1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Little (By Request)
Senate Bill 2780
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 77-9-493, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE FROM $201,000.00 TO $402,000.00 THE AMOUNT OF THE TAX LEVIED ON RAILROAD COMPANIES OPERATING IN THIS STATE TO SUPPORT THE REGULATION AND SUPERVISION OF RAILROAD COMPANIES BY THE MISSISSIPPI TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 77-9-493, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
77-9-493. All reasonable and necessary operating expenses of the administration of the duties imposed by law upon the Mississippi Transportation Commission, including the salaries of personnel, in its regulation and supervision of railroad companies operating within the State of Mississippi, shall be provided through the levying of the following tax. The amount of said tax is the sum of Four Hundred Two Thousand Dollars ($402,000.00) per year. Such tax shall be prorated by the State Tax Commission among the railroad companies which are subject to the tax levied by this section each year, according to the railroad track miles of each of such railroad company operated during the calendar year preceding the assessment. Each railroad company which is subject to the tax levied by this section shall file a statement of such railroad track miles by April 1 of each year showing the railroad track miles operated in the preceding year's operation. "Railroad track miles" means the miles of road of the railroad system within this state. These statements of railroad track miles shall be filed with the commission and a copy thereof filed with the State Tax Commission. The State Tax Commission shall thereupon calculate the pro rata amount of tax to be paid by each of said railroad companies in order to provide the total amount above stated and shall thereupon submit a statement thereof to the respective railroad companies and the amounts shown due in such statements to the respective railroad companies shall be paid by the respective railroad companies within thirty (30) days thereafter to the State Tax Commission. The State Tax Commission shall pay such funds into the State Treasury on the same day collected to the credit of the Mississippi Transportation Commission. If any railroad company shall fail to pay its pro rata part of the tax herein provided, such amount shall bear interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month from due date until paid. A penalty in addition to any and all other penalties provided elsewhere in this section, of not exceeding fifty percent (50%) of the amount of such tax may be added for failure to pay such tax when due.
In administering the provisions of this section, the State Tax Commission shall authorize the execution of any necessary orders, warrants, or other instruments by its chairman, and for purposes of collecting any amount due thereunder the said State Tax Commission over the signature of its chairman may issue warrants for the collection of any unpaid taxes, penalties and interest due hereunder, under the same terms and conditions, and with the same power and effect as is provided and set forth in the statute governing issuance of warrants under the income tax laws of this state.
The Mississippi Transportation Commission and the State Tax Commission are hereby authorized to use all tax returns of any such railroad companies available to them and to make such audits as may be deemed necessary of any and all records of such railroad companies in order to correctly determine the amount of railroad track miles. It shall be the duty of the State Auditor to advise the commission of the amount of money on hand from time to time. All expenses of the Mississippi Transportation Commission in its regulation and supervision of railroad companies, including salaries of personnel, shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants issued by the State Fiscal Officer. Said warrants shall be issued upon requisition signed by the executive secretary or the chairman and said requisition shall show upon its face the purpose for which the payment is being made, by reference to the purchase order and/or invoice number and objective code. It shall be unlawful for any person to withdraw any money from said fund other than by requisition issued as herein provided. A record of all requisitions issued by the Mississippi Transportation Commission showing to whom, for what purpose, and date issued, shall be placed upon the minute books of the commission and shall become a part of the official record of said commission.
The books and accounts of the Mississippi Transportation Commission shall be audited at the end of each fiscal year, and at any other time deemed necessary, by the State Auditor and a copy of such audits shall be furnished to the Governor and the Mississippi Transportation Commission. The State Auditor may prescribe such further accounting procedure as he deems necessary for the withdrawal of funds by the said commission from said fund. All requisitions drawn in compliance with this section shall be honored by the State Auditor and the funds disbursed in accordance therewith. The Mississippi Transportation Commission shall file a report at each regular session of the Legislature showing the expenditure of all funds by the Mississippi Transportation Commission. All proceeds of the above-mentioned tax are hereby allocated to the Mississippi Transportation Commission for the purposes of this section. In the event the funds provided by said tax exceed the amount necessary for the purposes of this section at the end of each year, the Mississippi Transportation Commission shall certify the amount which the said commission estimates will be necessary for the commission for the next year to the State Tax Commission, and the State Tax Commission shall reduce the tax imposed to such amount for the next year and shall collect the proportionate amount thereof as above provided.
SECTION 2. Nothing in this act shall affect or defeat any claim, assessment, appeal, suit, right or cause of action for taxes due or accrued under Section 77-9-493, Mississippi Code of 1972, which is the law levying a tax for expenses incurred in the regulation of railroad companies in Mississippi, 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 such law 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 law 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 law.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.