MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2019 Regular Session

To: Local and Private Legislation

By: Representative Willis

House Bill 1744

AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT IF THE DIAMONDHEAD COUNTRY CLUB AND PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., AUTHORIZES THE TRANSFER OF ALL OR A PORTION OF ITS ASSETS AND AMENITIES TO THE CITY OF DIAMONDHEAD, MISSISSIPPI, FOR OPERATION, MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT, THE CITY OF DIAMONDHEAD IS AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT SUCH ASSETS AND AMENITIES; TO PROVIDE THAT UPON ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH ASSETS AND AMENITIES AND AFTER AN ELECTION AT WHICH A MAJORITY VOTES IN FAVOR OF THE ASSESSMENT, THE CITY IS AUTHORIZED AND EMPOWERED, IN ITS DISCRETION, TO LEVY AN ANNUAL ASSESSMENT IN THE FORM OF A FLAT RATE FEE ON EVERY PARCEL OF PROPERTY IN THE CITY IN AN AMOUNT REASONABLY DETERMINED BY THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF THE CITY TO BE NECESSARY TO OPERATE, MAINTAIN AND IMPROVE THE RECREATION ASSETS AND AMENITIES OF THE CITY; TO EXEMPT CERTAIN PROPERTY FROM THE ASSESSMENT; TO PROVIDE THAT THE ASSESSMENT SHALL BE COLLECTED BY THE HANCOCK COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR IN THE SAME MANNER THAT AD VALOREM TAXES ARE COLLECTED AND PAID; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  As used in this act:

          (a)  "City" means the City of Diamondhead, Mississippi.        (b)  "Governing authorities" means the Mayor and City Council of the City of Diamondhead, Mississippi.

     SECTION 2.  If the Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association, Inc., authorizes the transfer of all or a portion of its assets and amenities to the city for operation, maintenance and improvement, the city is authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to accept such assets and amenities.  Upon acceptance of the assets and amenities, the city is authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to levy an annual assessment in the form of a flat rate fee on every parcel of property in the city in an amount reasonably determined by the governing authorities to be necessary to operate, maintain and improve the parks and recreation assets and amenities of the city.  The assessment authorized by this section shall be in addition to all other taxes and assessments imposed on property in the city.  The assessment shall not be imposed on public entities, cemeteries and churches.

     SECTION 3.  (1)  Before the assessment authorized under this act may be imposed, the governing authorities shall adopt a resolution declaring their intention to levy the assessment, setting forth the amount of the assessment to be imposed, the date upon which the assessment 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 the 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, 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 may vote, and the ballots used in the election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purposes of the proposed assessment and the words "FOR IMPOSING THE ASSESSMENT" and, on a separate line, "AGAINST IMPOSING THE ASSESSMENT" and the voters shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check () opposite their choice on the proposition.  When the results of the election shall have been canvassed and certified, the city may impose the assessment if a majority of the qualified electors who vote in the election vote in favor of the assessment.

     (2)  Subsequent increases in the amount of the assessment shall be made after a notice of intent to increase the assessment and a public hearing by the city pursuant to existing statutory requirements.

     SECTION 4.  (1)  The Hancock County Tax Collector shall identify every parcel of property in the city that is subject to the assessment.  Each parcel shall have an identifying number.

     (2)  The assessment shall be paid to the Hancock County Tax Collector and shall be due, payable and collectible in the same manner in which the payment of ad valorem taxes in the city are due, payable and collectable, and all statutes regulating the enforcement and collection of ad valorem taxes in the city shall apply to the enforcement and collection of the assessments levied under the provisions of this act.

     (3)  The proceeds of the assessment, less three percent (3%) thereof which shall be retained by the Hancock County Tax Collector to defray the cost of collection, shall be paid to the city.

     SECTION 5.  (1)  The proceeds of the assessment shall not be considered by the city as general fund revenues but shall be expended solely for the purposes specified in Section 2 of this act.

     (2)  Accounting for receipts and expenditures of the revenue from the assessment shall be made separately from the accounting of receipts and expenditures of the general fund and any other funds of the city.

     (3)  Financial reporting and accounting shall be conducted in accordance with Section 2l-35-3l, Mississippi Code of 1972, and requirements prescribed by the State Auditor.

     SECTION 6.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.