2005 Regular Session
To: Municipalities; County Affairs
By: Senator(s) Flowers
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 27-39-203, 27-39-205 AND 21-33-45, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC BUDGET HEARINGS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL UNITS TO MORE ACCURATELY REFLECT WHETHER TAXES ARE BEING RAISED, LOWERED OR KEPT STATIC; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-39-203, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-39-203. (1) All taxing entities operating under the January 1 through December 31 fiscal year or a July 1 through June 30 fiscal year shall hold a public hearing at which the budget for the following fiscal year will be considered, regardless of whether that budget will be increased or decreased from the current budget or will remain the same as the current budget, and shall notify the county of the date, time and place of the public hearing. The county shall include that information with the tax notice.
(2) Unless the increased revenue in a budget is derived solely from the expansion of a taxing entity's ad valorem tax base, a taxing entity shall not budget an increased amount of revenue derived from the classes of ad valorem property described in Section 112, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, unless it first advertises its intention to do so at the same time that it advertises its intention to fix its budget for the next fiscal year.
(3) (a) For taxing entities operating under an October 1 through September 30 fiscal year, this advertisement may be combined with the advertisement required by Section 27-39-205. For all taxing entities, the advertisement shall meet the size, type, placement and frequency requirements established under Section 27-39-205.
(b) When the advertisement is required, it shall be in the following form:
"NOTICE OF TAX HEARING- (Name of the taxing entity)
The (name of the taxing entity) will hold a public hearing on its proposed budget for fiscal year (insert the year) on (date and time) at (meeting place). At this meeting, a proposed ad valorem tax revenue increase/decrease/stasis in the proposed budget will be considered.
The (name of the taxing entity) is now operating with projected total budget revenue of $_________. (____ percent) or $__________ of such revenue is obtained through ad valorem taxes. For next fiscal year, the proposed budget has total projected revenue of $_________. Of that amount, (____ percent) or $______, is proposed to be financed through a total ad valorem tax levy.
This increase/decrease/stasis in ad valorem tax revenue means that you will pay more/less/same in ad valorem taxes on your home, automobile tag, utilities, business fixtures and equipment and rental real property.
Any citizen of (name of the taxing entity) is invited to attend this public hearing on the proposed ad valorem tax revenue assessment in the budget and will be allowed to speak for a reasonable amount of time and offer tangible evidence before any vote is taken."
SECTION 2. Section 27-39-205, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-39-205. (1) A tax rate in excess of the certified tax rate shall not be levied under Sections 21-33-45, 27-39-307, 27-39-317 and 27-39-320 until a resolution has been approved by the governing body of the taxing entity in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) The taxing entity shall advertise its intent to exceed the certified tax rate in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. A taxing entity collecting taxes in more than one (1) county shall make the advertisement required under this section by publication in each county where the taxing entity collects taxes. The advertisement shall be no less than one-fourth (1/4) page in size and the type used shall be no smaller than eighteen (18) point and surrounded by a one-fourth-inch solid black border. The advertisement shall not be placed in any portion of the newspaper where legal notices and classified advertisements appear. The advertisement shall appear in a newspaper that is published at least five (5) days a week, unless the only newspaper in the county is published less than five (5) days a week. The newspaper selected shall be one of general interest, readership and circulation in all areas of the community. The advertisement shall be published once each week for the two-week period preceding the adoption of the final budget. The advertisement shall provide that the taxing entity will meet on a certain day, date, time and place fixed in the advertisement, which shall be no less than seven (7) days after the day the first advertisement is published. The meeting on the proposed increase may coincide with the hearing on the proposed budget of the taxing entity.
(b) When the advertisement is required it shall be in the following form:
"NOTICE OF TAX HEARING - (Name of the taxing entity)
The (name of the taxing entity) will hold a public hearing on a proposed ad valorem tax revenue increase/decrease/stasis for fiscal year (insert the year) on (date and time) at (meeting place).
The (name of the taxing entity) is now operating with projected total budget revenue of $_________. (____ percent) or $_________, of such revenue is obtained through ad valorem taxes. For next fiscal year, the proposed budget has total projected revenue of $_________. Of that amount, (____ percent) or $_______, is proposed to be financed through a total ad valorem tax levy.
For next fiscal year, the (name of the taxing entity) plans to increase/decrease/keep the same your ad valorem tax millage rate by _____ mills from _____ mills to _____ mills. This increase/decrease/stasis means that you will pay more/less/the same in ad valorem taxes on your home, automobile tag, utilities, business fixtures and equipment and rental real property.
Any citizen of (name of the taxing entity) is invited to attend this public hearing on the proposed ad valorem tax assessment, and will be allowed to speak for a reasonable amount of time and offer tangible evidence before any vote is taken."
(2) After the hearing has been held in accordance with the above procedures, the governing body of the taxing entity may adopt a resolution levying a tax rate on classes of property designated by Section 112, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, in excess of the certified tax rate. If the resolution adopting the tax rate is not adopted on the day of the public hearing, the scheduled date, time and place for consideration and adoption of the resolution shall be announced at the public hearing and the governing body shall advertise the date, time and place of the proposed adoption of the resolution in the same manner as provided under subsection (1).
(3) All hearings shall be open to the public. The governing body of the taxing entity shall permit all interested parties desiring to be heard an opportunity to present oral testimony within reasonable time limits and offer tangible evidence.
(4) Each taxing entity shall notify the county or municipal governing body of the date, time and place of its public hearing. No taxing entity may schedule its hearing at the same time as another overlapping taxing entity in the same county, but all taxing entities in which the power to set tax levies is vested in the same governing authority may consolidate the required hearings into one (1) hearing. The county or municipal governing body shall resolve any conflicts in hearing dates and times after consultation with each affected taxing entity.
SECTION 3. Section 21-33-45, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
21-33-45. The governing authorities of each municipality of this state * * *, either at their regular meeting in September of each year or not later than ten (10) days after the final approval of the assessment rolls, shall levy the municipal ad valorem taxes for the fiscal year next succeeding, and shall, by resolution, fix the tax rate or levy for the municipality and for any other taxing districts of which the municipality may be a part. The rates or levies for the municipality or for any such taxing district shall be expressed in mills or a decimal fraction of a mill, which tax rates, or levies, shall determine the ad valorem taxes to be collected upon each dollar of valuation upon the assessment rolls of the municipality for municipal taxes, and to be collected upon each dollar of valuation as shown upon the assessment rolls of the municipality for each such taxing district, except as to such values as may be exempt, in whole or in part, from certain tax rates or levies. If the rates or levies for the municipality or taxing district are an increase from the previous fiscal year, then the proposed rate or levy increase shall be advertised in accordance with Sections 27-39-203 and 27-39-205. If there is no increase in the budget, the advertisement shall accurately reflect that fact.
In making the levy of taxes, the governing authorities shall specify in such resolution the levy for each purpose as follows:
(a) For general revenue purposes and for general improvements, as authorized by Section 27-39-307.
(b) For school purposes, including all maintenance levies, whether made against the property within such municipality, or within any taxing district embraced in such municipality, as authorized by Section 27-39-307 and Section 37-57-3 et seq.
(c) For municipal bonds and interest thereon, for school bonds and interest thereon, separately for municipal-wide bonds and for the bonds of each school district.
(d) For municipal-wide bonds and interest thereon, other than for school bonds.
(e) For loans, notes or any other obligation, and the interest thereon, if permitted by law.
(f) For special improvement or special benefit levies, as now authorized by law.
(g) For any other purpose for which a levy is lawfully made. If any municipal-wide levy is made for any general or special purpose under the provisions of any law other than Section 27-39-307 each such levy shall be separately stated in the resolution, and the law authorizing same shall be expressly stated therein.
If the governing authorities of any municipality shall not levy the municipal taxes and the district taxes at its regular September meeting, such governing authorities shall levy the same at an adjourned or special meeting not later than ten (10) days after the final approval of the assessment rolls. However, that if such levy be not made on or before September 15 then road and bridge privilege tax license plates may be issued by the tax collector or State Tax Commission, as the case may be, for motor vehicles as defined in the Motor Vehicle Ad Valorem Tax Law of 1958 (Section 27-51-1 et seq.), without collecting or requiring proof of payment of municipal ad valorem taxes until such levy is duly certified to him, and for twenty-four (24) hours thereafter.
In the case of a municipality operating under a special or private charter providing for or authorizing the assessment, levying and collection of ad valorem taxes prior to October in each year, ad valorem taxes for such municipality shall be levied at the time prescribed or authorized by such special or private charter, unless the governing authority of such municipality by resolution adopted and spread of record in its minutes elect to levy ad valorem taxes at the time prescribed hereinbefore in this section. In any event, however, all ad valorem taxes levied by any municipality in this state, shall be levied in the manner required herein regardless of the time when such taxes are levied.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.