATE MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY FOR THE POVERTY LEVEL AGED AND DISABLED (PLAD) GROUP THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2005; TO AMEND SECTIONS 27-69-3, 27-69-5, 27-69-7, 27-69-11, 27-69-13 AND 27-69-41, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE EXCISE TAX ON CIGARETTES AND OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCTS; TO DEFINE THE TERMS "TOBACCO SETTLEMENT", "NONPARTICIPATING MANUFACTURER" AND "PARTICIPATING MANUFACTURER" FOR PURPOSES OF THE STATE TOBACCO TAX LAW; TO REQUIRE THAT CIGARETTE MANUFACTURERS PAY AN EQUITY ASSESSMENT OF TWO CENTS PER CIGARETTE ON ALL CIGARETTES SUBJECT TO THE CIGARETTE EXCISE TAX; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH EQUITY ASSESSMENT SHALL BE INCREASED ANNUALLY BY THREE PERCENT OR THE INCREASE IN THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX WHICHEVER IS GREATER; TO PROVIDE THAT CIGARETTE WHOLESALERS MUST PROVIDE CIGARETTE MANUFACTURERS MONTHLY REPORTS SETTING FORTH THE NUMBER OF CIGARETTES ON WHICH TOBACCO TAX STAMPS WERE AFFIXED DURING THE PRECEDING MONTH AND IDENTIFYING SUCH CIGARETTES BY MANUFACTURER, BRAND AND STYLE; TO PROVIDE A CREDIT AGAINST THE EQUITY ASSESSMENT FOR ANNUAL TOBACCO SETTLEMENT INSTALLMENTS MADE BY PARTICIPATING MANUFACTURERS; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR THE FAILURE OF A CIGARETTE MANUFACTURER TO PAY THE EQUITY ASSESSMENT; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR THE FAILURE OF A WHOLESALER TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO A MANUFACTURER NECESSARY FOR THE MANUFACTURER TO COMPUTE THE EQUITY ASSESSMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 27-69-75, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE REVENUE DERIVED FROM THE TAX INCREASES AND THE EQUITY ASSESSMENT PROVIDED FOR BY THIS ACT SHALL BE DEPOSITED INTO THE SPECIAL FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE-DIVISION OF MEDICAID; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

SECTION 1. Section 43-13-115, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

43-13-115. Recipients of Medicaid shall be the following persons only:

(1) Those who are qualified for public assistance grants under provisions of Title IV-A and E of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, including those statutorily deemed to be IV-A and low income families and children under Section 1931 of the federal Social Security Act. For the purposes of this paragraph (1) and paragraphs (8), (17) and (18) of this section, any reference to Title IV-A or to Part A of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, or the state plan under Title IV-A or Part A of Title IV, shall be considered as a reference to Title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, and the state plan under Title IV-A, including the income and resource standards and methodologies under Title IV-A and the state plan, as they existed on July 16, 1996. The Department of Human Services shall determine Medicaid eligibility for children receiving public assistance grants under Title IV-E. The division shall determine eligibility for low income families under Section 1931 of the federal Social Security Act and shall redetermine eligibility for those continuing under Title IV-A grants.

(2) Those qualified for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits under Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, and those who are deemed SSI eligible as contained in federal statute. The eligibility of individuals covered in this paragraph shall be determined by the Social Security Administration and certified to the Division of Medicaid.

(3) Qualified pregnant women who would be eligible for Medicaid as a low income family member under Section 1931 of the federal Social Security Act if her child were born. The eligibility of the individuals covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the division.

(4) [Deleted]

(5) A child born on or after October 1, 1984, to a woman eligible for and receiving Medicaid under the state plan on the date of the child's birth shall be deemed to have applied for Medicaid and to have been found eligible for Medicaid under the plan on the date of that birth, and will remain eligible for Medicaid for a period of one (1) year so long as the child is a member of the woman's household and the woman remains eligible for Medicaid or would be eligible for Medicaid if pregnant. The eligibility of individuals covered in this paragraph shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid.

(6) Children certified by the State Department of Human Services to the Division of Medicaid of whom the state and county departments of human services have custody and financial responsibility, and children who are in adoptions subsidized in full or part by the Department of Human Services, including special needs children in non-Title IV-E adoption assistance, who are approvable under Title XIX of the Medicaid program. The eligibility of the children covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the State Department of Human Services.

(7) (a) Persons certified by the Division of Medicaid who are patients in a medical facility (nursing home, hospital, tuberculosis sanatorium or institution for treatment of mental diseases), and who, except for the fact that they are patients in that medical facility, would qualify for grants under Title IV, Supplementary Security Income (SSI) benefits under Title XVI or state supplements, and those aged, blind and disabled persons who would not be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits under Title XVI or state supplements if they were not institutionalized in a medical facility but whose income is below the maximum standard set by the Division of Medicaid, which standard shall not exceed that prescribed by federal regulation;

(b) Individuals who have elected to receive hospice care benefits and who are eligible using the same criteria and special income limits as those in institutions as described in subparagraph (a) of this paragraph (7).

(8) Children under eighteen (18) years of age and pregnant women (including those in intact families) who meet the financial standards of the state plan approved under Title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act, as amended. The eligibility of children covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid.

(9) Individuals who are:

(a) Children born after September 30, 1983, who have not attained the age of nineteen (19), with family income that does not exceed one hundred percent (100%) of the nonfarm official poverty level;

(b) Pregnant women, infants and children who have not attained the age of six (6), with family income that does not exceed one hundred thirty-three percent (133%) of the federal poverty level; and

(c) Pregnant women and infants who have not attained the age of one (1), with family income that does not exceed one hundred eighty-five percent (185%) of the federal poverty level.

The eligibility of individuals covered in (a), (b) and (c) of this paragraph shall be determined by the division.

(10) Certain disabled children age eighteen (18) or under who are living at home, who would be eligible, if in a medical institution, for SSI or a state supplemental payment under Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, and therefore for Medicaid under the plan, and for whom the state has made a determination as required under Section 1902(e)(3)(b) of the federal Social Security Act, as amended. The eligibility of individuals under this paragraph shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid.

(11) Individuals who are sixty-five (65) years of age or older or are disabled as determined under Section 1614(a)(3) of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, and whose income does not exceed one hundred thirty-five percent (135%) of the nonfarm official poverty line as defined by the Office Of Management and Budget and revised annually, and whose resources do not exceed those established by the Division of Medicaid. The eligibility of individuals covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid. This paragraph (11) shall stand repealed on January 1, 2006.

(12) Individuals who are qualified Medicare beneficiaries (QMB) entitled to Part A Medicare as defined under Section 301, Public Law 100-360, known as the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988, and whose income does not exceed one hundred percent (100%) of the nonfarm official poverty level as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually.

The eligibility of individuals covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid, and those individuals determined eligible shall receive Medicare cost-sharing expenses only as more fully defined by the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

(13) (a) Individuals who are entitled to Medicare Part A as defined in Section 4501 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, and whose income does not exceed one hundred twenty percent (120%) of the nonfarm official poverty level as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually. Eligibility for Medicaid benefits is limited to full payment of Medicare Part B premiums.

(b) Individuals entitled to Part A of Medicare, with income above one hundred twenty percent (120%), but less than one hundred thirty-five percent (135%) of the federal poverty level, and not otherwise eligible for Medicaid Eligibility for Medicaid benefits is limited to full payment of Medicare Part B premiums. The number of eligible individuals is limited by the availability of the federal capped allocation at one hundred percent (100%) of federal matching funds, as more fully defined in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

The eligibility of individuals covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid.

(14) [Deleted]

(15) Disabled workers who are eligible to enroll in Part A Medicare as required by Public Law 101-239, known as the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, and whose income does not exceed two hundred percent (200%) of the federal poverty level as determined in accordance with the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The eligibility of individuals covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid and those individuals shall be entitled to buy-in coverage of Medicare Part A premiums only under the provisions of this paragraph (15).

(16) In accordance with the terms and conditions of approved Title XIX waiver from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, persons provided home- and community-based services who are physically disabled and certified by the Division of Medicaid as eligible due to applying the income and deeming requirements as if they were institutionalized.

(17) In accordance with the terms of the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193), persons who become ineligible for assistance under Title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, because of increased income from or hours of employment of the caretaker relative or because of the expiration of the applicable earned income disregards, who were eligible for Medicaid for at least three (3) of the six (6) months preceding the month in which the ineligibility begins, shall be eligible for Medicaid for up to twelve (12) months. The eligibility of the individuals covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the division.

(18) Persons who become ineligible for assistance under Title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, as a result, in whole or in part, of the collection or increased collection of child or spousal support under Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, who were eligible for Medicaid for at least three (3) of the six (6) months immediately preceding the month in which the ineligibility begins, shall be eligible for Medicaid for an additional four (4) months beginning with the month in which the ineligibility begins. The eligibility of the individuals covered under this paragraph shall be determined by the division.

(19) Disabled workers, whose incomes are above the Medicaid eligibility limits, but below two hundred fifty percent (250%) of the federal poverty level, shall be allowed to purchase Medicaid coverage on a sliding fee scale developed by the Division of Medicaid.

(20) Medicaid eligible children under age eighteen (18) shall remain eligible for Medicaid benefits until the end of a period of twelve (12) months following an eligibility determination, or until such time that the individual exceeds age eighteen (18).

(21) Women of childbearing age whose family income does not exceed one hundred eighty-five percent (185%) of the federal poverty level. The eligibility of individuals covered under this paragraph (21) shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid, and those individuals determined eligible shall only receive family planning services covered under Section 43-13-117(13) and not any other services covered under Medicaid. However, any individual eligible under this paragraph (21) who is also eligible under any other provision of this section shall receive the benefits to which he or she is entitled under that other provision, in addition to family planning services covered under Section 43-13-117(13).

The Division of Medicaid shall apply to the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services for a federal waiver of the applicable provisions of Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, and any other applicable provisions of federal law as necessary to allow for the implementation of this paragraph (21). The provisions of this paragraph (21) shall be implemented from and after the date that the Division of Medicaid receives the federal waiver.

(22) Persons who are workers with a potentially severe disability, as determined by the division, shall be allowed to purchase Medicaid coverage. The term "worker with a potentially severe disability" means a person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age but under sixty-five (65) years of age, who has a physical or mental impairment that is reasonably expected to cause the person to become blind or disabled as defined under Section 1614(a) of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, if the person does not receive items and services provided under Medicaid.

The eligibility of persons under this paragraph (22) shall be conducted as a demonstration project that is consistent with Section 204 of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, Public Law 106-170, for a certain number of persons as specified by the division. The eligibility of individuals covered under this paragraph (22) shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid.

(23) Children certified by the Mississippi Department of Human Services for whom the state and county departments of human services have custody and financial responsibility who are in foster care on their eighteenth birthday as reported by the Mississippi Department of Human Services shall be certified Medicaid eligible by the Division of Medicaid until their twenty-first birthday.

(24) Individuals who have not attained age sixty-five (65), are not otherwise covered by creditable coverage as defined in the Public Health Services Act, and have been screened for breast and cervical cancer under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program established under Title XV of the Public Health Service Act in accordance with the requirements of that act and who need treatment for breast or cervical cancer. Eligibility of individuals under this paragraph (24) shall be determined by the Division of Medicaid.

 * * *

The division shall redetermine eligibility for all categories of recipients described in each paragraph of this section not less frequently than required by federal law.

SECTION 2. Section 27-69-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

 * * *

27-69-3. When used in this chapter:

(a) "State" means the State of Mississippi as geographically defined, and any and all waters under the jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi.

(b) "State Auditor" means the Auditor of Public Accounts of the State of Mississippi, or his legally appointed deputy, clerk or agent.

(c) "Commissioner" means the Chairman of the State Tax Commission of the State of Mississippi, and his authorized agents and employees.

(d) "Person" means any individual, company, corporation, partnership, association, joint venture, estate, trust, or any other group, or combination acting as a unit, and the plural as well as the singular, unless the intention to give a more limited meaning is disclosed by the context.

(e) "Consumer" means a person who comes into possession of tobacco for the purpose of consuming it, giving it away, or disposing of it in any way by sale, barter or exchange.

(f) "Tobacco" means any cigarettes, cigars, cheroots, stogies, smoking tobacco (including granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other kinds and forms of tobacco, or substitutes therefor, prepared in such manner as to be suitable for smoking in a pipe or cigarette) and including plug and twist chewing tobacco and snuff, when such "tobacco" is manufactured and prepared for sale or personal consumption. All words used herein shall be given the meaning as defined in the regulations of the Treasury Department of the United States of America.

(g) "First sale" means and includes the first sale, or distribution of such tobacco in intrastate commerce, or the first use or consumption of such tobacco within this state.

(h)"Drop shipment" means and includes any delivery of tobacco received by any person within this state, when payment for such tobacco is made to the shipper, or seller by or through a person other than a consignee.

(i) "Distributor" includes every person, except retailers as defined herein, in the state who manufactures or produces tobacco or who ships, transports, or imports into this state, or in any manner acquires or possesses tobacco, and makes a first sale of the same in the state.

(j) "Wholesaler" includes dealers, whose principal business is that of a wholesale dealer or jobber, who is known to the retail trade as such, and whose place of business is located in Mississippi or in a state which affords reciprocity to wholesalers domiciled in Mississippi, who shall sell any taxable tobacco to retail dealers only for the purpose of resale.

(k) "Retailer" includes every person, other than a wholesale dealer, as defined above, whose principal business is that of selling merchandise at retail, who shall sell, or offer for sale tobacco to the consumer. The sale of tobacco in quantity lots by retailers to other retailers, transient vendors, or other persons, shall not be construed as wholesale and shall not qualify such retailer for a permit as a wholesaler.

(l) "Dealer" includes every person, firm, corporation or association of persons, except retailers as defined herein, who manufacture tobacco for distribution, for sale, for use or for consumption in the State of Mississippi.

The word "dealer" is further defined to mean any person, firm, corporation or association of persons, except retailers as defined herein, who imports tobacco from any state or foreign country for distribution, sale, use, or consumption in the State of Mississippi.

(m) "Distributing agent" includes every person in the state who acts as an agent of any person outside the State of Mississippi, by receiving tobacco in interstate commerce, and storing such tobacco in this state subject to distribution, or delivery upon order from said person outside the state to distributors, wholesalers, retailers and dealers.

(n) "Transient vendor" means and includes every person commonly and generally termed "peddlers" and every person acting for himself, or as an agent, employee, salesman, or in any capacity for another, whether as owner, bailee, or other custodian of tobacco, and going from person to person, dealer to dealer, house to house, or place to place, and selling or offering for sale at retail or wholesale tobacco, and every person who does not keep a regular place of business open at all times in regular hours, and every person who goes from person to person, dealer to dealer, house to house, or place to place, and sells or offers for sale tobacco which he carries with him, and who delivers the same at the time of, or immediately after the sale, or without returning to the place of business operations (a permanent place of business within the state) between the taking of the order and the delivery of the tobacco, or

All persons who go from person to person, house to house, place to place, or dealer to dealer, soliciting orders by exhibiting samples, or taking orders, and thereafter making delivery of tobacco, or filling the order without carrying or sending the order to the permanent place of business, and thereafter making delivery of the tobacco pursuant to the terms of the order, or

All persons who go from person to person, place to place, house to house, or dealer to dealer, carrying samples and selling tobacco from samples, and afterwards making delivery without taking and sending an order therefor to a permanent place of business for the filling of the order, and delivery of the tobacco, or the exchange of tobacco having become damaged or unsalable, or the purchase by tobacco of advertising space, or

All persons who have in their possession, or under their control, any tobacco offered, or to be offered for sale or to be delivered, unless the sale or delivery thereof is to be made in pursuance of a bona fide order for the tobacco, to be sold or delivered, said order to be evidenced by an invoice or memorandum.

(o) "Contraband tobacco" means all tobacco found in the possession of any person whose permit to engage in dealing in tobacco has been revoked by the commissioner; and any cigarettes found in the possession of any person to which the proper tax stamps have not been affixed; and any cigarettes improperly stamped when found in the possession of any person; and all other tobacco upon which the excise tax has not been paid.

(p) "Sale" means an exchange for money or goods, giving away, or distributing any tobacco as defined in this chapter.

(q) "Forty-eight (48) hours" and "seventy-two (72) hours" means two (2) calendar days and three (3) calendar days, respectively, excluding Sundays and legal holidays.

(r) "Stamp" or "stamping," or the import of such word, when used in this chapter, means any manner of stamp or impression permitted by the commissioner that carries out the purposes of the chapter in clearly indicating upon the packages of cigarettes taxed the due payment of the tax and clearly identifying, by serial number or otherwise, the permittee who affixed the stamp to the particular package.

(s) "Manufacturer's list price" means the full sales price at which tobacco is sold or offered for sale by a manufacturer to the wholesaler or distributor in this state without any deduction for freight, trade discount, cash discounts, special discounts or deals, cash rebates, or any other reduction from the regular selling price. In the event freight charges on shipments to wholesalers or distributors are not paid by the manufacturer, then such freight charges required to be paid by the wholesalers and distributors shall be added to the amount paid to the manufacturer in order to determine "manufacturer's list price." In the case of a wholesaler or distributor whose place of business is located outside this state, the "manufacturer's list price" for tobacco sold in this state by such wholesaler or distributor shall in all cases be considered to be the same as that of a wholesaler or distributor located within this state.

(t) "Tobacco settlement" means the settlement of the case of Mike Moore, Attorney General ex rel. State of Mississippi v. The American Tobacco Company et al. (Chancery Court of Jackson County, Mississippi, Cause No. 94-1429).

(u) "Nonparticipating manufacturer" means a manufacturer of cigarettes that is not a participating manufacturer in the tobacco settlement.

(v) "Participating manufacturer" means a manufacturer of cigarettes that is a participating manufacturer in the tobacco settlement.

SECTION 3. Section 27-69-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-69-5. Every manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, dealer or retailer who desires to become engaged in the sale or use of tobacco upon which a tax is required to be paid shall file with the commissioner an application for a permit to engage in such business. The application for a permit shall be filed on blanks to be furnished by the commissioner for that purpose. The application must be subscribed and sworn to by the person owning the business, or having an ownership interest therein. If the applicant is a corporation, a duly authorized agent shall execute the application. The application shall show the name of such person, and in case of partnership, the name of each partner thereof, the person's post office address, the location of the place of business to which the permit shall apply, and the nature of the business in which engaged, and any other information the commissioner may require. No manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, dealer or retailer shall sell any tobacco until such application has been filed, the prescribed permit fee paid, and the permit obtained. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, said permit shall expire on January 31 of each year. However, a retail permit shall continue in force during the time that the permit holder to whom it is issued continues in the same business at the same location unless such permit is revoked by the commissioner for cause or is revoked pursuant to any provision of the Mississippi Juvenile Tobacco Access Prevention Act in Sections 97-32-1 through 97-32-23.

An application shall be filed, and a permit obtained for each place of business owned or operated by each distributor, wholesaler, dealer or retailer.

Upon receipt of the application and any permit fee hereinafter provided for, the commissioner may issue to every manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, dealer or retailer, for the place of business designated, a nonassignable permit, authorizing the sale or use of tobacco in the state. Said permit shall provide that the same is revocable, and may be forfeited or suspended upon violation of any provision of this chapter, the Mississippi Tobacco Youth Access Prevention Act of 1997 or any rule or regulation adopted by the commissioner. If such permit is revoked or suspended, said manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, dealer or retailer shall not sell any tobacco from such place of business until a new permit is granted, or the suspension of the old permit removed.

A permit cannot be transferred from one person to another, and the permit shall at all times be publicly displayed by the manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, dealer or retailer in his place of business so as to be seen easily by the public. A permit may be refused to any person previously convicted of violations of this chapter.

SECTION 4. Section 27-69-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-69-7. In addition to the excise tax on each person selling, using, consuming, handling or distributing tobacco as hereinafter provided, it is hereby made the duty of the commissioner to collect a privilege tax of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for each permit issued to every manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or dealer doing business directly or indirectly in this state. However, the amount of the privilege tax to be paid for a permit issued for a period of less than twelve (12) months shall be the proportionate amount of the annual privilege tax that the number of months, or part of a month, remaining until the permit expiration date bears to twelve (12) months, but in no case shall the privilege tax be less than Ten Dollars ($10.00).

Foreign manufacturers, wholesalers, or distributors shall secure a permit from the commissioner, upon the payment of a fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), and shall agree in an application sworn to and certified, that the excise tax shall be paid on all shipments of taxable tobacco into the State of Mississippi, that the required tax stamps shall be affixed to cigarettes, and that the commissioner, or his authorized agent, shall be permitted to inspect and audit their records of tobacco shipments into the State of Mississippi at any and all reasonable times.

It is further provided that any person who engages in any business for which a permit is required by this chapter, before procuring a permit, or after the permit is cancelled, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and punishable by a fine of not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), nor less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00).

SECTION 5. Section 27-69-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-69-11. Any person engaged in the business of buying, selling, manufacturing or distributing within this state, tobacco as a wholesaler or manufacturer without having secured the required permit from the commissioner shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

SECTION 6. Section 27-69-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-69-13. (1) There is * * * imposed, levied and assessed, to be collected and paid as hereinafter provided in this chapter, an excise tax on each person or dealer in cigarettes, cigars, stogies, snuff, chewing tobacco, and smoking tobacco, or substitutes therefor, upon the sale, use, consumption, handling or distribution in the State of Mississippi, as follows:

(a) On cigarettes, the rate of tax shall be Eighteen-twentieths of One Cent (18/20 of 1) on each cigarette sold with a maximum length of one hundred twenty (120) millimeters; any cigarette in excess of this length shall be taxed as if it were two (2) or more cigarettes. * * * However, if the federal tax rate on cigarettes in effect on June 1, 1985, is reduced, then the rate as provided in this paragraph (a) shall be increased by the amount of the federal tax reduction. The tax increase shall take effect on the first day of the month following the effective date of the reduction in the federal tax rate.

(b) (i) In addition to the excise tax levied by paragraph (a), beginning on the first day of the month following the effective date of House Bill No. 410, 2005 Regular Session, there is levied an excise tax of Five Cents (5) on each cigarette sold with a maximum length of one hundred twenty (120) millimeters; any cigarette in excess of this length shall be taxed as if it were two (2) or more cigarettes.

(ii) On or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month of the beginning date of the excise tax on cigarettes that is levied by subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, and each succeeding month thereafter, the revenue derived from that excise tax shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury to the credit of the Governor's Office-Division of Medicaid as provided in Section 27-69-75.

(c) On cigars, cheroots, stogies, snuff, chewing and smoking tobacco and all other tobacco products, except cigarettes, the rate of tax shall be fifteen percent (15%) of the manufacturer's list price.

(d) (i) In addition to the excise tax levied by paragraph (c), beginning on the first day of the month following the effective date of House Bill No. 410, 2005 Regular Session, there is levied an excise tax of ten percent (10%) of the manufacturer's list price on cigars, cheroots, stogies, snuff, chewing and smoking tobacco and all other tobacco products, except cigarettes.

(ii) On or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month of the beginning date of the excise tax on other tobacco products, except cigarettes, that is levied by subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, and each succeeding month thereafter, the revenue derived from that excise tax shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury to the credit of the Governor's Office-Division of Medicaid as provided in Section 27-69-75.

(2) No stamp evidencing the tax * * * levied on cigarettes by this section shall be of a denomination of less than One Cent (1), and whenever the tax computed at the rates * * * prescribed on cigarettes in this section is a specified amount, plus a fractional part of One Cent (1), the package shall be stamped for the next full cent. However, the additional face value of stamps purchased to comply with taxes imposed by this section after June 1, 1985, shall be subject to a four percent (4%) discount or compensation to dealers for their services rather than the eight percent (8%) discount or compensation allowed by Section 27-69-31.

(3) Every wholesaler shall purchase stamps as provided in this chapter, and affix the same to all packages of cigarettes handled by him as * * * provided in this section.

(4) The * * * tax levied by this chapter is levied upon the sale, use, gift, possession, or consumption of tobacco within the State of Mississippi, and the impact of the tax levied by this chapter is hereby declared to be on the vendee, user, consumer, or possessor of tobacco in this state. When the tax is paid by any other person, such payment shall be considered as an advance payment and shall thereafter be added to the price of the tobacco and recovered from the ultimate consumer or user.

(5) (a) In addition to the tax imposed under this section, beginning on the first day of the month following the effective date of House Bill No. 410, 2005 Regular Session, there is imposed an equity assessment in the amount of Two Cents (2) per cigarette on all cigarettes subject to the tax imposed under this section. The assessment shall be increased annually beginning January 1, 2006, by the amount of three percent (3%) or the increase in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is greater. Such equity assessment is imposed on the manufacturer.

(b) A wholesaler shall provide a manufacturer a report by the tenth day of each month setting forth the number of cigarettes on which stamps were affixed by the wholesaler during the preceding month and identifying such cigarettes by manufacturer, brand and style.

(c) A manufacturer shall remit the equity assessment to the state by the twentieth day of each month for cigarettes on which stamps were affixed during preceding month.

(d) A participating manufacturer shall be allowed a credit against the equity assessment for the amount of the annual tobacco settlement installment payments made to the state pursuant to the tobacco settlement by such manufacturer for the preceding year.

SECTION 7. Section 27-69-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-69-41. If any person subject to the provisions of this chapter, or any rules or regulations promulgated by the commissioner under authority hereof, shall be found to have failed to affix the stamps required, or to have the same affixed as herein provided, or to pay any tax due hereunder, or to have violated any of the provisions of this chapter, or rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner in the administration of this chapter, there shall be collected from such person, in addition to the tax that may be due, a penalty of fifty percent (50%) of the tax due; and the commissioner, or his duly authorized representative, may make immediate demand upon such person for the payment of all such taxes and penalties. Provided, that the commissioner, for good reason shown, may remit all or any part of the penalties imposed, but the taxpayer must pay all taxes due and interest thereon, at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum. The keeping of any unstamped cigarettes or untaxed tobacco at a place of business where such articles are sold, shall be prima facie evidence of intent to violate the provisions of this chapter.

If a manufacturer does not pay the equity assessment imposed under Section 27-69-13(5), the manufacturer may be assessed a penalty of ten percent (10%) of the amount of the equity assessment due or the manufacturer's products may be barred from sale or consumption, or both, in this state. If a wholesaler does not provide a manufacturer with the information required under Section 27-69-13(5), the commissioner may suspend sales of tobacco stamps to the wholesaler.

All administrative provisions of the Mississippi Sales Tax Law, including those which fix damages, penalties and interest for nonpayment of taxes and for noncompliance with the provisions of said chapter, and all other requirements and duties imposed upon taxpayers, shall apply to all persons liable for taxes under the provisions of this chapter, and the commissioner shall exercise all the power and authority and perform all the duties with respect to taxpayers under this chapter as are provided in the Sales Tax Law, except where there is conflict, then the provisions of this chapter shall control.

SECTION 8. Section 27-69-75, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-69-75. (1) All taxes levied by this chapter shall be payable to the commissioner in cash, or by personal check, cashier's check, bank exchange, post office money order or express money order, and shall be deposited by the commissioner in the State Treasury on the same day collected. No remittance other than cash shall be a final discharge of liability for the tax * * * assessed and levied under this chapter, unless and until it has been paid in cash to the commissioner.

(2) The revenue derived from the taxes levied in subsections (1)(b) and (1)(d) of Section 27-69-13 and the assessment imposed under subsection (5) of Section 27-69-13 shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury to the credit of the Governor's Office-Division of Medicaid to be expended by the division for the purposes authorized under the Mississippi Medicaid Law.

(3) All tobacco taxes collected, including tobacco license taxes, except for those revenues required to be deposited into the special fund as provided in subsection (2) of this section, shall be deposited into the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund.

(4) Wholesalers who are entitled to purchase stamps at a discount, as provided by Section 27-69-31, may have consigned to them, without advance payment, those stamps, if and when the wholesaler * * * gives to the commissioner a good and sufficient bond executed by some surety company authorized to do business in this state, conditioned to secure the payment for the stamps so consigned. The commissioner shall require payment for those stamps not later than thirty (30) days from the date the stamps were consigned.

SECTION 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.