2005 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Watson
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 51-15-129, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT THAT COUNTIES IN THE PAT HARRISON WATERWAY DISTRICT MAY BE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR OPERATION OF THE DISTRICT; TO AMEND SECTIONS 51-15-131 AND 51-15-133, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; TO REPEAL SECTION 51-15-121, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH REQUIRES THE PAT HARRISON WATERWAY DISTRICT TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS ON ANY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT WHERE THE AMOUNT OF THE CONTRACT EXCEEDS $2,500.00; TO REPEAL SECTION 51-15-137, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH REQUIRES COUNTIES IN THE PAT HARRISON WATERWAY DISTRICT TO PAY TO THE DISTRICT DEPOSITORY A SUM NOT MORE THAN IS NECESSARY TO DEFRAY THE ANNUAL PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST DUE ON OUTSTANDING INDEBTEDNESS OF THE DISTRICT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 51-15-129, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
51-15-129. * * * In each county of the State of Mississippi which is a part of the Pat Harrison Waterway District, so long as funds are found to be necessary for the operation of the district by annual legislative approval of the district budget, the tax collector of such county shall pay into the depository selected by the water district for such purpose an amount to be determined as follows: each county shall pay a pro rata share (not to exceed the avails of one (1) mill through September 30, 1997, and not to exceed the avails of three-fourths (3/4) mill through September 30, 2005, and not to exceed seven-eighths (7/8) mill thereafter) of the annual district budget * * * based on the proportion that the most recent total assessed valuation of the county bears to the most recent aggregate total assessed valuation of all the counties which comprise the district; provided, however, that any county bordering on the Gulf of Mexico which by action of the board of supervisors has created and authorized a port authority and which has been paying into the port authority the avails of a two-mill levy that was established under Section 27-39-3 shall pay an amount not to exceed one-tenth (1/10) mill through September 30, 2005, and not to exceed two-tenths (2/10) mill thereafter, of the total assessed valuation of the county to the Pat Harrison Waterway District pursuant to this section and the assessed valuation of that county shall not be considered when calculating each county's pro rata share of the district's budget. Of the amount paid by counties required to pay to the district an amount not to exceed seven-eighths (7/8) mill, an amount equivalent to the avails of one-eighth (1/8) mill shall be utilized to fund flood control, water management and other similar projects as requested by counties in the district. Of the amount paid by counties required to pay to the district an amount not to exceed two-tenths (2/10) mill, an amount equivalent to the avails of one-tenth (1/10) mill shall be utilized to fund flood control, water management and other similar projects as requested by counties in the district. It shall be the duty of the Pat Harrison Waterway District Board of Directors in the month of July annually upon receipt of the total assessed valuation of the member counties, certified by the Mississippi State Tax Commission, to prepare a request to the board of supervisors of member counties to levy a tax using the formula herein established not to exceed the maximum number of mills authorized by this section.
SECTION 2. Section 51-15-131, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
51-15-131. The board of directors of the district is hereby authorized and empowered to borrow money or issue bonds of the district for the purpose of paying the cost of acquiring, owning, constructing, operating, repairing, and maintaining the projects and works specified herein, including related facilities and including all financing and financial advisory charges, interest during construction, engineering, architectural, legal, and other expenses incidental to and necessary for the foregoing or for the carrying out of any power conferred by this article. The board of directors is authorized and empowered to borrow money and issue bonds at such times and in such amounts as shall be provided for by resolution of the * * * board of directors, not to exceed the limitation prescribed in Section 51-15-135. All such bonds so issued by said district shall be secured solely by a pledge of the net revenues which may now or hereafter come to the district, and by the pledge of the avails of the * * * ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-15-129. Such bonds shall not constitute general obligations of the State of Mississippi or of the counties comprising said district, and such bonds shall not be secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit, and resources of the state or of the counties. Bonds of the district shall not be included in computing any present or future debt limit of any county in the district under any present or future law. "Revenues" as used in this article shall mean all charges, rentals, tolls, rates, gifts, grants, avails of tax levies, monies, and all other funds coming into the possession of the district by virtue of the provisions of this article, except the proceeds from the sale of bonds issued hereunder. "Net revenues" as used in this article shall mean the revenues after payments of costs and expenses of operation and maintenance of the project and related facilities.
SECTION 3. Section 51-15-133, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
51-15-133. All * * * bonds provided for by Section 51-15-131 shall be negotiable instruments within the meaning of the Uniform Commercial Code of this state, shall be lithographed or engraved and printed in two (2) or more colors to prevent counterfeiting, shall be in denominations of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), shall be registered as issued, and shall be numbered in a regular series from one (1) upward. Each * * * bond shall specify on its face the purpose for which it was issued and the total amount authorized to be issued, it shall be payable to bearer, and the interest to accrue thereon shall be evidenced by proper coupons to be attached thereto. The bonds shall not bear a greater overall maximum interest rate to maturity than that allowed in Section 75-17-101. They shall mature annually in such amounts and at such times as shall be provided by the resolution of the board of directors. No bond shall have a longer maturity than forty (40) years, and the first maturity date thereof shall be not more than five (5) years from the date of such bonds. The denomination, form and place or places of payment of the bonds shall be fixed in the resolution of the board of directors of the district. The bonds shall be signed by the president and the secretary of the board with the seal of the district affixed thereto, but the coupons may bear only the facsimile signatures of the president and secretary. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually, except that the first interest coupon attached to any * * * bond may be for a period not exceeding one (1) year.
The bonds may be called in, paid and redeemed in inverse numerical order on any interest date prior to maturity, upon not less than thirty (30) days' notice to the paying agent or agents designated in the bonds, and at such premium as may be designated in such bonds.
All such bonds shall contain in substance a statement to the effect that they are secured solely by a pledge of the net revenues of the district, including the avails of the * * * ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-15-129, and that they do not constitute general obligations of the State of Mississippi or of the counties comprising the district, and are not secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit and resources of the state or of the counties.
All the bonds as provided for herein shall be sold for not less than par value plus accrued interest at public sale in the manner provided by Section 31-19-25. No * * * sale shall be at a price so low as to require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than eleven percent (11%) per annum computed with relation to the absolute maturity of the bonds, in accordance with standard tables of bond values, excluding from such computation the amount of any premium to be paid on redemption of any bonds prior to maturity.
This article shall be full and complete authority for the issuance of the bonds provided for herein, and no restriction or limitation otherwise prescribed by law shall apply herein.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the Registered Bond Act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.
SECTION 4. Section 51-15-121, Mississippi Code of 1972, which requires the Pat Harrison Waterway District to advertise for bids on any construction project where the amount of the contract exceeds $2,500.00, is repealed.
SECTION 5. Section 51-15-137, Mississippi Code of 1972, which requires counties in the Pat Harrison Waterway District to pay to the district depository a sum not more than is necessary to defray the annual principal and interest due on outstanding indebtedness of the district, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.