2005 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation; Ways and Means
By: Representative Young, Robinson (84th), Snowden
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF THE CITY OF MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI, TO LEVY A TAX UPON THE GROSS SALES OF RESTAURANTS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED TWO PERCENT OF GROSS SALES; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH TAX SHALL BE COLLECTED BY THE STATE TAX COMMISSION AND PAID TO THE CITY OF MERIDIAN; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS RECEIVED BY THE CITY OF MERIDIAN SHALL BE USED TO PAY THE DEBT SERVICE ON BONDS ISSUED BY THE CITY OF MERIDIAN AND THAT ANY PROCEEDS IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT NECESSARY TO PAY THE DEBT SERVICE MAY BE USED FOR THE SAME PURPOSES AS BONDS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ACT; TO AUTHORIZE THE CITY OF MERIDIAN TO ISSUE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING THE PLANNED CONSTRUCTION, EQUIPPING AND FURNISHING OF THE SOUTHERN ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTER, INCLUDING A CONFERENCE CENTER, A PERFORMING ARTS THEATER, AN AMPHITHEATER AND AN ARTISTS' VILLAGE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this act, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context in which they are used:
(a) "City" means the City of Meridian, Mississippi.
(b) "Governing authorities" means the governing authorities of the City of Meridian, Mississippi.
(c) "Restaurant" means all places within the corporate limits of the city where prepared food and beverages are sold for consumption, whether such food is consumed on the premises or not. The term "restaurant" does not include any school, hospital, convalescent or nursing home, or any restaurant-like facility operated by or in connection with a school, hospital, medical clinic, convalescent or nursing home providing food for students, patients, visitors or their families.
SECTION 2. (1) Before the issuance of bonds provided for in this act, the governing authorities shall levy, assess and collect from every person, firm, corporation or other entity operating a restaurant in the city, a tax, in addition to all other taxes or assessments now imposed, which shall be equal to two percent (2%) of the gross proceeds of the sales of prepared food and beverages.
(2) Persons, firms, corporations or other entities liable for the tax imposed by subsection (1) of this section shall add the amount of such tax to the sales price of the food and beverages set out in subsection (1) of this section and shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due from the person purchasing the food or beverages at the time of payment therefor.
SECTION 3. Before any tax authorized under Section 2 of this act may be imposed, the governing authorities shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention to levy the taxes, setting forth the amount of such tax to be imposed, the date upon which such taxes shall become effective, calling for a referendum to be held on the question and establishing the date of the referendum. Notice of such intention shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in the city, with the first publication of such notice to be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date fixed in the resolution for the referendum and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days before the referendum. At the referendum, all qualified electors of the city may vote, and the ballots used in such referendum shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purposes of the proposed tax levy and the words "FOR THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE TAX TO FUND CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF THE SOUTHERN ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTER" and, on a separate line, "AGAINST THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE TAX TO FUND CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF THE SOUTHERN ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTER," and the voters shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check (√) opposite their choice on the proposition. When the results of any such referendum shall have been canvassed by the election commission and certified, the city may levy the taxes beginning on the first day of the second month following the referendum, only if at least sixty percent (60%) of the qualified electors who vote in the election vote in favor of the tax. No public funds shall be used for the purpose of promoting the adoption of the referendum and no employee of the city, other than elected public officials, may promote the referendum during business hours.
SECTION 4. (1) On or before the fifteenth day of the month before the imposition of the tax authorized in Section 2 of this act, the governing authorities shall give written notification to the Chairman of the State Tax Commission of the date on which the tax will become effective.
(2) The tax shall be collected by and paid to the State Tax Commission in the same manner as state sales taxes are computed, collected and paid, and full enforcement provisions and all other provisions of Chapter 65, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall apply as necessary to the implementation of this act.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in Section 27-3-58, the revenue from the special tax collected under the provisions of this section during the preceding month shall be paid to the city on or before the fifteenth day of each month.
(4) The proceeds of such tax shall be placed into a special fund apart from the city general fund and any other funds of the city, and shall be expended by the city strictly in accordance with the following priority:
(a) Firstly, for the scheduled debt service on the bonds issued under this act;
(b) Secondly, to the extent that the proceeds of the tax exceed the amount necessary to satisfy the debt service required under paragraph (a) of this subsection, for expenses related to the same purposes for which proceeds from the issuance of bonds under this act may be expended under Section 5 of this act.
(5) The tax imposed by Section 2 of this act shall stand repealed on the first day of the month immediately succeeding the date the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the bonds issued under this act have been paid in full.
(6) Any money remaining in the special fund after the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the bonds issued under this act have been paid in full shall be transferred to the city, placed into a special fund apart from the city general fund, and may be expended, upon approval of the governing authorities, only for the operation, support, repair, maintenance and improvement of the Southern Arts and Entertainment Center and related facilities and structures as described in Section 39-25-1, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 5. The proceeds of the bonds issued under this act shall be used alone, or in combination with other funds from whatever source, public or private, to defray the planned construction, equipping and furnishing of the Southern Arts and Entertainment Center, including a conference center, a performing arts theater, an amphitheater and an artists' village, as authorized under Section 39-25-1.
SECTION 6. The governing authorities are authorized and empowered, in their discretion, to issue general obligation bonds of the city in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed Twenty Million Dollars ($20,000,000.00) for the purposes provided for in Section 5 of this act. As used in this act, "bonds" shall be deemed to mean and include bonds, refunding bonds, notes or certificates of participation. The full faith and credit of the city shall be irrevocably pledged for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds.
SECTION 7. Bonds authorized by this act, other than refunding bonds, shall be issued under Sections 21-33-301 through 21-33-329, or as may be otherwise provided by law; however, no election shall be held under the provisions of Sections 21-33-307 through 21-33-311, upon the question of the issuance of bonds authorized under this act.
SECTION 8. Bonds issued under this act shall not be deemed indebtedness within the meaning of Section 21-33-303. Bonds issued under this act shall be submitted by validation under Sections 31-13-1 through 31-13-11.
SECTION 9. Bonds issued under this act may be refunded at any time and from time to time by the city under an authorizing resolution of the governing authorities, directing issuance of refunding bonds in accordance with the "Mississippi Bond Refinancing Act" (Section 31-27-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972).
SECTION 10. This act shall be liberally construed for the purposes herein set out, the power hereby granted shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the issuance of bonds under this act and shall be construed as additional, cumulative and supplemental to any power granted to the city by any general or local and private act of the Legislature.
SECTION 11. The governing authorities of the City of Meridian shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.