MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2024 Regular Session

To: Finance

By: Senator(s) Harkins

Senate Bill 2897

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE A CREDIT OR REBATE FOR A HOME BUYER'S PORTION OF THE AD VALOREM TAXES ON THE HOME FOR THE YEAR OF PURCHASE IF THE BUYER, AT THE TIME OF CLOSING, EITHER IS AN AMERICAN VETERAN HONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM MILITARY SERVICE WITH A SERVICE-CONNECTED, TOTAL DISABILITY AND IS AT LEAST 65 YEARS OF AGE, IS THE UNREMARRIED SURVIVING SPOUSE OF SUCH A HOMEOWNER, OR IS THE UNREMARRIED SURVIVING SPOUSE OF A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES WHO WAS KILLED OR DIED ON ACTIVE DUTY OR OF A MEMBER OF A RESERVE COMPONENT OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES OR OF THE NATIONAL GUARD WHO WAS KILLED OR DIED ON ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING; TO REQUIRE A HOME BUYER DESIRING A CREDIT OR REBATE TO SUBMIT A REQUEST TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE AFTER THE CLOSING TRANSACTION, BUT NO LATER THAN JANUARY 31 OF THE YEAR FOLLOWING THE PURCHASE YEAR; TO SPECIFY THE DOCUMENTATION THAT THE HOME BUYER MUST PROVIDE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE; TO PROVIDE THAT PAYMENTS MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE UNDER THIS ACT SHALL BE FROM CURRENT TAX COLLECTIONS; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO ADMINISTER THIS ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 27-7-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXCLUDE REBATE PAYMENTS UNDER THIS ACT FROM THE DEFINITION OF GROSS INCOME FOR PURPOSES OF THE STATE INCOME TAX; TO AMEND SECTION 27-33-31, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

SECTION 1. (1) A home buyer who, at the time of closing on the home purchase, meets one of the following descriptions shall be allowed a credit or rebate for the buyer's portion of ad valorem taxes on the home property for the year of the home purchase:

(a) An American veteran honorably discharged from military service, and who has a service-connected, total disability;

(b) The unremarried surviving spouse of a homeowner described in paragraph (a) of this subsection; or

(c) The unremarried surviving spouse of a member of the United States Armed Forces who was killed or died on active duty or of a member of a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces or of the National Guard who was killed or died on active duty for training.

(2) Such a home buyer desiring a credit or rebate under this section must submit a request to the department after the closing transaction, but no later than January 31 of the year following the purchase year. On a form provided by the department, the buyer shall select whether a credit or a rebate is requested and shall submit the form to the department, together with:

(a) Documentation as required by the department to establish that, on the closing date, the buyer met one of the descriptions in subsection (1) of this section;

(b) Documentation from the closing on the home purchase to demonstrate the apportionment, between the seller and the buyer, of the ad valorem taxes on the home for the purchase year; and

(c) If a rebate is requested, a copy of the receipt from the tax collector evidencing payment of ad valorem taxes on the home property for the year of purchase.

(3) If the home buyer requests a credit against ad valorem taxes assessed and levied on the home property for the year of purchase, the buyer need not have already received the ad valorem tax bill on the home for the purchase year. Upon verification of the buyer's eligibility for the credit, the department shall provide the buyer with documentation to present to the tax collector for the application of the credit against such ad valorem taxes. The buyer shall present to the tax collector the credit documentation provided by the department, and the tax collector shall apply the credit against such ad valorem taxes. The tax collector shall forward the credit documentation to the department along with the amount of the credit applied against ad valorem taxes, and the department shall disburse funds to the tax collector for the amount of the credit applied against ad valorem taxes. Such payments by the department shall be made from current tax collections.

(4) If the home buyer requests a rebate for the buyer's portion of ad valorem taxes on the home property for the year of purchase, upon verification of the buyer's eligibility for the rebate, the department shall disburse funds to the buyer for the amount of the rebate. Such payments by the department shall be made from current tax collections.

(5) The department is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to administer this section.

SECTION 2. Section 27-7-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-7-15. (1) For the purposes of this article, except as otherwise provided, the term "gross income" means and includes the income of a taxpayer derived from salaries, wages, fees or compensation for service, of whatever kind and in whatever form paid, including income from governmental agencies and subdivisions thereof; or from professions, vocations, trades, businesses, commerce or sales, or renting or dealing in property, or reacquired property; also from annuities, interest, rents, dividends, securities, insurance premiums, reinsurance premiums, considerations for supplemental insurance contracts, or the transaction of any business carried on for gain or profit, or gains, or profits, and income derived from any source whatever and in whatever form paid. The amount of all such items of income shall be included in the gross income for the taxable year in which received by the taxpayer. The amount by which an eligible employee's salary is reduced pursuant to a salary reduction agreement authorized under Section 25-17-5 shall be excluded from the term "gross income" within the meaning of this article.

(2) In determining gross income for the purpose of this section, the following, under regulations prescribed by the commissioner, shall be applicable:

(a) Dealers in property. Federal rules, regulations and revenue procedures shall be followed with respect to installment sales unless a transaction results in the shifting of income from inside the state to outside the state.

(b) Casual sales of property.

(i) Prior to January 1, 2001, federal rules, regulations and revenue procedures shall be followed with respect to installment sales except they shall be applied and administered as if H.R. 3594, the Installment Tax Correction Act of 2000 of the 106th Congress, had not been enacted. This provision will generally affect taxpayers, reporting on the accrual method of accounting, entering into installment note agreements on or after December 17, 1999. Any gain or profit resulting from the casual sale of property will be recognized in the year of sale.

(ii) From and after January 1, 2001, federal rules, regulations and revenue procedures shall be followed with respect to installment sales except as provided in this subparagraph (ii). Gain or profit from the casual sale of property shall be recognized in the year of sale. When a taxpayer recognizes gain on the casual sale of property in which the gain is deferred for federal income tax purposes, a taxpayer may elect to defer the payment of tax resulting from the gain as allowed and to the extent provided under regulations prescribed by the commissioner. If the payment of the tax is made on a deferred basis, the tax shall be computed based on the applicable rate for the income reported in the year the payment is made. Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph (b), deferring the payment of the tax shall not affect the liability for the tax. If at any time the installment note is sold, contributed, transferred or disposed of in any manner and for any purpose by the original note holder, or the original note holder is merged, liquidated, dissolved or withdrawn from this state, then all deferred tax payments under this section shall immediately become due and payable.

(iii) If the selling price of the property is reduced by any alteration in the terms of an installment note, including default by the purchaser, the gain to be recognized is recomputed based on the adjusted selling price in the same manner as for federal income tax purposes. The tax on this amount, less the previously paid tax on the recognized gain, is payable over the period of the remaining installments. If the tax on the previously recognized gain has been paid in full to this state, the return on which the payment was made may be amended for this purpose only. The statute of limitations in Section 27-7-49 shall not bar an amended return for this purpose.

(c) Reserves of insurance companies. In the case of insurance companies, any amounts in excess of the legally required reserves shall be included as gross income.

(d) Affiliated companies or persons. As regards sales, exchanges or payments for services from one to another of affiliated companies or persons or under other circumstances where the relation between the buyer and seller is such that gross proceeds from the sale or the value of the exchange or the payment for services are not indicative of the true value of the subject matter of the sale, exchange or payment for services, the commissioner shall prescribe uniform and equitable rules for determining the true value of the gross income, gross sales, exchanges or payment for services, or require consolidated returns of affiliates.

(e) Alimony and separate maintenance payments. The federal rules, regulations and revenue procedures in determining the deductibility and taxability of alimony payments shall be followed in this state.

(f) Reimbursement for expenses of moving. There shall be included in gross income (as compensation for services) any amount received or accrued, directly or indirectly, by an individual as a payment for or reimbursement of expenses of moving from one (1) residence to another residence which is attributable to employment or self-employment.

(3) In the case of taxpayers other than residents, gross income includes gross income from sources within this state.

(4) The words "gross income" do not include the following items of income which shall be exempt from taxation under this article:

(a) The proceeds of life insurance policies and contracts paid upon the death of the insured. However, the income from the proceeds of such policies or contracts shall be included in the gross income.

(b) The amount received by the insured as a return of premium or premiums paid by him under life insurance policies, endowment, or annuity contracts, either during the term or at maturity or upon surrender of the contract.

(c) The value of property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent, but the income from such property shall be included in the gross income.

(d) Interest upon the obligations of the United States or its possessions, or securities issued under the provisions of the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916, or bonds issued by the War Finance Corporation, or obligations of the State of Mississippi or political subdivisions thereof.

(e) The amounts received through accident or health insurance as compensation for personal injuries or sickness, plus the amount of any damages received for such injuries or such sickness or injuries, or through the War Risk Insurance Act, or any law for the benefit or relief of injured or disabled members of the military or naval forces of the United States.

(f) Income received by any religious denomination or by any institution or trust for moral or mental improvements, religious, Bible, tract, charitable, benevolent, fraternal, missionary, hospital, infirmary, educational, scientific, literary, library, patriotic, historical or cemetery purposes or for two (2) or more of such purposes, if such income be used exclusively for carrying out one or more of such purposes.

(g) Income received by a domestic corporation which is "taxable in another state" as this term is defined in this article, derived from business activity conducted outside this state. Domestic corporations taxable both within and without the state shall determine Mississippi income on the same basis as provided for foreign corporations under the provisions of this article.

(h) In case of insurance companies, there shall be excluded from gross income such portion of actual premiums received from an individual policyholder as is paid back or credited to or treated as an abatement of premiums of such policyholder within the taxable year.

(i) Income from dividends that has already borne a tax as dividend income under the provisions of this article, when such dividends may be specifically identified in the possession of the recipient.

(j) Amounts paid by the United States to a person as added compensation for hazardous duty pay as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States in a combat zone designated by Executive Order of the President of the United States.

(k) Amounts received as retirement allowances, pensions, annuities or optional retirement allowances paid under the federal Social Security Act, the Railroad Retirement Act, the Federal Civil Service Retirement Act, or any other retirement system of the United States government, retirement allowances paid under the Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System, Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Retirement System or any other retirement system of the State of Mississippi or any political subdivision thereof. The exemption allowed under this paragraph (k) shall be available to the spouse or other beneficiary at the death of the primary retiree.

(l) Amounts received as retirement allowances, pensions, annuities or optional retirement allowances paid by any public or governmental retirement system not designated in paragraph (k) or any private retirement system or plan of which the recipient was a member at any time during the period of his employment. Amounts received as a distribution under a Roth Individual Retirement Account shall be treated in the same manner as provided under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The exemption allowed under this paragraph (l) shall be available to the spouse or other beneficiary at the death of the primary retiree.

(m) National Guard or Reserve Forces of the United States compensation not to exceed the aggregate sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for any taxable year through the 2005 taxable year, and not to exceed the aggregate sum of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) for any taxable year thereafter.

(n) Compensation received for active service as a member below the grade of commissioned officer and so much of the compensation as does not exceed the maximum enlisted amount received for active service as a commissioned officer in the Armed Forces of the United States for any month during any part of which such members of the Armed Forces (i) served in a combat zone as designated by Executive Order of the President of the United States or a qualified hazardous duty area as defined by federal law, or both; or (ii) was hospitalized as a result of wounds, disease or injury incurred while serving in such combat zone. For the purposes of this paragraph (n), the term "maximum enlisted amount" means and has the same definition as that term has in 26 USCS 112.

(o) The proceeds received from federal and state forestry incentive programs.

(p) The amount representing the difference between the increase of gross income derived from sales for export outside the United States as compared to the preceding tax year wherein gross income from export sales was highest, and the net increase in expenses attributable to such increased exports. In the absence of direct accounting, the ratio of net profits to total sales may be applied to the increase in export sales. This paragraph (p) shall only apply to businesses located in this state engaging in the international export of Mississippi goods and services. Such goods or services shall have at least fifty percent (50%) of value added at a location in Mississippi.

(q) Amounts paid by the federal government for the construction of soil conservation systems as required by a conservation plan adopted pursuant to 16 USCS 3801 et seq.

(r) The amount deposited in a medical savings account, and any interest accrued thereon, that is a part of a medical savings account program as specified in the Medical Savings Account Act under Sections 71-9-1 through 71-9-9; provided, however, that any amount withdrawn from such account for purposes other than paying eligible medical expense or to procure health coverage shall be included in gross income.

(s) Amounts paid by the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission from the Mississippi Soil and Water Cost-Share Program for the installation of water quality best management practices.

(t) Dividends received by a holding corporation, as defined in Section 27-13-1, from a subsidiary corporation, as defined in Section 27-13-1.

(u) Interest, dividends, gains or income of any kind on any account in the Mississippi Affordable College Savings Trust Fund, as established in Sections 37-155-101 through 37-155-125, to the extent that such amounts remain on deposit in the MACS Trust Fund or are withdrawn pursuant to a qualified withdrawal, as defined in Section 37-155-105.

(v) Interest, dividends or gains accruing on the payments made pursuant to a prepaid tuition contract, as provided for in Section 37-155-17.

(w) Income resulting from transactions with a related member where the related member subject to tax under this chapter was required to, and did in fact, add back the expense of such transactions as required by Section 27-7-17(2). Under no circumstances may the exclusion from income exceed the deduction add-back of the related member, nor shall the exclusion apply to any income otherwise excluded under this chapter.

(x) Amounts that are subject to the tax levied pursuant to Section 27-7-901, and are paid to patrons by gaming establishments licensed under the Mississippi Gaming Control Act.

(y) Amounts that are subject to the tax levied pursuant to Section 27-7-903, and are paid to patrons by gaming establishments not licensed under the Mississippi Gaming Control Act.

(z) Interest, dividends, gains or income of any kind on any account in a qualified tuition program and amounts received as distributions under a qualified tuition program shall be treated in the same manner as provided under the United States Internal Revenue Code, as amended. For the purposes of this paragraph (z), the term "qualified tuition program" means and has the same definition as that term has in 26 USCS 529.

(aa) The amount deposited in a health savings account, and any interest accrued thereon, that is a part of a health savings account program as specified in the Health Savings Accounts Act created in Sections 83-62-1 through 83-62-9; however, any amount withdrawn from such account for purposes other than paying qualified medical expenses or to procure health coverage shall be included in gross income, except as otherwise provided by Sections 83-62-7 and 83-62-9.

(bb) Amounts received as qualified disaster relief payments shall be treated in the same manner as provided under the United States Internal Revenue Code, as amended.

(cc) Amounts received as a "qualified Hurricane Katrina distribution" as defined in the United States Internal Revenue Code, as amended.

(dd) Amounts received by an individual which may be excluded from income as foreign earned income for federal income tax purposes.

(ee) Amounts received by a qualified individual, directly or indirectly, from an employer or nonprofit housing organization that are qualified housing expenses associated with an employer-assisted housing program. For purposes of this paragraph (ee):

(i) "Qualified individual" means any individual whose household income does not exceed one hundred twenty percent (120%) of the area median gross income (as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development), adjusted for household size, for the area in which the housing is located.

(ii) "Nonprofit housing organization" means an organization that is organized as a not-for-profit organization under the laws of this state or another state and has as one of its purposes:

1. Homeownership education or counseling;

2. The development of affordable housing; or

3. The development or administration of employer-assisted housing programs.

(iii) "Employer-assisted housing program" means a separate written plan of any employer (including, without limitation, tax-exempt organizations and public employers) for the exclusive benefit of the employer's employees to pay qualified housing expenses to assist the employer's employees in securing affordable housing.

(iv) "Qualified housing expenses" means:

1. With respect to rental assistance, an amount not to exceed Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) paid for the purpose of assisting employees with security deposits and rental subsidies; and

2. With respect to homeownership assistance, an amount not to exceed the lesser of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) or six percent (6%) of the purchase price of the employee's principal residence that is paid for the purpose of assisting employees with down payments, payment of closing costs, reduced interest mortgages, mortgage guarantee programs, mortgage forgiveness programs, equity contribution programs, or contributions to homebuyer education and/or homeownership counseling of eligible employees.

(ff) For the 2010 taxable year and any taxable year thereafter, amounts converted in accordance with the United States Internal Revenue Code, as amended, from a traditional Individual Retirement Account to a Roth Individual Retirement Account. The exemption allowed under this paragraph (ff) shall be available to the spouse or other beneficiary at the death of the primary retiree.

(gg) Amounts received for the performance of disaster or emergency-related work as defined in Section 27-113-5.

(hh) The amount deposited in a catastrophe savings account established under Sections 27-7-1001 through 27-7-1007, interest income earned on the catastrophe savings account, and distributions from the catastrophe savings account; however, any amount withdrawn from a catastrophe savings account for purposes other than paying qualified catastrophe expenses shall be included in gross income, except as otherwise provided by Sections 27-7-1001 through 27-7-1007.

(ii) Interest, dividends, gains or income of any kind on any account in the Mississippi Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Trust Fund, as established in Chapter 28, Title 43, to the extent that such amounts remain on deposit in the ABLE Trust Fund or are withdrawn pursuant to a qualified withdrawal, as defined in Section 43-28-11.

(jj) Subject to the limitations provided under Section 27-7-1103, amounts deposited into a first-time homebuyer savings account and any interest or other income earned attributable to an account and monies or funds withdrawn or distributed from an account for the payment of eligible costs by or on behalf of a qualified beneficiary; however, any monies or funds withdrawn or distributed from a first-time homebuyer savings account for any purpose other than the payment of eligible costs by or on behalf of a qualified beneficiary shall be included in gross income. For the purpose of this paragraph (jj), the terms "first-time homebuyer savings account," "eligible costs" and "qualified beneficiary" mean and have the same definitions as such terms have in Section 27-7-1101.

(kk) Amounts paid by an agricultural disaster program as compensation to an agricultural producer, cattle farmer or cattle rancher who has suffered a loss as the result of a disaster or emergency, including, but not limited to, the following United States Department of Agriculture programs:

(i) Livestock Forage Disaster Program;

(ii) Livestock Indemnity Program;

(iii) Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program;

(iv) Emergency Conservation Program;

(v) Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program;

(vi) Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Pilot Insurance Program;

(vii) Annual Forage Pilot Program;

(viii) Livestock Risk Protection Insurance Program; and

(ix) Livestock Gross Margin Insurance Plan.

(ll) Amounts received as advances and/or grants under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act.

(mm) Any and all cancelled indebtedness provided for under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

(nn) Amounts received as payments under Section 27-3-85.

(oo) Amounts received as grants under the 2020 COVID-19 Mississippi Business Assistance Act.

(pp) Amounts received as grants under Section 57-1-521.

( * * *rrqq) Amounts received as grants under the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program and Restaurant Revitalization Fund authorized by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act.

( * * *ssrr) Amounts received as grants under the Mississippi Agriculture Stabilization Act.

(ss) Amounts received as rebates under Section 1 of this act.

(5) Prisoners of war, missing in action-taxable status.

(a) Members of the Armed Forces. Gross income does not include compensation received for active service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States for any month during any part of which such member is in a missing status, as defined in paragraph (d) of this subsection, during the Vietnam Conflict as a result of such conflict.

(b) Civilian employees. Gross income does not include compensation received for active service as an employee for any month during any part of which such employee is in a missing status during the Vietnam Conflict as a result of such conflict.

(c) Period of conflict. For the purpose of this subsection, the Vietnam Conflict began February 28, 1961, and ends on the date designated by the President by Executive Order as the date of the termination of combatant activities in Vietnam. For the purpose of this subsection, an individual is in a missing status as a result of the Vietnam Conflict if immediately before such status began he was performing service in Vietnam or was performing service in Southeast Asia in direct support of military operations in Vietnam. "Southeast Asia," as used in this paragraph, is defined to include Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and waters adjacent thereto.

(d) "Missing status" means the status of an employee or member of the Armed Forces who is in active service and is officially carried or determined to be absent in a status of (i) missing; (ii) missing in action; (iii) interned in a foreign country; (iv) captured, beleaguered or besieged by a hostile force; or (v) detained in a foreign country against his will; but does not include the status of an employee or member of the Armed Forces for a period during which he is officially determined to be absent from his post of duty without authority.

(e) "Active service" means active federal service by an employee or member of the Armed Forces of the United States in an active duty status.

(f) "Employee" means one who is a citizen or national of the United States or an alien admitted to the United States for permanent residence and is a resident of the State of Mississippi and is employed in or under a federal executive agency or department of the Armed Forces.

(g) "Compensation" means (i) basic pay; (ii) special pay; (iii) incentive pay; (iv) basic allowance for quarters; (v) basic allowance for subsistence; and (vi) station per diem allowances for not more than ninety (90) days.

(h) If refund or credit of any overpayment of tax for any taxable year resulting from the application of this subsection (5) is prevented by the operation of any law or rule of law, such refund or credit of such overpayment of tax may, nevertheless, be made or allowed if claim therefor is filed with the department * * * of Revenue within three (3) years after the date of the enactment of this subsection.

(i) The provisions of this subsection shall be effective for taxable years ending on or after February 28, 1961.

(6) A shareholder of an S corporation, as defined in Section 27-8-3(1)(g), shall take into account the income, loss, deduction or credit of the S corporation only to the extent provided in Section 27-8-7(2).

SECTION 3. Section 27-33-31, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-33-31. (1) It shall be the duty of every person, who is eligible for and desires the homestead exemption provided for in this article, to comply with the following provisions:

(a) He shall make written application to the county tax assessor on the prescribed form, on or before the first day of April. Applications not on file on or before April 1 of the current year may not be filed, may not be dated back, may not be accepted by the assessor, may not be allowed by the board of supervisors, and may not be considered by the * * * commission department, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection.

Any person who has on file with the tax assessor a valid allowed claim for homestead exemption filed on or after January 1, 1991, shall not be required to annually thereafter reapply for such claim for exemption but shall be credited with such exemption each year so long as such person is entitled to homestead exemption on the same property and there has been no change in the property description, ownership, use or occupancy since January 1 of the preceding year. In the event changes have occurred in the status of the homestead in the property description, ownership, use or occupancy since January 1 of the preceding year, and in the event such person is still eligible for homestead exemption, he shall file a new application and provide all the information required under this section as for the initial application. However, the requirement to file a new application shall not apply to a surviving spouse who is still eligible for homestead exemption. If the deceased spouse qualified for the exemption provided in Section 27-33-67(2), but the surviving spouse does not qualify for such exemption, the surviving spouse must file a new application for homestead exemption.

(b) * * * (i) In cases where the Governor declares by written proclamation that the courthouse or other place that the tax assessor's office may be located is damaged to such an extent that it is not possible to accept applications for homestead exemption, then the Governor may extend the period for filing by a period not to exceed thirty (30) days.

 * * * (ii) From and after January 1, 2023, persons allowed an exemption from all ad valorem taxes on the assessed value of homestead property under paragraph (b) or (d) of Section 27‑33‑75(2) shall be permitted to apply for the exemption within thirty (30) calendar days of the closing date for the homestead purchase, but not later than December 31 of the year of purchase. If, at the time of application, the applicant has homestead exemption on another property, the effect of the new application on the old homestead property shall be the same as if the new application were filed on or before April 1.

(c) He shall make the application in quadruplicate.

(d) He shall make separate applications, as provided above, to the respective assessors if the property claimed for exemption lies in two (2) counties, first with the assessor of the county of residence, and then with the assessor of the other county, submitting at the same time two (2) copies of the first application, certified by the chancery clerk as specified by Section 27-33-23(f).

(e) He shall deliver to the assessor the application marked "original," the copy marked "duplicate," and the copy marked "triplicate."

(f) He shall retain the copy marked "quadruplicate" as evidence that the application was made and filed, which quadruplicate may be filed with the board if the original and duplicate are lost; and certified copies of the quadruplicate may be used when so ordered by the board, not later than the meeting of the board held in March of the year following the year in which the application was executed, under such rules and regulations as the * * * commission department shall prescribe.

(g) He shall state on the application the name, date of birth, social security number, phone number and email address of the owner of the property, and the number and status of all occupants of the home, other than the owner's family. If the applicant is married, he shall state on the application the name, date of birth, social security number, phone number and email address of the spouse.

(h) He shall state the full name of the applicant, whether the same as the name of the owner or not.

(i) He shall give a parcel number, which shall clearly locate and identify it, and state the acreage contained, as prescribed in Section 27-33-27.

(j) He shall state the kind of title, or ownership right held, from whom and how obtained, and the names of all present owners.

(k) He shall state the number of book and page where the deed, or other conveyance or evidence of ownership, is of public record, or attach to both the original and duplicate application a certified copy of the conveyance by which title is claimed, or copies supported by affidavit of the holder, or by one who has seen and verified the original; or such other evidence of title as may be required by the * * * commission department; and the instrument by which title is claimed shall be placed of record, if it may be admitted to record.

(l) He shall state the price for which the property was sold and conveyed to the owner, the amount of the unpaid principal, if any, and the terms of payment thereof, if it was acquired by the owner after July 1, 1938, as evidenced by the date of the acknowledgment of the conveyance. The purchase price and the amount of unpaid principal shall not be required more than one (1) time.

(m) He shall state if any part of the dwelling or land is rented or leased, and the kind of business conducted in the home or on the land.

(n) He shall furnish all the information required by the application, which must be true and correct, and he must supply it in the event he does not prepare the application with his own hand. Except as otherwise provided in Section 27-33-33(2), the information given on the application must not be made or inserted by the assessor or by anyone, except as furnished by the applicant.

(o) He shall make the original application in person or in such manner as may be provided under the rules and regulations of the * * * commission department; or it may be made by his agent or attorney, duly constituted in writing, and a copy of such written authority, duly sworn to and acknowledged or attested by two (2) competent witnesses shall be attached to each the original, the duplicate, and the triplicate application for homestead exemption; but the husband or wife may sign for the other if living in the same dwelling.

(p) He shall make affidavit to the application and to the truth of all statements made and answers to questions contained therein, and the oath may be administered by the tax assessor, a member of the board of supervisors, or any other officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments.

(q) He shall give such other pertinent information as may be required by the * * * commission department; and he shall promptly give any information requested, and answer any question propounded by the assessor or member of the board of supervisors.

(r) When an applicant has filed a timely application, but has failed to make known his eligibility for an additional exemption as provided for in Section 27-33-67(2), then an application for additional homestead exemption may be filed under such rules and regulations as the * * * commission department shall prescribe.

(2) The board of supervisors may authorize a charge of Fifty Cents (50) per subsequent annual renewal application, which is returned by the applicant by mail, to be used toward defraying the expense of the mailing process of the subsequent annual renewal application. The charge provided for herein shall not be assessed against any person returning the subsequent annual renewal application in person.

(3) In addition to any other fine, imprisonment or sentence which may be imposed for violation of the Mississippi Homestead Exemption Law of 1946, any person who violates such law through fraudulent application or by willful failure to notify the tax assessor of changes in the status of the homestead, when required to do so under subsection (1)(a) of this section, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction may be punished by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, or both.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2024.