MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2007 Regular Session

To: Finance

By: Senator(s) Gordon

Senate Bill 2641

(As Passed the Senate)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 31-31-3, 31-31-5, 31-31-7, 31-31-9 AND 31-31-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION SHALL ADMINISTER THE MISSISSIPPI TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCE AND TRAINING CENTER; TO ABOLISH THE MISSISSIPPI TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCE AND TRAINING COMMISSION AND TRANSFER ITS POWERS, DUTIES, RECORDS, PROPERTY, FUNDS AND OTHER ASSETS AND PERSONNEL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION TO ESCALATE, BUDGET AND EXPEND A CERTAIN AMOUNT FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCE AND TRAINING CENTER FUND AND MISSISSIPPI TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE AND TRAINING CENTER RESERVE FUND FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION TO TRANSFER AND CONVEY THE MISSISSIPPI TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCE AND TRAINING CENTER TO THE CAPITAL CITY CONVENTION CENTER COMMISSION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 31-31-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

31-31-3. As used in this chapter:

(a) "Department" means the Department of Finance and Administration.

(b) "Facility" means the Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Center located in the City of Jackson, Mississippi.

(c) "Fund" means the Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Center Fund.

(d) "Hotel" or "motel" means and includes a place of lodging that at any one time will accommodate transient guests on a daily or weekly basis and that is known to the trade as such. Such terms shall not include a place of lodging with ten (10) or less rental units.

(e) "Reserve fund" means the Mississippi Telecommunications Conference and Training Center Reserve Fund.

SECTION 2. Section 31-31-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

31-31-5. (1) There is hereby created a commission to be known as the "Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Center Commission" which shall consist of eleven (11) members as follows:

(a) The Executive Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development;

(b) The Mayor of the City of Jackson;

(c) The President of Jackson State University;

(d) The Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of the University of Mississippi Medical Center;

(e) The Executive Director of the Metro Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau;

(f) The Executive Director of the Institute for Technology Development;

(g) Three (3) members of the private sector appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve a term concurrent with that of the Governor; and

(h) Two (2) members of the private sector appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, with the advise and consent of the Senate, to serve a term concurrent with that of the Lieutenant Governor.

(2) The members of the commission shall serve without compensation except that members shall be paid their actual and necessary expenses in connection with the performance of their duties as members of the commission including mileage, as authorized in Section 25-3-41 and each member who is not a state employee or a public official shall be paid a per diem as authorized in Section 25-3-69. Expenses, mileage and per diem allowance shall be paid out of the Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Center Fund.

(3) The commission shall elect from its membership a chairman, who shall preside over meetings, and a vice chairman, who shall preside in the absence of the chairman. Four (4) members of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any and all business of the commission.

(4) The commission shall appoint a director who shall be responsible for conducting the day to day business of the commission.

(5) From and after the effective date of this act:

(a) The Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Center Commission shall be abolished;

(b) All records, property, funds and other assets and personnel of the commission shall be transferred to the department; and

(c) Any personal service, management or other contracts of like nature entered into by the commission shall be cancelled.

SECTION 3. Section 31-31-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

31-31-7. The department shall have the following powers with regard to the Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Center:

 * * *

(a) To establish, construct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip, operate and regulate the facility and other property incidental thereto, including any additional property or facilities considered by the department to promote the business, usage or economic viability of the facility;

(b) To grant to others the privilege to operate for profit concessions, leases and franchises, including but not limited to, the furnishing of food and banquet services, management services, and other services necessary to the operation of the facility and such concessions, leases and franchises shall be exclusive or limited;

(c) To lease the facility and its operation and management to any public or private entity and if the facility is leased to a public or private entity, the entity shall have the responsibility for maintenance, upkeep, security for the facility and shall be accountable for all facility furnishings and equipment;

(d) To determine fees, rates and charges for the use of the facility;

(e) To apply for and accept gifts, or grants of money or gifts, grants or loans of other property or other financial assistance from any source to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

(f) To borrow funds needed to carry out the purposes of this chapter; * * * however, * * * such debt may be secured only by the revenues generated by the facility, funds generated by the tax levied pursuant to Section 31-31-11 and the proceeds of any bonds issued pursuant to this chapter;

(g) To appoint, employ or engage such officers, employees, architects, engineers, attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, investment bankers and other advisors, consultants, and agents as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

(h) To make, assume and enter into all contracts, leases and arrangements necessary or incidental to the exercise for its powers, including, but not limited to, contracts for management, operation or marketing of all or any part of the facility;

(i) To adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations for the use, maintenance and operation of the facility and governing the conduct of persons and organizations using the facility and to enforce such rules and regulations; * * *

(j) To establish operational, accountability and reporting guidelines for the facility; and

(k) To do all things necessary or convenient to the purposes of this chapter.

SECTION 4. Section 31-31-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

31-31-9. All monies and revenues collected * * * from fees, rates and charges for the use of the facility shall be paid by the department to the State Treasurer, to be deposited to the credit of a special fund to be known as the "Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Center Fund;" however, if the department leases the facility to a public or private entity for the operation of a for-profit facility, all fees, rates and charges for the use of the facility shall be utilized by the entity to pay all expenses incident to the operation and upkeep of the facility. Money in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the General Fund and interest earned on any amounts deposited into the fund shall be credited to the special fund. Except as otherwise provided in Section 31-31-11, all expenses incident to the operation and upkeep of the facility shall be paid out of the fund. The department is authorized to escalate, budget and expend from the fund an amount not to exceed Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000.00) annually to pay costs incident to the operation, maintenance and staffing of the facility as authorized in Section 31-31-7.

SECTION 5. Section 31-31-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

31-31-11. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the payment of a certain portion of the debt service on any bonds issued pursuant to this chapter and for the purpose of providing funds for the maintenance of the facility and renovations, improvements and additions to the facility, there is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected from every person engaging in or doing business in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, as specified herein, a tax which may be cited as an "occupancy tax," which shall be in addition to all other taxes now imposed. Such tax shall be upon each hotel and motel located within the City of Jackson in the amount of Seventy-five Cents (75) per day for each occupied room.

(2) Persons liable for the tax imposed herein shall add the amount of tax to the price of rooms, and in addition thereto shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by him from the person receiving the services or goods at the time of payment therefor.

(3) Such tax shall be collected by and paid to the State Tax Commission on a form prescribed by the State Tax Commission, in the same manner that state sales taxes are collected and paid; and the full enforcement provisions and all other provisions of Chapter 65, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall apply as necessary to the implementation and administration of this chapter.

(4) The proceeds of such tax shall be deposited by the State Tax Commission into the reserve fund created pursuant to subsection (5) of this section on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected by the State Tax Commission.

(5) There is hereby created in the State Treasury a special fund to be called the "Mississippi Telecommunication Conference and Training Facility Reserve Fund." Money in the reserve fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the General Fund and interest earned on any amount deposited into the reserve fund shall be credited to the special fund. Money in the reserve fund shall be used to pay a portion of the debt service of the bonds issued pursuant to this chapter as specified in subsection (6) of this section * * *. The department is authorized to escalate, budget and expend an amount not to exceed Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($750,000.00) annually from the reserve fund for the payment of a portion of debt service as provided for in subsection (6) of this section.

(6) The amount of the debt service that shall be paid annually from the reserve fund shall be the amount of the debt service on bonds attributable to forty percent (40%) of the cost of constructing the facility and the amount of the debt service on bonds attributable to all land acquisition costs. Amounts remaining in the reserve fund in any fiscal year after the payments required by this subsection for debt service, may be used * * * to provide funds for the maintenance of the facility and renovations, improvements and additions to the facility.

(7) Before the taxes authorized by this chapter shall be imposed, the municipal governing authorities of the City of Jackson shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of such tax and establishing the date on which this tax initially shall be levied and collected. This date shall be not less than the first day of the second month from the date of adoption of the resolution.

The resolution shall be published in a local newspaper at least twice during the period from the adoption of the resolution to the effective date of the taxation prescribed in this section, with the last publication being made no later than ten (10) days prior to the effective date of such taxation.

(8) The tax imposed pursuant to this section shall remain in force and effect until the City of Jackson shall by resolution rescind the tax; * * * however, * * * the tax imposed pursuant to this section shall not be rescinded if any bonds issued pursuant to this chapter remain outstanding.

SECTION 6. (1) The department may transfer and convey to the Capital City Convention Center Commission, as created in Chapter 1019, Local and Private Laws of 2004, all right, title and interest in certain real property located within the City of Jackson in Hinds County, Mississippi, and all personal property located thereon, the real property being more particularly described as follows:

A tract of land containing 1.328 Acres (57,848 Sq. Ft.), more or less, located in Lots 34 and 35, West Jackson and in the 8.93 Acre Lot South according to the Official Map of the City of Jackson, prepared by Henry C. Daniel in 1875 and being more particularly described as follows, to wit:

BEGINNING at a punch mark in the concrete marking the intersection of the South right-of-way line of Pascagoula Street and the West right-of-way line of Farish Street, as now laid out and in use, said point also being the Northeast Corner of the aforesaid Lot 35; thence, following the aforesaid South line of Pascagoula Street, run South 80 degrees 38 minutes 37 seconds East for a distance of 50.70 feet to a punch mark in the concrete marking the intersection of the South right-of-way line of Pascagoula Street and the East right-of-way of Farish Street, as now laid out and in use, said point also being the Northwest corner of the aforesaid 8.93 Acre Lot 3 South; thence, continuing along the aforesaid South right-of-way line of Pascagoula Street, run South 80 degrees 38 minutes 37 seconds East for a distance of 168.25 feet to an iron rod; thence, leaving the aforesaid South right-of-way line, run South 04 degrees 03 minutes 38 seconds West for a distance of 162.60 feet to an iron rod; thence run North 87 degrees 03 minutes 22 seconds West for a distance of 60.30 feet to an iron rod; thence run North 87 degrees 53 minutes 25 seconds West for a distance of 93.68 feet to a brass cap on the East right-of-way line of Farish Street; thence run North 87 degrees 53 minutes 25 seconds West for a distance of 50.04 feet to a P.K. nail in the concrete on the West right-of-way line of Farish Street; thence, following the aforesaid West right-of-way line of Farish Street, run North OO degrees 12 minutes 26 seconds East for a distance of 34.10 feet to a punch mark in the concrete; thence, leaving the aforesaid West right-of-way line, run North 89 degrees 14 minutes 09 seconds West for a distance of 128.45 feet to a point; thence run North 00 degrees 57 minutes 28 seconds East for a distance of 174.20 feet to a point on the South right-of-way line of Pascagoula Street; thence, following the South line of Pascagoula Street, run South 80 degrees 38 minutes 37 seconds East for a distance of 126.65 feet to the POINT OF BEGINNING.

This conveyance is subject to, and there is excepted from the warranty hereof, the following:

1. Any and all prior reservations or conveyances of oil, gas and other minerals in, on or under the Property; and

2. Any and all easements, rights-of-way, restrictive covenants or building restrictions of record pertaining to the Property.

This conveyance is also subject to the reservation by the City of Jackson, Mississippi (the "City") in that certain Ordinance Closing and Vacating a Portion of South Farish Street to Allow Construction of the Telecommunication Conference Center adopted by the City Council of the City on July 2, 2002, and recorded in Book 5657 at Page 500, of the following utility easements:

Utility Easement One: A utility easement forty feet in width, being twenty feet each side of the centerline to be described below, across a portion of Farish Street, South of Pascagoula Street, and across a portion of that certain property as described in Deed Book 5360 at Page 867 of the land records of Hinds County First Judicial District and said centerline being more particularly described as follows:

COMMENCING at a punch mark in the concrete marking the intersection of the south right-of-way line of Pascagoula Street and the West right-of-way line of Farish Street, as now laid out in use, said point also being the Northeast corner of Lot 35 per the Official Map by Henry C. Daniel in 1875 of the City of Jackson; run thence South 82 degrees 38 minutes 37 seconds East following the aforesaid south right-of-way line of Pascagoula Street for a distance of 29.25 feet to the POINT OF BEGINNING of the following described centerline; thence leaving said south right-of-way line run thence South 00 degrees 38 minutes 35 seconds West for a distance of 75.85 feet; run thence South 46 degrees 55 minutes 14 seconds East for a distance of 38.79 feet; run thence South 00 degrees 12 minutes 42 seconds East for a distance of 84.37 feet to a point on the South line of the aforesaid property described in Deed Book 5360 at Page 867 of the land records of Hinds County First Judicial District and the Point Of Terminus of the above centerline description.

Bearings used in the above description are grid based on GPS observations from NGS monument Y-362.

Utility Easement Two: A utility easement twenty feet in width, being ten feet each side of the centerline to be described below, across a portion of Farish Street, South of Pascagoula Street, and across a portion of that certain property as described in Deed Book 5360 at Page 867 of the land records of Hinds County First Judicial District and said centerline being more particularly described as follows:

COMMENCING at a punch mark in the concrete marking the intersection of the south right-of-way line of Pascagoula Street and the West right-of-way line of Farish Street, as now laid out in use, said point also being the Northeast Corner of Lot 35 per the official Map by Henry C. Daniel in 1875 of the City of Jackson; run thence South 82 degrees 38 minutes 37 seconds East following the aforesaid south right-of-way line of Pascagoula Street for a distance of 29.25 feet to the POINT OF BEGINNING of the following described centerline; thence leaving said south right-of-way line run thence South 00 degrees 38 minutes 35 seconds West for a distance of 75.85 feet; run thence South 46 degrees 55 minutes 14 seconds East for a distance of 38.79 feet; run thence South 00 degrees 12 minutes 42 seconds East for a distance of 84.37 feet to a point on the South line of the aforesaid property described in Deed Book 5360 at page 867 of the land records of Hinds County First Judicial District and the Point Of Terminus of the above centerline description.

Bearings used in the above description are grid based on GPS observations from NGS monument Y-362.

(2) The conveyance authorized in subsection (1) of this section may be made on such terms and conditions agreed upon by the Department of Finance and Administration and the Capital City Convention Center Commission.

SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.