2007 Regular Session

To: Ways and Means

By: Representative Smith (39th)

House Bill 1459

(As Sent to Governor)



     SECTION 1.  Section 21-45-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     21-45-9.  Any governing body may issue tax increment bonds, the final maturity of which shall not extend beyond thirty (30) years, for the purpose of financing all or a portion of the cost of a redevelopment project within the boundaries of the municipality, funding any reserve which the governing body may deem advisable in connection with the retirement of the proposed indebtedness and funding any other incidental expenses involved in incurring such indebtedness.  The debt service of indebtedness incurred pursuant to this section shall be provided from the added increments of municipal and county ad valorem tax revenues or any portion of the sales taxes, or both, to result from any such redevelopment project and shall never constitute an indebtedness of the municipality within the meaning of any state constitutional provision or statutory limitation and shall never constitute nor give rise to a pecuniary liability of the municipality or a charge against its general credit or taxing powers.

     Said bonds may be authorized by resolution or resolutions of the governing body, and may be issued in one or more series, may bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times, bear interest at such rate or rates, payable at such times, be in such denominations, be in such form, be registered, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, be subject to such terms of redemption, with or without premium, carry such conversion or registration privileges and be declared or become due before the maturity date thereof, as such resolution or resolutions may provide; however, such bonds shall not bear a greater interest rate to maturity than that allowed under Section 75-17-101.  Said bonds shall be sold for not less than par value plus accrued interest at public sale in the manner provided by Section 31-19-25 or at private sale, in the discretion of the governing body.  The lowest interest rate specified for any bonds issued shall not be less than seventy percent (70%) of the highest interest rate specified for the same bond issue.  Said bonds may be repurchased by the municipality out of any available funds at a price not to exceed the principal amount thereof and accrued interest, and all bonds so repurchased shall be cancelled.  In connection with the issuance of said bonds, the municipality shall have the power to enter into contracts for rating of the bonds by national rating agencies; obtaining bond insurance or guarantees for such bonds and complying with the terms and conditions of such insurance or guarantees; make provision for payment in advance of maturity at the option of the owner or holder of the bonds; covenant for the security and better marketability of the bonds, including, without limitation, the establishment of a debt service reserve fund and sinking funds to secure or pay such bonds; and make any other provisions deemed desirable by the municipality in connection with the issuance of said bonds.

     If a governing body desires to issue tax increment financing bonds under the Regional Economic Development Act, the governing body also shall comply with any requirements provided therein.

     In connection with the issuance of said bonds, the municipality may arrange for lines of credit with any bank, firm or person for the purpose of providing an additional source of repayment for such bonds and amounts drawn on such lines of credit may be evidenced by bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness containing such terms and conditions as the municipality may determine; provided, however, that such bonds, notes or evidences of indebtedness shall be secured by and payable from the same sources as are pledged to the payment of said bonds which are additionally secured by such line of credit, and that said bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall be deemed to be bonds for all purposes of this chapter.  Pending the preparation or execution of definitive bonds, interim receipts or certificates, or temporary bonds may be delivered to the purchaser or purchasers of said bonds.  Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, any bonds, if any, issued pursuant to this chapter shall possess all of the qualities of negotiable instruments.

     The municipality may also issue refunding bonds for the purpose of paying any of its bonds at or prior to maturity or upon acceleration or redemption.  Refunding bonds may be issued at such time prior to the maturity or redemption of the refunded bonds as the municipality may determine.  The refunding bonds may be issued in sufficient amounts to pay or provide the principal of the bonds being refunded, together with any redemption premium thereon, any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of payment of such bonds, the expenses of issuing the refunding bonds, the expenses of redeeming the bonds being refunded, and such reserves for debt service or other capital or current expenses from the proceeds of such refunding bonds as may be required by any of the municipality's resolutions, trust indenture or other security instruments.  The issuance of refunding bonds, the maturities and other details thereof, the security therefor, the rights of the holders and the rights, duties and obligations of the municipality in respect of the same shall be governed by the provisions of this chapter relating to the issuance of bonds other than refunding bonds, insofar as the same may be applicable.

     Before incurring any debt pertaining to a redevelopment project incorporating a tax increment financing plan the governing body may, but shall not be required to, secure an agreement from one or more developers obligating such developer or developers:

          (a)  To effect the completion of all or any portion of the buildings or other facilities or improvements, as described in the redevelopment project, at no cost to the municipality;

          (b)  To pay all or any portion of the real property taxes due on the project in a timely manner; and

          (c)  To maintain and operate all or any portion of the buildings or other facilities or improvements of the project in such a manner as to preserve property values.

     No breach of any such agreement shall impose any pecuniary liability upon a municipality or any charge upon its general credit or against its taxing powers.

     Additionally, the municipality may enter into an agreement with the developer under which the developer may construct all or any part of the redevelopment project with private funds in advance of issuance of the bonds and may be reimbursed by the municipality for actual costs incurred by the developer upon issuance and delivery of the bonds and receipt of the proceeds, conditioned upon dedication of redevelopment project by the developer to the municipality to assure public use and access.  This condition shall not apply to the privately owned portion of a project for which the Mississippi Development Authority has issued a certificate of convenience and necessity pursuant to the Regional Economic Development Act.  In addition, this condition shall not apply to the privately owned portion of a redevelopment project where the governing body of a municipality makes a finding that it is in the best interest of such municipality that such condition shall not apply.

     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.