2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Lott
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 21-17-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE GOVERNING AUTHORITY OF ANY MUNICIPALITY TO DISCHARGE, RELEASE OR FORGIVE MUNICIPAL FINES OR FEES THAT ARE OWED BY INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE DECEASED, CERTAIN IMPRISONED INDIVIDUALS, OR INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE UNDELIVERABLE ADDRESSES FOR AT LEAST 36 MONTHS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 21-17-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
21-17-5. (1) The governing authorities of every municipality of this state shall have the care, management and control of the municipal affairs and its property and finances. In addition to those powers granted by specific provisions of general law, the governing authorities of municipalities shall have the power to adopt any orders, resolutions or ordinances with respect to such municipal affairs, property and finances which are not inconsistent with the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, the Mississippi Code of 1972, or any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi, and shall likewise have the power to alter, modify and repeal such orders, resolutions or ordinances. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, the powers granted to governing authorities of municipalities in this section are complete without the existence of or reference to any specific authority granted in any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi. Unless otherwise provided by law, before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, the aldermen or councilmen of every municipality of this state shall give bond, with sufficient surety, to be payable, conditioned and approved as provided by law, in a penalty equal to five percent (5%) of the sum of all the municipal taxes shown by the assessment rolls and the levies to have been collectible in the municipality for the year immediately preceding the commencement of the term of office of said alderman or councilman; however, such bond shall not exceed the amount of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00). Any taxpayer of the municipality may sue on such bond for the use of the municipality, and such taxpayer shall be liable for all costs in case his suit shall fail. No member of the city council or board of aldermen shall be surety for any other such member.
(2) Unless such actions are specifically authorized by another statute or law of the State of Mississippi, this section shall not authorize the governing authorities of municipalities to (a) levy taxes of any kind or increase the levy of any authorized tax, (b) issue bonds of any kind, (c) change the requirements, practices or procedures for municipal elections or establish any new elective office, (d) change the procedure for annexation of additional territory into the municipal boundaries, (e) change the structure or form of the municipal government, (f) permit the sale, manufacture, distribution, possession or transportation of alcoholic beverages, (g) grant any donation, or (h) without prior legislative approval, regulate, directly or indirectly, the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential property in which the municipality does not have a property interest.
(3) Nothing in this or any other section shall be construed so as to prevent any municipal governing authority from paying any municipal employee not to exceed double his ordinary rate of pay or awarding any municipal employee not to exceed double his ordinary rate of compensatory time for work performed in his capacity as a municipal employee on legal holidays. The governing authority of any municipality, in its discretion, may enact leave policies to ensure that public safety employees receive the same holiday benefits as other municipal employees when the public safety employee's regular day off occurs on a legal holiday.
(4) The governing authority of any municipality, in its discretion, may expend funds to provide for training and education of newly elected or appointed municipal officials before the beginning of the term of office or employment of such officials. Any expenses incurred for such purposes may be allowed only upon prior approval of the governing authority. Any payments or reimbursements made under the provisions of this subsection may be paid only after presentation to and approval by the governing authority of the municipality.
(5) The governing authority of any municipality, in its discretion, may discharge, release or forgive municipal fines and fees that are owed by an individual who is deceased, an individual who is imprisoned continuously for at least five (5) years, an individual who is sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole or an individual who has an undeliverable address for at least thirty-six (36) months with the municipality having made an attempt to contact such person owing the fine or fee a minimum of every ninety (90) days within the thirty-six-month period. In order for a municipality to discharge, release or forgive municipal fines and fees, as authorized in this subsection, the municipal governing authority shall provide proof of its inability to locate and/or contact the individual who owes the fine or fee.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.