2020 Regular Session

To: Local and Private Legislation

By: Representative Patterson

House Bill 1731



     SECTION 1.  As used in this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context in which they are used:

          (a)  "City" means the City of Biloxi, Mississippi.

          (b)  "Costs," when used with respect to projects, as hereinafter defined, includes the costs of engineering, legal and related services, the costs of the preparation of plans, specifications, traffic studies, surveys and estimates of costs and revenues, and all other expenses incident to planning and carrying out such projects.

          (c)  "Governing authorities" means the Mayor and City Council of the City of Biloxi, Mississippi.

          (d)  "Persons" means natural persons and entities, including without limitation corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and other associations.

          (e)  "Projects" means the construction, repair, reconstruction and resurfacing of one or more thoroughfares within the city with the projected cost of any one (1) project exceeding One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00).  A "thoroughfare" is a main road or street that leads at each end into another road, street or highway and is, or is projected to be, heavily traveled, and may include one or more bridges.

          (f)  "Recreational vehicles" means vehicles such as motor homes that provide transportation and human living facilities, campers or trailers that provide human living facilities and are designed to be towed by or mounted on a motor vehicle, whether attached to a motor vehicle or not, buses that provide human living facilities, and the like.

          (g)  "Sites" means locations in the city that are offered for rent to the public on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis for the overnight parking of recreational vehicles, mobile home parks, recreational vehicle parks or resorts, trailer parks and any other parcel of real property, whether offered for rent continuously or only for special events, the income from which site rentals is subject to state sales tax pursuant to Section 27-65-23, Mississippi Code of 1972.  "Sites" does not include locations offered for rent for the storage of recreational vehicles which sites are not intended or used for overnight human occupancy.

     SECTION 2.  (1)  For purposes of providing funds for the costs of projects, including the principal of and interest on debt incurred under Section 5 of this act, the governing authorities are authorized, in their discretion, to levy and collect a tax, which shall be in addition to all other taxes and assessments currently imposed, of up to three percent (3%) of the gross proceeds of site rentals on all persons who offer sites for rent to the public.

     (2)  Persons liable for the tax imposed under subsection (1) of this section shall add the amount of the tax to the sales price or rental rates of the sites and shall collect, insofar as is practicable, the amount of the tax due by them from the person who contracted for the use of the site at the time of payment therefor.

     (3)  The tax shall be collected by and paid to the Department of Revenue on a form prescribed by the Department of Revenue in the manner that the state sales taxes are collected and paid, and 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 act.

     (4)  Except for any amount retained by the Department of Revenue in accordance with Section 27-3-58, Mississippi Code of 1972, the proceeds of the tax shall be paid to the city on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected. 

     (5)  The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by the city as general fund revenues but shall be dedicated to and expended solely for the purposes specified in Section 2 and Section 5 of this act.

     SECTION 3.  Before any tax authorized under this act may be imposed, the governing authorities shall adopt a resolution declaring their intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of the tax to be imposed, the date upon which the tax shall become effective and calling for an election to be held on the question.  The date of the election shall be fixed in the resolution.  Notice of such intention and the election shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in the City of Biloxi, with the first publication of the notice to be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date fixed in the resolution for the election and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days before the election.  At the election, all qualified electors of the City of Biloxi may vote, and the ballots used in the election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purposes of the proposed tax and the words "FOR THE TAX" and, on a separate line, "AGAINST THE TAX" and the voters shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check mark (ü) opposite their choice on the proposition.  When the results of the election shall have been canvassed and certified, the city may levy the tax in the amount set forth in the authorizing resolution if more than sixty percent (60%) of the qualified electors who vote in the election vote in favor of the tax.  At least thirty (30) days before the effective date of the tax provided in this section, the governing authorities shall furnish to the Department of Revenue a certified copy of the resolution authorizing the tax.

     SECTION 4.  Accounting for receipts and expenditures of the funds herein described shall be made separately from the accounting of receipts and expenditures of the general fund and any other funds of the city.  The records reflecting the receipts and expenditures of the funds prescribed in this act shall be included in the annual audit of the city's revenues and expenditures by an independent certified public accountant, and the accountant shall include, as part of the annual audit, a written report of the revenues and expenditures of these funds to the governing authorities.

     SECTION 5.  (1)  The governing authorities are authorized to incur debt, including bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, of the city for the purposes of providing funds to pay costs of projects, and to pay all expenses in connection with the authorization, sale and issuance of such debt including, without limitation, printing and delivery costs, legal fees, financial advisor fees, consultant fees, credit enhancement and other expenses.

     (2)  The governing authorities, in their discretion, may provide that debt incurred under this act is payable from a pledge of the revenues derived from the tax authorized by this act, either solely or in addition to the full faith and credit of the city.  Any such pledge shall be valid and binding as of the moment it is made without the need of any filing or recordation.  The funds thus pledged, including any earnings thereon, shall be immediately subject to such pledge without the need of the physical delivery thereof or of any other action, and the pledge shall be valid and binding and shall prevail against any third party having a claim of any kind for damages, breach of contract or other motive against the city, regardless of whether the third party has been notified to that effect.  Neither the indenture or resolution, nor any collateral contract by means of which the rights of the city to any revenues are pledged or assigned, shall have to be filed or registered to formalize the pledge of the same against any third party, except in the official records of the city.

     (3)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, debt issued under this act shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of Sections 21-33-301 through 21-33-329, Mississippi Code of 1972, or other applicable general law.  Debt authorized to be issued under this act shall not be included in the limitation on indebtedness imposed in Section 21—33—303, Mississippi Code of 1972, or any other limitation on indebtedness of the city unless such debt (i) is secured by the full faith and credit of the city and (ii) is issued in an aggregate principal amount that exceeds an amount for which debt service is capable of being funded by the proceeds of the tax levied under this act, determined by assuming that proceeds of the tax will be collected annually during the term of such debt in an amount at least equal to the average annual tax proceeds collected in the three (3) fiscal years of the city immediately preceding the issuance of such debt.

     (4)  Interest on debt issued under this act, and any profits obtained from their sale, shall be and remain at all times exempt from the payment of all taxes imposed by the state or any of its political subdivisions.

     (5)  Debt, including bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, issued pursuant to this act shall constitute lawful investments and may be accepted as collateral for fiduciary, trust and public funds, whose investment or deposit is under the authority or the control of the state or of any official or officials thereof or any political subdivision thereof.

     (6)  Debt issued pursuant to this act may be validated pursuant to the provisions of Section 31—13—1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972.

     SECTION 6.  The powers and authorities conferred by this act shall be regarded as supplemental and additional to powers conferred by any other laws of the state relating to the powers of municipalities.

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

and after its passage.