2007 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Watson
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-55-49, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE AVAILS OF THE AD VALOREM TAX LEVY MADE BY MEMBER COUNTIES OF AN AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE DISTRICT FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE DISTRICT SHALL BE PAID TO THE DISTRICT BY THE TAX COLLECTOR OF EACH COUNTY WHEN THE TAX IS COLLECTED; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 41-55-45, 41-55-47 AND 41-55-51, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDE FOR THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE DISTRICT AND THE LEVY OF AN AD VALOREM TAX BY MEMBER COUNTIES OF THE DISTRICT FOR SUPPORT OF THE DISTRICT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-55-49, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
Except as otherwise provided in this section, the board of supervisors of each county becoming a member of an air ambulance service district shall annually, on or before March 15 of each year beginning with the calendar year in which the district is created, pay or cause to be paid to the depository of the district the total avails from the tax levied on all of the taxable property within the county for the purpose of supporting the district. Such payments shall be made and continued as long as the district remains in existence, there is need therefor and the county remains a part thereof. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the board of supervisors of each county shall annually provide the district the total avails from the tax levied on all taxable property within the county for such purpose; in lieu of a tax levy the board of supervisors may appropriate an equivalent sum from the general fund or other available funds of the county. From and after July 1, 2007, the tax collector of each county shall pay the avails of the tax levy made under Section 41-55-47 to the district when the avails of the tax are collected.
Any municipality or county which is within the territorial limits of the district may advance funds to the district to pay the preliminary expenses of the district, including reports, organization or administration expenses, on such terms of repayment as the governing body of such municipality or county shall determine.
SECTION 2. Section 41-55-45, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
(1) Any air ambulance service district, through its board of directors, is hereby empowered:
(a) To develop, in conjunction with the head of any federal and/or state agency as may be involved, a plan for air ambulance services to persons within or without the district, including communications and other systems incident to the efficient performance of such services.
(b) To acquire and maintain any equipment necessary for the provision of such services.
(c) To set reasonable rates for services and charge for each ambulance call made.
(d) To establish rules and regulations for the use of air ambulance services both within and without the boundaries of the district, including cooperation with other air ambulance district organizations within the state and other emergency service agencies, including ground ambulances.
(e) To employ professional managerial, technical and clerical help as may be needed in providing air ambulance services.
(f) To enter into agreements with ground ambulance facilities.
(g) To borrow, acting by and through the boards of supervisors of the individual counties comprising the district, a sum of money in anticipation of the revenue to be received from taxes levied by such counties for the support of the district; the boards of supervisors in so doing shall follow the requirements of Section 19-9-27.
(h) To make contracts and to execute instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges, and functions conferred upon it by Sections 41-55-31 through 41-55-57.
(i) To make, or cause to be made, surveys and engineering investigations relating to the project, or related projects, for the information of the district, to facilitate the accomplishment of the purposes for which it is created.
(j) To apply for and accept grants from the United States of America, or from any corporation or agency created or designated by the United States of America, and to ratify and accept applications heretofore or hereafter made by voluntary associations to such agencies for grants to construct, maintain or operate any project or projects which hereafter may be undertaken or contemplated by said district.
(k) To do any and all other acts or things necessary, requisite or convenient to the exercising of the powers, rights, privileges or functions conferred upon it by Sections 41-55-31 through 41-55-57 or any act of law.
(2) In addition to the powers set forth in subsection (1), the board of directors of any air ambulance service district is further authorized and empowered to exercise all powers conferred upon the governing boards of emergency medical service districts under the provisions of the Emergency Medical Services Act of 1974 and amendments thereto.
SECTION 3. Section 41-55-47, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
41-55-47. The board of supervisors of any county of the state which becomes a part of an air ambulance service district may levy a county-wide tax for the support and maintenance of the district in an amount not to exceed one (1) mill. Any county which desires to become a part of an air ambulance service district shall levy each year a tax of not less than one-half (1/2) mill on all taxable property of the county for the support and maintenance of the district or such county will not be qualified to become or remain a part of the district, with the exception that should any county desire to appropriate an equivalent sum from the general fund or other available funds of the county, as provided in Section 41-55-49, the levying of the tax shall not be mandatory.
Should the board of directors of any air ambulance service district determine that a tax levy of less than one-half (1/2) mill on the properties comprising the district would be sufficient to maintain and operate the district for the forthcoming fiscal year, such determination shall, by resolution, be spread upon the minutes of the board of directors, which resolution shall recite the amount of the tax levy which would suffice. A certified copy of such resolution shall be delivered to the clerk of the board of supervisors of the counties affected thereby. When so done, the board of supervisors of the counties comprising the district may for the forthcoming year levy a tax of no less than the amount of levy declared to be sufficient in such resolution without losing their qualification as members of the district.
Any tax levy made under the provisions of this section shall be used exclusively for the support and maintenance of the district and shall be made by the boards of supervisors at the time and in the manner that other county tax levies are made. The revenue provided by this section shall not, under any circumstances, be commingled with other county funds.
SECTION 4. Section 41-55-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
The board of directors of an air ambulance service district is hereby authorized and empowered to accept grants, loans, gifts, bequests or funding from any source, public or private, that the granting agency has authority to provide, but in no circumstances shall the acceptance of any such funding obligate any district to repay a sum in excess of the avails of the tax levies set forth in Section 41-55-47.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.