2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Dearing
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF NOT MORE THAN TWO DISTINCTIVE LICENSE TAGS FOR MOTORCYCLES OWNED BY FIRE FIGHTERS OR RETIRED FIRE FIGHTERS; TO PROVIDE THE FIRST OF SUCH LICENSE TAG SO ISSUED SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM AD VALOREM TAXES, PRIVILEGE TAXES AND ALL OTHER TAXES AND FEES; TO AUTHORIZED THE UNREMARRIED SURVIVING SPOUSE OF A PERSON WHO WAS ISSUED SUCH A TAG TO RETAIN SUCH TAG; TO AMEND SECTION 27-51-41, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Any owner of a motorcycle who is a fire fighter, including a career fire fighter, a volunteer fire fighter or an industrial fire fighter, employed by or in the service of any municipality, county, fire district, state agency or industry in the state who is a resident of this state, or who is a retired fire fighter who is a resident of this state, is privileged to obtain a distinctive license tag for not more than two (2) motorcycles registered in his name identifying such person as a fire fighter or retired fire fighter. The distinctive license tags so issued shall be of such color and design as may be agreed upon by the Executive Committee of the Mississippi Fire Fighters Association and the State Tax Commission, shall consist of such letters or numbers, or both, as may be necessary to distinguish each license tag and may, in the discretion of the State Tax Commission, display the county name.
(2) Application for the distinctive license tags authorized by this section shall be made to the county tax collector on forms prescribed by the State Tax Commission. The first distinctive tag issued to an applicant under the provisions of this section shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes, privilege taxes and all other taxes and fees. There shall be no exemption from ad valorem taxes, privilege taxes or other taxes and fees for the issuance of a second distinctive tag under this section. Applicants for such distinctive license tags shall present to the issuing official written proof that the applicant is a fire fighter or retired fire fighter. The surviving spouse of a deceased person who was issued a distinctive license tag under this section shall be entitled to apply for or retain one (1) such license tag and may continue annually to renew registration for such distinctive motorcycle license tag for as long as the spouse remains unmarried. At the time of application or renewal registration, a surviving spouse who desired to retain the distinctive tag shall file with the county tax collector a sworn statement that the spouse is unmarried, and any such motorcycle so registered shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes, privilege taxes and all other taxes and fees.
(3) The distinctive license tags issued under this section shall be used only upon a personally or jointly-owned motorcycle registered in the name, or jointly in the name, of the person applying, and when issued to such person shall be used upon the vehicle for which issued in lieu of the standard license tag normally issued for the motorcycle.
(4) The distinctive license tags issued under this section shall not be transferable between motor vehicle owners. If the owner of a motorcycle bearing a distinctive license tag sells, trades, exchanges or otherwise disposes of the vehicle, the tag shall be retained by the owner and returned to the tax collector.
(5) A regular license tag must be properly displayed as required by law until replaced by a distinctive license tag under this section. The regular license tag must be surrendered to the tax collector upon issuance of the distinctive license tag under this section. The tax collector shall issue up to two (2) license decals for each distinctive license tag issued under this section, which will expire the same month and year as the regular license tag.
(6) In the case of loss or theft of a distinctive license tag issued under this section, the owner may make application and affidavit for a replacement distinctive license tag as provided by Section 27-19-37, Mississippi Code of 1972. The fee for a replacement distinctive license tag shall be Ten Dollars ($10.00). The tax collector receiving such application and affidavit shall be entitled to retain and deposit into the county general fund five percent (5%) of the fee for such replacement license tag and the remainder shall be distributed in the same manner as funds from the sale of regular distinctive license tags issued under this section.
(7) Any person evading or violating any of the provisions of this section, or attempting to secure benefits hereunder to which he is not entitled, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
SECTION 2. Section 27-51-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-51-41. (1) The exemptions from the provisions of this chapter shall be confined to those persons or property exempted by this chapter or by the provisions of the Constitution of the United States or the State of Mississippi. No exemption as now provided by any other statute shall be valid as against the tax levied by this chapter. Any subsequent exemption from the tax levied hereunder shall be provided by amendment to this section which shall be inserted in the bill at length.
(2) The following shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation:
(a) All motor vehicles, as defined in this chapter, and including motor-propelled farm implements and vehicles, while in the hands of bona fide dealers as merchandise and which are not being operated upon the highways of this state.
(b) All motor vehicles belonging to the federal government or the State of Mississippi or any agencies or instrumentalities thereof.
(c) All motor vehicles owned by any school district in the state.
(d) All motor vehicles owned by any fire protection district incorporated in accordance with Sections 19-5-151 through 19-5-207 or by any fire protection grading district incorporated in accordance with Sections 19-5-215 through 19-5-241.
(e) All motor vehicles owned by units of the Mississippi National Guard.
(f) All motor vehicles which are exempted from highway privilege taxes under Section 27-19-1 et seq.
(g) All motor vehicles operated in this state as common and contract carriers of property, private commercial carriers of property, private carriers of property and buses, all of which have a gross weight in excess of ten thousand (10,000) pounds.
(h) Antique automobiles as defined in Section 27-19-47, and antique pickup trucks as provided for under Section 27-19-47.2, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(i) Street rods as defined in Section 27-19-56.6.
(j) Motor vehicles owned by disabled American veterans, or by spouses of deceased disabled American veterans, in accordance with Section 27-19-53.
(k) One (1) motor vehicle owned by the unremarried surviving spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while on active duty, is killed or dies and one (1) motor vehicle owned by the unremarried surviving spouse of a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard who, while on active duty for training, is killed or dies.
(l) Motor vehicles owned by recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor or by former prisoners of war, or by spouses of such deceased persons, in accordance with Section 27-19-54.
(m) (i) One (1) private carrier of passengers, as defined in Section 27-19-3, owned by any religious society, ecclesiastical body or any congregation thereofwhich is used exclusively for such society and not for profit.
(ii) All motor vehicles owned by any such religious society or any educational institution having a seating capacity greater than seven (7) passengers and used exclusively for transporting passengers for religious or educational purposes and not for profit.
(n) All motor vehicles primarily used as rentals under rental agreements with a term of not more than thirty (30) continuous days each and under the control of persons who are engaged in the business of renting such motor vehicles and who are subject to the tax under Section 27-65-231.
(o) Antique motorcycles as defined in Section 27-19-47.1.
(p) One (1) motor vehicle owned by a recipient of the Purple Heart, and one (1) motor vehicle owned by the unremarried surviving spouse of a recipient of the Purple Heart, as provided in Section 27-19-56.5.
(q) Motor vehicles that are eligible to display an authentic historical license plate as provided for in Section 27-19-56.11.
(r) Motor vehicles that are (i) designed or adapted to be used exclusively in the preparation and loading of chemicals or other material for aerial agricultural application to crops; and (ii) only incidentally used on public roadways in this state.
(s) One (1) motorcycle owned by a fire fighter, or a retired fire fighter, and one (1) motorcycle owned by the unremarried surviving spouse of a fire fighter or retired fire fighter, as provided in Section 1 of Senate Bill No. 2139, 2007 Regular Session.
(3) Any claim for tax exemption by authority of the above-mentioned code sections or by any other legal authority shall be set out in the application for the road and bridge privilege license, and the specific legal authority for such tax exemption claim shall be cited in said application, and such authority cited shall be shown by the tax collector on the tax receipt as his authority for not collecting such ad valorem taxes, and the tax collector shall carry forward such information in his tax collection reports.
(4) Any motor vehicle driven over the highways of this state to the extent that the owner of such motor vehicle is required to purchase a road and bridge privilege license in this state, yet the legal situs of such motor vehicle is located in another state, shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes authorized by this chapter.
(5) If a taxpayer shall sell, trade or otherwise dispose of a vehicle on which the ad valorem and road and bridge privilege taxes have been paid in any county in the state, he shall remove the license plate from the vehicle. Such license plate must be surrendered to the issuing authority with the corresponding tax receipt, if required, and credit shall be allowed for the taxes paid for the remaining tax year on like privilege or ad valorem taxes due on another vehicle owned by the seller or transferor or by the seller's or transferor's spouse or dependent child. If the seller or transferor does not elect to receive such credit at the time the license plate is surrendered, the issuing authority shall issue a certificate of credit to the seller or transferor, or to the seller's or transferor's spouse or dependent child, or to any other person, business or corporation, at the direction of the seller or transferor, for the remaining unexpired taxes prorated from the first day of the month following the month in which the license plate is surrendered. The total of such credit may be used by the person or entity to whom the certificate of credit is issued, regardless of the relative amounts attributed to privilege taxes or to county, school or municipal ad valorem taxes. Any credit allowed for taxes due or any certificate of credit issued may be applied to like taxes owed in any county by the person to whom the credit is allowed or by the person possessing the certificate of credit. No credit, however, shall be allowed on the charge made for the license plate. Such license plates surrendered to the tax collector shall be retained by him, and in no event shall such license plate be attached to any vehicle after being surrendered to the tax collector, nor shall any license plate be transferred from one (1) vehicle to any other vehicle.
(6) If the person owning a vehicle subject to taxation under the provisions of this chapter does not operate such vehicle on the highways of this state from the date of acquisition or, if previously registered, from the end of the anniversary month of the tag and decals to the date on which he makes application for a current license tag or decals, he shall pay such ad valorem tax for a period of twelve (12) months beginning with the first day of the month in which he applies for a current license tag or decals under Chapter 19, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972. The owner shall submit an affidavit with an application attesting to the fact that the vehicle was not operated on the highways of this state from the date of acquisition or, if previously registered, from the end of the anniversary month of the tag and decals to the date on which he makes application for the current license tag or decals.
(7) Any person found violating any of the provisions of this section shall be arrested and tried, and if found guilty shall be fined in an amount double the total amount of taxes involved.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.