2007 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Eaton
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 27-65-17 AND 27-65-103, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REDUCE FROM SEVEN PERCENT TO THREE PERCENT THE SALES TAX CHARGED ON RETAIL SALES TO A BONA FIDE FARMER OF ANY ITEM, OR MATERIAL OR OTHER TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY THAT WILL BE USED DIRECTLY FOR AN AGRICULTURAL PURPOSE IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF OPERATING A FARM; TO DEFINE BONA FIDE FARMER AS A PERSON OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY WHO POSSESSES A FARMER'S PERMIT ISSUED BY THE MISSISSIPPI STATE TAX COMMISSION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-65-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-65-17. (1) (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, upon every person engaging or continuing within this state in the business of selling any tangible personal property whatsoever there is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected a tax equal to seven percent (7%) of the gross proceeds of the retail sales of the business.
(b) Retail sales of farm tractors shall be taxed at the rate of one percent (1%) when made to farmers for agricultural purposes.
(c) Retail sales of farm implements sold to farmers and used directly in the production of poultry, ratite, domesticated fish as defined in Section 69-7-501, livestock, livestock products, agricultural crops or ornamental plant crops or used for other agricultural purposes, or any retail sale to a bona fide farmer as defined in Section 27-65-103 of any item, material or other tangible personal property that will be used directly for an agricultural purpose, shall be taxed at the rate of three percent (3%) when used on the farm. The three percent (3%) rate shall alsoapply to all equipment used in logging, pulpwood operations or tree farming which is either:
(i) Self-propelled, or
(ii) Mounted so that it is permanently attached to other equipment which is self-propelled or permanently attached to other equipment drawn by a vehicle which is self-propelled.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, retail sales of aircraft, automobiles, trucks, truck-tractors, semitrailers and manufactured or mobile homes shall be taxed at the rate of three percent (3%).
(e) Sales of manufacturing machinery or manufacturing machine parts when made to a manufacturer or custom processor for plant use only when the machinery and machine parts will be used exclusively and directly within this state in manufacturing a commodity for sale, rental or in processing for a fee shall be taxed at the rate of one and one-half percent (1-1/2%).
(f) Sales of machinery and machine parts when made to a technology intensive enterprise for plant use only when the machinery and machine parts will be used exclusively and directly within this state for industrial purposes, including, but not limited to, manufacturing or research and development activities, shall be taxed at the rate of one and one-half percent (1-1/2%). In order to be considered a technology intensive enterprise for purposes of this paragraph:
(i) The enterprise shall meet minimum criteria established by the Mississippi Development Authority;
(ii) The enterprise shall employ at least ten (10) persons in full-time jobs;
(iii) At least ten percent (10%) of the workforce in the facility operated by the enterprise shall be scientists, engineers or computer specialists;
(iv) The enterprise shall manufacture plastics, chemicals, automobiles, aircraft, computers or electronics; or shall be a research and development facility, a computer design or related facility, or a software publishing facility or other technology intensive facility or enterprise as determined by the Mississippi Development Authority;
(v) The average wage of all workers employed by the enterprise at the facility shall be at least one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the state average annual wage; and
(vi) The enterprise must provide a basic health care plan to all employees at the facility.
(g) Sales of materials for use in track and track structures to a railroad whose rates are fixed by the Interstate Commerce Commission or the Mississippi Public Service Commission shall be taxed at the rate of three percent (3%).
(h) Sales of tangible personal property to electric power associations for use in the ordinary and necessary operation of their generating or distribution systems shall be taxed at the rate of one percent (1%).
(i) Wholesale sales of beer shall be taxed at the rate of seven percent (7%), and the retailer shall file a return and compute the retail tax on retail sales but may take credit for the amount of the tax paid to the wholesaler on said return covering the subsequent sales of same property, provided adequate invoices and records are maintained to substantiate the credit.
(j) Wholesale sales of food and drink for human consumption to full service vending machine operators to be sold through vending machines located apart from and not connected with other taxable businesses shall be taxed at the rate of eight percent (8%).
(k) Sales of equipment used or designed for the purpose of assisting disabled persons, such as wheelchair equipment and lifts, that is mounted or attached to or installed on a private carrier of passengers or light carrier of property, as defined in Section 27-51-101, at the time when the private carrier of passengers or light carrier of property is sold shall be taxed at the same rate as the sale of such vehicles under this section.
(l) Sales of the factory-built components of modular homes, panelized homes and precut homes, and panel constructed homes consisting of structural insulated panels, shall be taxed at the rate of three percent (3%).
(2) From and after January 1, 1995, retail sales of private carriers of passengers and light carriers of property, as defined in Section 27-51-101, shall be taxed an additional two percent (2%).
(3) In lieu of the tax levied in subsection (1) of this section, there is levied on retail sales of truck-tractors and semitrailers used in interstate commerce and registered under the International Registration Plan (IRP) or any similar reciprocity agreement or compact relating to the proportional registration of commercial vehicles entered into as provided for in Section 27-19-143, a tax at the rate of three percent (3%) of the portion of the sale that is attributable to the usage of such truck-tractor or semitrailer in Mississippi. The portion of the retail sale that is attributable to the usage of such truck-tractor or semitrailer in Mississippi is the retail sales price of the truck-tractor or semitrailer multiplied by the percentage of the total miles traveled by the vehicle that are traveled in Mississippi. The tax levied pursuant to this subsection (3) shall be collected by the State Tax Commission from the purchaser of such truck-tractor or semitrailer at the time of registration of such truck-tractor or semitrailer.
(4) A manufacturer selling at retail in this state shall be required to make returns of the gross proceeds of such sales and pay the tax imposed in this section.
(5) Any person exercising any privilege taxable under Section 27-65-15 and selling his natural resource products at wholesale or to exempt persons shall pay the tax levied by said section in lieu of the tax levied by this section.
SECTION 2. Section 27-65-103, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-65-103. (1) The exemptions from the provisions of this chapter which are of an agricultural nature or which are more properly classified as agricultural exemptions than any other exemption classification of this chapter shall be confined to those persons or property exempted by this section or by provisions of the Constitution of the United States or the State of Mississippi. No agricultural exemption as now provided by any other section shall be valid as against the tax herein levied. Any subsequent agricultural exemption from the tax levied hereunder shall be provided by amendment to this section.
(2) No exemption provided in this section shall apply to taxes levied by Section 27-65-15 or 27-65-21, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(3) The tax levied by this chapter shall not apply to the following:
(a) The gross proceeds of sales of lint cotton, seed cotton, baled cotton, whether compressed or not, and cottonseed and soybeans in their original condition. Retail sales of seeds, livestock feed, poultry feed, fish feed and fertilizers. Sales of defoliants, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and baby chicks used in growing agricultural products for market. Bagging and ties for baling cotton, hay baling wire and twine, boxes, bags and cans used in growing or preparing agricultural products for market when possession thereof will pass to the customer at the time of sale of the product contained therein. Sales of ice to commercial fishermen purchased for use in the preservation of seafood or to producers for use in the refrigeration of vegetables for market.
(b) The sales by producers of livestock, poultry, fish or other products of farm, grove or garden when such products are sold in the original state or condition of preparation for sale before such products are subjected to any other process within a class of business or sold by a producer through an established store, as defined in the Privilege Tax Law. Provided, however, that this exemption shall not apply to ornamental plants which bear no fruit of commercial value. All sales by agricultural cooperative associations organized under Article 9 of Chapter 7 of Title 69, or under Chapters 17 or 19 of Title 79, Mississippi Code of 1972, of agricultural products produced by members for market before such products are subjected to any manufacturing process.
(c) The gross proceeds of retail sales of mules, horses and other livestock.
(d) Income from grading, excavating, ditching, dredging or landscaping activities performed for a farmer on a farm for agricultural or soil erosion purposes.
(e) The gross proceeds of sales of all antibiotics, hormones and hormone preparations, drugs, medicines and other medications including serums and vaccines, vitamins, minerals or other nutrients for use in the production and growing of fish, livestock and poultry by whomever sold. Such exemption shall be in addition to the exemption provided in this section for feed for fish, livestock and poultry.
(4) Retail sales to a bona fide farmer of any item, material or other tangible personal property that will be used directly for an agricultural purpose in the ordinary course of operating a farm shall be taxed at the rate of three percent (3%). For all sales tax purposes, a "bona fide farmer" is a person, corporation, limited liability corporation or agricultural cooperative association, or an agent thereof, who possesses a farmer's permit issued by the Mississippi State Tax Commission and who presents the permit to the seller at the time of purchase. The commission shall establish an application process for a farmer's permit to be issued, which shall include a requirement that the applicant submit a copy of Schedule F (Schedule of Farm Income) filed as a part of the applicant's federal tax return for the calendar year before the application is made. The commission may charge a fee of up to Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for the processing of an application for a farmer's permit. Upon a determination that an applicant is a bona fide farmer, the commission shall issue the applicant a numbered farmer's permit.
SECTION 3. Nothing in this act shall affect or defeat any claim, assessment, appeal, suit, right or cause of action for taxes due or accrued under the sales tax laws before the date on which this act becomes effective, whether such claims, assessments, appeals, suits or actions have been begun before the date on which this act becomes effective or are begun thereafter; and the provisions of the sales tax laws are expressly continued in full force, effect and operation for the purpose of the assessment, collection and enrollment of liens for any taxes due or accrued and the execution of any warrant under such laws before the date on which this act becomes effective, and for the imposition of any penalties, forfeitures or claims for failure to comply with such laws.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.