MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2005 Regular Session

To: Economic Development and Tourism; Finance

By: Senator(s) Carmichael, Burton

Senate Bill 2824

(As Passed the Senate)

†††† AN ACT TO CREATE THE ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI JOINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECURING THE LOCATION OF MAJOR ECONOMIC IMPACT PROJECTS WITHIN THE AREA ALONG THE BORDER OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA AND THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; TO DEFINE THE TYPES OF PROJECTS THAT FALL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE AUTHORITY; TO CREATE A BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO GOVERN THE AUTHORITY TO BE COMPOSED OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE ALABAMA DEVELOPMENT OFFICE AND THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY; TO PROVIDE FOR THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE AUTHORITY AND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF A PROJECT'S STATE TAX LIABILITY; TO PROVIDE FOR THE FUNDING OF THE PROJECT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.† BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

†††† SECTION 1.Title.† This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Alabama-Mississippi Joint Economic Development Act."

†††† SECTION 2.Findings.† The Legislature hereby finds and declares the following:

††††††††† (a)† There exists in the State of Alabama and in the State of Mississippi a continuing need for gainful employment for the citizens of both states.

††††††††† (b)† There are significant advantages that will be realized from a cooperative approach between the two states with respect to economic development of the area in each state along the border of the State of Alabama and the State of Mississippi.

††††††††† (c)† In order to increase the gainful employment opportunities of the citizens of both states residing in such area, the Alabama-Mississippi Joint Economic Development Authority is hereby created with the purpose of securing the location of major economic impact projects within the area along the border of the State of Alabama and the State of Mississippi.

††††††††† (d)† In order to accomplish this purpose, the authority shall be authorized by this agreement and by operation of other appropriate statutes, to act by cooperative endeavor with the State of Alabama, the State of Mississippi and with agencies and persons with such states to secure the economic development and welfare of the region.

†††† SECTION 3.Definitions.† As used in this act, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

††††††††† (a)† "Act" means the provisions of this act.

††††††††† (b)† "Authority" means the Alabama-Mississippi Joint Economic Development Authority created pursuant to this act.

††††††††† (c)† "Board of Directors" means the board of directors of the authority.

††††††††† (d)† "Designated Geographic Area" means:

††††††††††††† (i)† Those counties in the State of Alabama that share a common border with any county in the State of Mississippi; and

††††††††††††† (ii)† Those counties in the State of Mississippi that share a common border with any county in the State of Alabama.

††††††††† (e)† "Herein", "hereby", "hereunder", "hereof" and other equivalent words refer to this act as an entirety and not solely to the particular section or portion thereof in which any such word is used.

††††††††† (f)† "Project" means:

††††††††††††† (i)† Any industrial, commercial, research and development, warehousing, distribution, transportation, processing, mining, United States government or tourism enterprise together with all real property required for construction, maintenance and operation of the enterprise:

†††††††††††††††††† 1.† With an initial capital investment of not less than Three Hundred Million Dollars ($300,000,000.00) from private or United States government sources together with all buildings, and other supporting land and facilities, structures or improvements of whatever kind required or useful for construction, maintenance and operation of the enterprise; or

†††††††††††††††††† 2.† With an initial capital investment of not less than One Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($150,000,000.00) from private or United States government sources together with all buildings and other supporting land and facilities, structures or improvements of whatever kind required or useful for construction, maintenance and operation of the enterprise and which creates at least one thousand (1,000) net new full-time jobs; or

†††††††††††††††††† 3.† Which creates at least one thousand (1,000) net new full-time jobs which provide an average hourly wage of not less than two hundred percent (200%) of the federal minimum wage in effect on the date the Project is placed in service.†

††††††††† †††† (ii)† Any addition to, or expansion of, any existing enterprise as described in this paragraph if the addition or expansion:

†††††††††††††††††† 1.† Has an initial capital investment of not less than Three Hundred Million Dollars ($300,000,000.00) from private or United States government sources;

†††††††††††††††††† 2.† Has an initial capital investment of not less than One Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($150,000,000.00) from private or United States government sources together with all buildings and other supporting land and facilities, structures or improvements of whatever kind required or useful for construction, maintenance and operation of the enterprise and which creates at least one thousand (1,000) net new full-time jobs; or

†††††††††††††††††† 3.† Creates at least one thousand (1,000) net new full-time jobs which provide an average hourly wage of not less than two hundred percent (200%) of the federal minimum wage in effect on the date the project is placed in service.

††††††††††††† (iii)† Any development with an initial capital investment from private sources of not less than Seven Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($750,000,000.00) which will create at least three thousand (3,000) net new full-time jobs satisfying criteria to be established by the Authority.

†††† In addition to meeting the other requirements of this paragraph, in order to fall within the definition of the term "project":

††††††††††††† (i)† The enterprise or development must be located within the Designated Geographic Area; and

††††††††††††† (ii)† Each state must provide funds or in kind contributions equal to at least one-third (1/3) of the total costs of the project to the states.

††††††††† (g)† "Project Agreement" means an agreement, approved by the legislature of the states, setting forth certain obligations, responsibilities, benefits, administrative matters and any other matters with respect to a specific project that are not inconsistent with the terms of this act as the legislatures of the states deem appropriate with respect to a specific project.

††††††††† (h)† "Project Tax Revenues" means:

††††††††††††† (i)† All of the following state and local taxes paid directly to a state or a local government by the project: income taxes, ad valorem taxes on real and personal property, sales and use taxes, franchise taxes, license taxes, excise taxes and severance taxes; and

††††††††††††† (ii)† All state and local personal income tax and occupational tax withholdings from employees of the project attributable to employment at the project.

††††††††† (i)† "States" means the State of Alabama and the State of Mississippi collectively.

†††† SECTION 4.Creation; governance; authority to act.† (1)† The Alabama-Mississippi Joint Economic Development Authority is hereby created by the states for the performance of essential public functions.

†††† (2)† The authority shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of the Director of the Alabama Development Office and the Executive Director of the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority.† The Board of Directors shall administer, manage and direct the affairs and business of the authority.† The board of directors shall act by unanimous consent in exercising the powers now or hereafter granted to the authority and in administering, managing and directing the affairs and business of the authority.† The board of directors may delegate the performance of any administrative functions to such persons or public agencies of either of the states as the board of directors deems appropriate.

†††† (3)† The board of directors may enter into an administrative agreement setting forth any provision regarding:

††††††††† (a)† The management and operation of the authority;

††††††††† (b)† The terms, conditions or manner in which the authority will engage in projects; and

††††††††† (c)† Any other matters not inconsistent with the terms or purposes of this act.

†††† (4)† The Board of Directors may negotiate and enter into a project agreement setting forth any provisions relating to a specific project that are not inconsistent with the terms or purposes of this act.†

†††† (5)† The authority, through its board of directors, is hereby authorized, designated and empowered to:

††††††††† (a)† Promulgate rules and regulations consistent with this act concerning such matters as the authority deems appropriate;

††††††††† (b)† Take all steps necessary or appropriate to effect the siting, development and operation of a project within the designated geographic area;

††††††††† (c)† Act on behalf of the states in submitting site and incentive proposals for any project.† Notwithstanding anything in this act to the contrary, no proposal shall be binding upon the authority or the states until after the project agreement, and the incentives contained in the agreement with respect to the Project, have been approved by the legislatures of both states as required under the laws of each state;

††††††††† (d)† To employ or contract with architects, engineers, attorneys, accountants, construction and financial experts and such other advisors, consultants and agents as may be necessary in its judgment and to fix and pay their compensation;

††††††††† (e)† To make applications and enter into any contracts for financial assistance as may be appropriate under applicable federal law or the laws of either state;

††††††††† (f)† To apply for, accept and utilize grants, gifts and other funds or aid from any source for any purpose contemplated by this act, and to comply, subject to the provisions of this act, with the terms and conditions thereof; and†

††††††††† (g)† To acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or in other manner, or obtain options to acquire and to own, maintain, use, operate and convey any and all property of any kind, public or private, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest or estate therein, within the designated geographic area necessary for the project or any facility related and necessary to the Project.

†††† (6)† If an area within the designated geographic area is selected as the preferred project site for a project and the legislatures of the states have approved a project agreement with respect to the project, the authority is hereby designated and empowered to coordinate fully the development of the project with private business, the United States government and public agencies and/or political subdivisions of both states.

†††† (7)† The authority shall create a separate account for money that it receives from sources other than the states and shall account for such monies separate from appropriations and other monies from the States.

†††† SECTION 5.Taxation; incentives; allocation; distribution.† (1)† A project shall be subject to taxation in the state in which the project is located.† A project shall be subject to all state and local taxes in the state in which the project is located that are levied on other enterprises of similar nature in the state.

†††† (2)† For purposes of determining an entityís state tax liability with respect to a project, an entity engaging in a project located in the designated geographic area may request tax incentives offered by the state in which the project is located. Tax incentives and modifications to implement more favorable incentives may be offered to the project at the discretion of the authority.† No such incentives are final without approval of the legislatures of the states.

†††† SECTION 6.Cross-border activities.† All public agencies and political subdivisions of the States of Alabama and Mississippi are hereby authorized to perform for the benefit of any project any functions, activities or services that such agencies are otherwise permitted by law to perform regardless of where the project is located.

†††† SECTION 7.Funding.† The authority shall submit annually to the executive head or designated officer or officers of each state a budget of its estimated expenditures for such year as may be required by the laws of that state for presentation to the legislature thereof.† The total amount of the authority ís budget of estimated expenditures shall be apportioned among the states in equal shares.† Subject to appropriation by the legislatures of the states, the authority shall be provided with such funds by each of the states as are necessary to enable the authority to fulfill the powers and duties imposed upon and entrusted to it.

†††† SECTION 8.Severability; construction.† The provisions of this act shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this act is declared unconstitutional or the application thereof to any agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the constitutionality of the remainder of this act and the applicability thereof to any other agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.† It is the legislative intent that the provisions of the act be reasonably and liberally construed so as to accomplish the purposes set forth in Section 2 of this act.

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