MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2005 Regular Session

To: Ways and Means

By: Representative Watson

House Bill 1719

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-65-201, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE SALES TAX AND USE TAX IMPOSED ON CASUAL SALES OF MOTOR VEHICLES; TO PROVIDE THAT IN ORDER FOR TRANSFERS OF MOTOR VEHICLES BETWEEN CERTAIN FAMILY MEMBERS TO BE EXEMPT FROM SALES TAX, THE VEHICLE MUST BE CURRENTLY REGISTERED OR LICENSED IN THE TRANSFEROR'S NAME; TO AMEND SECTIONS 27-7-901 AND 27-7-903, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE TAX LEVIED ON AMOUNTS THAT ARE PAID TO PATRONS BY GAMING ESTABLISHMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 75-76-179, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE INCOME TAX CREDIT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING CONTROL ACT FOR GROSS REVENUE FEES PAID BY A LICENSEE UNDER SUCH ACT SHALL BE ALLOWED AS A CREDIT ONLY AGAINST A LICENSEE'S INCOME TAX LIABILITY RESULTING FROM GAMING ACTIVITIES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 27-55-13 AND 27-55-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ELIMINATE THE EVAPORATION, SHRINKAGE AND OTHER NORMAL LOSS DEDUCTION ALLOWED DISTRIBUTORS OF GASOLINE ON THEIR GASOLINE EXCISE TAX LIABILITY; TO AMEND SECTION 55-3-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS SHALL CHARGE AN ADDITIONAL ADMISSION FEE UPON EACH VEHICLE ENTERING ANY PARK OPERATED BY THE DEPARTMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 59-21-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE TERM OF THE BOAT REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE TO THREE YEARS; TO AMEND SECTION 59-21-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE FEES; TO REVISE THE LENGTH OF BOAT CATEGORIES FOR FEES; TO AMEND SECTION 59-21-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE INCORRECT REFERENCE TO UNDOCUMENTED VESSEL; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

SECTION 1. Section 27-65-201, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-65-201. (1) For the purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term "motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle required to be registered or licensed by the county tax collectors pursuant to Section 27-19-43, Mississippi Code of 1972.

(2) Upon every person, firm or corporation purchasing other than at wholesale within this state any motor vehicle required to be registered or licensed with the tax collector of any county in this state from any person, firm or corporation which is not a licensed dealer engaged in selling motor vehicles, there shall be levied and collected a sales tax at the rate of five percent (5%) of the true value of the motor vehicle as calculated by using the most current official motor vehicle assessment schedule supplied by the State Tax Commission.

(3) Upon every person, firm or corporation purchasing other than at wholesale outside the state any motor vehicle required to be registered or licensed with the tax collector of any county in this state from any person, firm or corporation which is not a licensed dealer engaged in selling motor vehicles, for use, storage or other consumption within this state there is levied a use tax at the rate of five percent (5%) of the true value of the motor vehicle as calculated by using the most current official motor vehicle assessment schedule supplied by the State Tax Commission.

(4) Where any motor vehicle is taken in trade as a credit or part payment on the sale of a motor vehicle taxable under this section, the tax levied by this section shall be paid on the net difference, that is, the true value of the motor vehicle sold less the credit for the motor vehicle taken in trade.

(5) The tax levied by this section shall be collected by the tax collector at the time of, and as a prerequisite to, the registration of or licensing of any such motor vehicle. The tax collector shall give to the person registering the vehicle a receipt in a form prescribed and furnished by the State Tax Commission for the amount of tax collected.

(6) County tax collectors shall be liable for the tax they are required to collect, and taxes which are in fact collected, under this section and failure to properly collect or maintain proper records shall not relieve them of liability for payment to the State Tax Commission. Deficiencies in collection or payment shall be assessed against the tax collector, or his successor, in the same manner and subject to the same penalties and provisions for appeal as are deficiencies assessed against taxpayers under Chapter 65, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.

Each tax collector of the several counties shall, on or before the twentieth day of each month, file a report with and pay to the State Tax Commission all funds collected under the provisions of this section, less a commission of three percent (3%) which shall be retained by the tax collector as a commission for collecting such tax, and such commission shall be deposited in the county general fund. The report required to be filed shall cover all collections made during the calendar month next preceding the date on which the report is due and filed. All funds remitted to the State Tax Commission shall be deposited to the credit of the State General Fund.

Any error in the report and remittance to the State Tax Commission may be adjusted on a subsequent report. If the error was in the collection by the tax collector, it shall be adjusted through the tax collector with the taxpayer before credit is allowed by the State Tax Commission.

All information relating to the collection of this tax by tax collectors and such records as the State Tax Commission may require shall be preserved in the tax collector's office for a period of three (3) years for audit by the State Tax Commission.

(7) The tax levied by this section shall not apply to the following:

(a) Transfers of legal ownership of motor vehicles currently registered or licensed in the transferor's name between husband and wife, parent and child, or grandparents and grandchildren, unless the transferor is a licensed dealer of motor vehicles and the transfer of the motor vehicle is made in the regular course of business.

(b) Transfers of legal ownership of motor vehicles pursuant to a will or pursuant to any law providing for the distribution of the property of one dying intestate.

(c) Transfers of legal ownership of motor vehicles ten (10) or more years after the date of the manufacture of such

vehicle.

SECTION 2. Section 27-7-901, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-7-901. (1) There is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected a tax of five percent (5%) upon amounts that are paid or credited by gaming establishments licensed under the provisions of the Mississippi Gaming Control Act to their patrons. The tax shall be collected by licensed gaming establishments and remitted to the State Tax Commission in the manner provided for by regulations promulgated by the Chairman of the State Tax Commission.

(2) As used in this section, "amounts that are paid or credited" means amounts or credits that are subject to the withholding or reporting requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.

(3) No credit shall be allowed under the Income Tax Law of 1952 for the tax collected by licensed gaming establishments pursuant to this section.

SECTION 3. Section 27-7-903, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-7-903. (1) There is hereby levied and assessed upon patrons of gaming establishments located in this state that are not licensed under the provisions of the Mississippi Gaming Control Act, a tax of five percent (5%) of the amounts that are paid or credited to such patrons by the gaming establishment, which tax is the same in kind and rate as has heretofore been imposed pursuant to Section 27-7-901 upon the patrons of gaming establishments which are licensed under the Mississippi Gaming Control Act. The legal incidence and duty to pay such taxes shall fall upon the patron. The assessment of such tax is subject to any exemptions as may exist under federal or state law. The State Tax Commission may enter into tax collection agreements regarding this tax.

(2) As used in this section, "amounts that are paid or credited" means amounts or credits that are subject to the withholding or reporting requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.

(3) No credit shall be allowed under the Income Tax Law of 1952 for the tax collected by gaming establishments pursuant to this section.

SECTION 4. Section 75-76-179, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

75-76-179. License fees paid under Section 75-76-177 in any taxable year shall be allowed as credit against the income tax liability, resulting only from gaming activities authorized under this chapter, of the licensee for that taxable year. For the purposes of the credit authorized under this section, gaming activities do not include other activities such as hotels, motels, restaurants, retail shops, golf courses and entertainment venues.

SECTION 5. Section 27-55-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-55-13. For the purpose of determining the amount of his liability for the tax imposed by this article, each bonded distributor of gasoline shall, not later than the twentieth day of the month next following the month in which this article becomes effective, and not later than the twentieth day of each month thereafter, file with the commission a monthly report which shall include a statement of the number of gallons of gasoline or blend stock received by such distributor within this state during the preceding calendar month, and such other information as may be reasonably necessary for the proper administration of this article.

At the time of filing each monthly report with the commission, a distributor may take a credit for the number of gallons of gasoline that he purchased during the preceding calendar month from a distributor who pays the excise tax imposed by this article on such gasoline.

At the time of filing each monthly report with the commission, each distributor of gasoline shall pay to the commission the full amount of the gasoline tax due from such distributor for the preceding calendar month * * *.

Reports and payments sent to the commission by mail must be postmarked by the due date in order to be considered timely filed, except when the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, in which case such reports and payments must be postmarked by the first working day following the due date in order to be considered timely filed.

The monthly report of the distributor of gasoline shall be prepared and filed with the commission on forms prescribed by the commission, or the distributor of gasoline may, with the approval of the commission, furnish the required information on machine-prepared schedules. Such monthly reports or schedules shall be signed by the distributor or his duly authorized agent and shall contain a declaration that the statements contained therein are true and correct and are made under the penalty of perjury.

SECTION 6. Section 27-55-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-55-19. There shall not be included in the measure of the tax levied hereunder any gasoline:

(a) Sold or delivered by a bonded distributor of gasoline to a second bonded distributor of gasoline within this state, but nothing in this exclusion shall exempt the second bonded distributor of gasoline from paying the tax, unless the second bonded distributor of gasoline sells or delivers said gasoline to a third bonded distributor of gasoline in which event the third bonded distributor of gasoline shall be liable for the tax.

(b) Sold to the United States government for use of the Armed Forces only, and delivered in quantities of not less than four thousand (4,000) gallons. Any exemption provided in this paragraph (b) may be deducted without the prior approval of the commission, provided that satisfactory proof of such exemption shall be furnished to the commission. However, such exemption may be disallowed by the commission if the distributor fails to furnish satisfactory proof of such exemption to the commission.

(c) Exported to a destination beyond the borders of this state by a bonded distributor of gasoline when the tax on such gasoline has been paid or on which the tax liability imposed by this article has accrued against such bonded distributor. Any exemption provided in this paragraph (c) may be deducted without the prior approval of the commission, provided that satisfactory proof of such exemption shall be furnished to the commission; however, such exemption may be disallowed by the commission if the distributor fails to furnish satisfactory proof of such exemption to the commission within ninety (90) days from the sale or delivery of the gasoline.

(d) Exported by any person to a destination beyond the borders of this state in quantities of not less than three thousand (3,000) gallons by ship, vessel, barge, railroad tank car, or pipeline, or by tank truck if such tank truck is operated by a common or contract carrier.

(e) Imported by, or sold to, any refiner or processor in this state for the purpose of being refined or further processed.

(f) Sold to any manufacturer for blending or compounding to the end that it becomes a component part of any manufactured product, or where used as a processing agent in the treatment of raw material in manufacturing a product which does not fall within the meaning of the term "gasoline" as defined in this article.

(g) Sold or delivered to be used for test purposes at any regularly established testing laboratory in this state.

Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) above, evidence of exempt transactions provided in this section and subsections thereof, satisfactory to the commission, shall be submitted by the distributor desiring an allowance of said exemptions to the commission with the payment of the excise tax on the gasoline on which the exemption is claimed. If the commission decides that the distributor is entitled to the exemption and allowance claimed, it shall notify said distributor in writing of such allowance. The distributor shall then be allowed to deduct from the payments made in his next monthly report, after said allowance, the amount of tax which he paid on this exempted gasoline which amount shall be arrived at by multiplying the amount of exempted gasoline * * * by the amount of excise tax per gallon. In cases where the amount of such tax cannot be absorbed on the estimated tax liability of the person making such payments during the next six (6) months, the amount shall be refunded to the taxpayer. Such amount shall be certified to the State Auditor of Public Accounts by the commission. The said Auditor is hereby authorized to make such investigation and audit of the claim as he finds necessary. If he finds that the commission is correct in its determination, the Auditor may issue his warrant to the State Treasurer in favor of the taxpayer for the amount of tax erroneously paid, such refunds to be made from current gasoline, or special fuel tax collections.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, in order to claim exemptions provided for under this article, the distributor of gasoline must file claims therefor within three (3) years from the date of sale or delivery; otherwise, claims for such exemptions shall be disallowed.

In case gasoline and special fuel on which the tax has been previously paid are accidentally mixed, the distributor of gasoline or other person owning such mixture may ship the mixture out of the State of Mississippi, or to a Mississippi refinery, and may claim credit for the gasoline and/or special fuel tax on the gasoline and special fuel so mixed. The distributor of gasoline or other person may also ship the mixture to a barge or pipeline storage terminal within the State of Mississippi to be brought up to gasoline specifications, or lowered to special fuel specifications, as the case might be, under the supervision of a representative of the commission. It shall be the duty of the distributor of gasoline or other person to whom the mixed product belongs to notify the commission immediately after knowledge that the mixture has occurred.

In case the distributor of gasoline or other person elects to ship the mixture to a barge or pipeline terminal for storage within this state, the commission shall supervise the unloading of the mixture.

In order to perfect a claim for credit for the tax on the gasoline and special fuel constituting any such mixture, the distributor of gasoline or other person making the claim shall do so in writing and shall furnish proof satisfactory to the commission that the mixture was either shipped out of this state or to a refinery or other approved place of storage within this state. The commission shall notify the claimant, in writing, whether or not his claim is approved, and, if approved, the claimant may deduct the amount of the claim from his next tax report. No such claim shall be allowed unless filed within three (3) years after the date of such accidental mixture. Bonded distributors of gasoline having no gasoline tax liability with the commission may assign such tax credit to a bonded distributor of gasoline having such tax liability.

No tax liability shall accrue against the operator of a refinery when shipments of gasoline are made from such refinery, either by common carrier or by tank trucks owned and operated by the operator of said refinery, to a tax-exempt account within this state or to another refinery within this state.

Provided, however, that when gasoline is withdrawn from the storage tank of a refiner or processor on which the tax is paid on such gasoline and it or any part thereof cannot be delivered to a purchaser, said refiner or processor may deduct the tax on all or that portion of such gasoline not delivered to a purchaser from its next gasoline distributor's tax report; provided that such refiner or processor submits with such tax report: (1) a written report setting forth the reasons why such delivery could not be made, and (2) proof or evidence satisfactory to the commission that the tax in question had theretofore been paid to the commission, and (3) proof or evidence satisfactory to the commission that the nondelivered gasoline was actually returned to the refinery or processor from which it was taken for the purpose of delivering it to a purchaser; and provided further, that immediately upon ascertainment by the refiner or processor that said gasoline cannot be delivered, he or it shall immediately notify the commission of this fact and before moving his or its truck or other means of transporting said gasoline from the intended point of delivery; and should the commission desire to inspect said truck, or other means of conveyance, such refiner or processor shall arrange for such inspection at the point or at such other point that may be designated by the commission.

The United States government, the State of Mississippi, counties, municipalities, school districts and all other political subdivisions of the state shall be exempt from Five and Four-tenths Cents (5.4) of the portion of the gasoline excise tax rate which exceeds Nine Cents (9) per gallon. Any exemption provided in this paragraph may be deducted without the prior approval of the commission.

SECTION 7. Section 55-3-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

55-3-33. (1) The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall have the power and authority, and it shall be its duty to:

(a) Take charge and have full jurisdiction and control over all state parks, which parks shall be operated for the purpose of providing outdoor recreational activities and enjoyment for the citizens of the State of Mississippi and for the purpose of attracting visitors to the state.

(b) Set up a uniform accounting procedure for the state parks and prescribe the manner in which books, records and accounts shall be kept, which procedure shall account for all moneys taken in and expended by the various parks and shall provide for periodic audits of such books.

(c) Accept gifts, bequests of money or other property, real or personal, to be used for the purpose of advancing the recreation and conservation interests in state parks. The department is authorized, subject to approval by the State Legislature, to purchase property, real or personal, to be used for state park purposes.

(d) Contract with the State Transportation Commission, any municipality or board of supervisors of the state for locating, constructing and maintaining roads and other improvements in state parks and for payment of a part of the costs thereof; however, no county or municipality more than twenty-five (25) miles distant from a state park may contract for, or do, or pay for any such work for a state park other than the International Gardens of Mississippi. Any county or municipality authorized to assist financially under the provisions of Sections 55-3-31 through 55-3-51 is authorized, in the discretion of its respective governing authority, to set aside, appropriate and expend moneys from the General Fund for the purpose of defraying such expense after a mandatory election is held on the question within the county or municipality.

(e) Designate employees as peace officers with power to make arrests for infraction of the rules and regulations of the department. Such officers are authorized to carry weapons and to enforce the laws of the State of Mississippi within the confines of a state park.

(f) Enforce and delegate the responsibility to enforce all reasonable rules and regulations governing the occupancy and use of lands and waters in state parks under its jurisdiction, supply recreational and conservation facilities and charge fees for the use of same; review all rates and charges for facilities and accommodations furnished at the various state parks annually, making such charges as are justified; and establish fees for entrance to state parks.

Each park shall retain from revenues generated therein, a sum sufficient to pay necessary expenses of operation, but in no event to be less than seventy-five percent (75%) of such revenues.

(2) The department shall have the authority to lease to any entity, sell and convey or otherwise transfer to any county or municipality, or close any state park or historical site within its jurisdiction which received a General Fund subsidy in Fiscal Year 1985 in excess of Two Dollars ($2.00) per visitor to such state park or historical site; * * * however, * * * this authority shall not include the authority to sell, lease or convey any park that was not in operation under the jurisdiction of the department for a full fiscal year prior to fiscal year 1986.

(3) The department may execute agreements with rails-to-trails and recreational districts by which the department will assume responsibility for the operation and maintenance of trails developed under Sections 55-25-1 through 55-25-15.

(4) In addition to any other fees the department charges for admission to the parks, the department shall charge an additional admission fee of One Dollar ($1.00) upon each vehicle, containing not more than four (4) occupants, entering any park operated by the department. For any vehicle containing more than four (4) occupants, the department shall charge a fee of One Dollar ($1.00) for each occupant in excess of four (4) in addition to the One Dollar ($1.00) fee charged under this subsection. The fees collected under this subsection shall be deposited into the State General Fund.

SECTION 8. Section 59-21-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

59-21-19. (1) The certificate of number shall be pocket-size, approximately two and one-half (2-1/2) inches by three and one-half (3-1/2) inches, and water resistant.

(2) Pending the issuance of the original certificate of number, the owner of the vessel may be furnished a temporary certificate of number valid for sixty (60) days from the date of issue. This temporary certificate shall be carried on board when the vessel is being operated.

(3) Each applicant for an original or transfer certificate of number, who is entitled to issuance thereof, shall be issued a certificate for a period of three (3) years from the last day of the month of receipt of the original or transfer certificate. This subsection shall not apply to the certificate of number of a livery boat.

(4) The certificate of number of a livery boat shall be plainly marked "livery boat." The description of the motor and type of fuel will be omitted from the certificate of number in any case where the motor is not rented with the boat. Original and renewal certificates of number of a livery boat shall be valid for a period of three (3) years and shall expire at midnight on June 30 of each triennial.

(5) Numbers and certificates of number awarded boats operated by manufacturers and dealers may be transferred from one boat to another. In lieu of the description, the word "manufacturer" or "dealer," as appropriate, will be plainly marked on each certificate. The manufacturer or dealer may have the number awarded printed upon or attached to a removable sign or signs to be temporarily mounted upon or attached to the boat being demonstrated or tested so long as the display meets the requirements of Section 59-21-9.

SECTION 9. Section 59-21-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

59-21-25. (1) Fees for the award of certificates of number for original, transfer, renewal, livery, dealer and duplicate shall be as follows:

(a) Less than 16 feet........................$ 24.00

(b) 16 feet but less than 26 feet............$ 42.00

(c) 26 feet but less than 40 feet........... $ 74.00

(d) 40 feet but less than 65 feet............$108.00

(e) 65 feet and over.........................$138.00

(f) Dealer number............................$ 60.00

(g) Duplicate................................$ 6.00

(h) Boat inspection fee......................$ 10.00

(2) All fees for numbers and renewal of number shall be payable to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to be deposited by the department in the State Treasury in a special fund to be designated as the Fisheries and Wildlife Fund, which shall be disbursed upon the recommendation of the department as may be appropriated by the Legislature. The State Treasurer shall release to the department such sums as are required to defray all administrative costs of the boat registration fee division of the department and to improve the law enforcement capability of the department on the inland and marine waters of the State of Mississippi and as may be budgeted by the department for the purpose of paying the cost of the administration of this chapter for education on water safety, improvement of water safety and motorboating facilities in the state, and advertising and promoting the waterways of the state. Any and all revenue over and above the actual administrative cost of implementing this act shall be used to fund salaries of additional conservation officers in all eighty-two (82) counties.

SECTION 10. Section 59-21-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

59-21-5. All sailboats and every * * * vessel equipped with propulsion machinery, whether or not such machinery is the principal source of propulsion, using the territorial and navigable waters of the State of Mississippi, and every such vessel owned in the State of Mississippi and using the high seas shall be numbered in accordance with this chapter, except:

(a) Foreign vessels temporarily using the navigable waters of the State of Mississippi;

(b) Public vessels of the United States;

(c) State and municipal vessels used solely for official business and displaying proper visual identification on its hull;

(d) Ships' lifeboats;

(e) Vessels designated by the appropriate federal authority;

(f) Undocumented vessels used exclusively for racing;

(g) Undocumented vessels operating under valid temporary certificates of number;

(h) Vessels already covered by a number in full force and effect awarded pursuant to federal law, or a federally approved numbering system of another state, provided that such vessels shall not have been within this state for a period in excess of sixty (60) days. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the numbering of any undocumented vessel upon the request of the owner.

SECTION 11. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005, except for Section 4, which shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2005.