2007 Regular Session
To: Education; Ways and Means
By: Representative Brown
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-39-207, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE REQUIREMENT THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT ADVERTISE ITS INTENTION TO INCREASE AD VALOREM TAXES BEFORE BUDGETING SUCH INCREASE APPLIES ONLY WHEN THE INCREASE EXCEEDS THE NEXT PRECEDING FISCAL YEAR'S AD VALOREM TAX EFFORT IN DOLLARS BY MORE THAN FOUR PERCENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-39-207, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-39-207. (1) Unless the increased revenue in a budget is derived solely from the expansion of a school district's ad valorem tax base, a school district shall not budget an increase in an ad valorem tax effort in dollars for support of the school district which exceeds the next preceding fiscal year's ad valorem tax effort in dollars by more than four percent (4%) 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.
(2) A request for an ad valorem tax effort in dollars for the support of the school district in excess of the certified tax rate pursuant to Sections 37-57-105 and 37-57-107 shall not be levied until an order has been approved by the school board of the school district in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) The school board of the school district shall advertise its intent to exceed the certified tax rate in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. 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 (1/4") 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 school board of the school district 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 school board of the school district.
(b) When the advertisement is required, it shall be in the following form:
"NOTICE OF TAX INCREASE - (Name of the school district)
The (name of the school district) will hold a public hearing on its proposed school district budget for fiscal year (insert the year) on (date and time) at (meeting place). At this meeting, a proposed ad valorem tax effort increase will be considered.
The (name of the school district) 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 the next fiscal year, the (name of the school district) plans to increase your ad valorem tax millage rate by _____ mills from _____ mills to _____ mills. (This portion of the notice shall not be required if the school district does not propose an increase in the ad valorem tax millage rate.)
This increase in ad valorem tax revenue means that you will pay more in ad valorem taxes on your home, automobile tag, utilities, business fixtures and equipment and rental real property.
Any citizen of (name of the school district) is invited to attend this public hearing on the proposed ad valorem tax increase, and will be allowed to speak for a reasonable amount of time and offer tangible evidence before any vote is taken."
(3) The school board of the school district, after the hearing has been held in accordance with the above procedures, may adopt an order requesting the levying of an ad valorem tax effort in dollars in excess of the certified tax rate. If such order is not adopted on the day of the public hearing, the scheduled date, time and place for consideration and adoption of the order shall be announced at the public hearing.
(4) All hearings shall be open to the public. The school board of the school district shall permit all interested parties desiring to be heard an opportunity to present oral testimony within reasonable time limits and offer tangible evidence.
(5) Each school board of a school district shall notify the taxing entity of the date, time and place of its public hearing. No school board of a school district may schedule its hearing at the same time as another overlapping school district in the same county.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.