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The Mississippi Link Newswire

On December 5 2013, the Working Together Jackson (WTJ)  Executive Committee voted unanimously to endorse the proposed 1% sales increase. Infrastructure repair is one of WTJ’s top priorities, and all of the money raised by the increase will be spent on these necessary repairs.

The next step is for the entire leadership of WTJ is to vote on whether or not to endorse the increase. The next Leaders’ Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, December 17 2013, at noon at New Horizon Church where the historic vote is scheduled to take place.

City of Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba held a public meeting about the proposed sales tax increase on December 1. See the video below for some excerpts from that meeting. Below the video are highlights and details of the proposed law:

HIGHLIGHTS

Items that WILL NOT be covered by the sales tax increase:

  • Groceries
  • Prescription drugs
  • Restaurant food and beverages
  • Hotel/motel rooms
  • Subscription television and internet services

How much money will the increase raise?

  • An estimated $15 million per year
  • An estimated $343 million over twenty years

What will it be spent on?
Road repair and water, sewer and drainage projects ONLY.

MUNICIPAL SPECIAL SALES TAX
SECTION 27-65-241

The governing authorities of any municipality with a population of 150,000 or more according to the latest federal decennial census to impose a special sales tax at the rate of not more than 1% of the gross proceeds of sales or gross income of businesses derived from any of the activities taxed at the rate of 7% or more under the Mississippi Sales Tax Law.
The tax does not apply to:
·  Sales exempt under the Mississippi Sales Tax Law.
·  Gross proceeds of sales or gross income of restaurants derived from the sale of food and beverages.
·  Gross proceeds of sales or gross income of hotels and motels derived from the sale of hotel rooms and motel rooms for lodging purposes.
·  Retail sales of unprepared food for human consumption.
·  Gross income of businesses engaging or continuing in the business of TV cable systems, subscription TV services, and other similar activities, including, but not limited to, cable Internet services.
Before the tax may be imposed, the governing authorities of the municipality are required to adopt a resolution declaring its intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of the tax to be imposed, the purposes for which the revenue collected pursuant to the tax may be used and expended, the date upon which the tax shall become effective and calling for an election to be held on the question.  If at least 3/5 of the qualified electors who voted in the election voted in favor of the tax, the governing authorities must adopt a resolution declaring the levy and collection of the tax and shall set the first day of the second month following the date of such adoption as the effective date of the tax levy.
All the revenue from the special sales tax must be expended to pay the cost of road and street repair, reconstruction and resurfacing projects based on traffic patterns, need and usage, and to pay the costs of water, sewer and drainage projects.
The special sales tax is collected by the Department of Revenue, accounted for separately from the amount of sales tax collected for the state in the municipality and paid to the municipality.
If a municipality expands its corporate boundaries, the governing authorities of the municipality may not impose the special sales tax in the annexed area unless the tax is approved at an election in which only the qualified electors in the annexed area may vote.
A municipality that levies the special sales tax authorized under this section is required to establish a commission.
The commission is composed of 10 voting members as follows:
·  Four members representing the business community in the municipality appointed by the Chamber of Commerce who represent businesses located within the city limits of the municipality.
·  Three members appointed at large by the mayor of the municipality, with the advice and consent of the legislative body of the municipality.  All appointments made by the mayor pursuant to this paragraph shall be residents of the municipality.
·  One member shall be appointed at large by the Governor who must be a resident of the municipality.
·  One member at large by the Lieutenant Governor who must be a resident of the municipality.
·  One member appointed at large by the Speaker of the House.
The commission is required, with input from the municipality, to establish a master plan for road and street repair, reconstruction and resurfacing projects based on traffic patterns, need and usage, and for water, sewer and drainage projects.  Expenditures of the revenue from the tax may be made at the discretion of the governing authorities of the municipality if the expenditures comply with the master plan.  The commission is required to monitor the compliance of the municipality with the master plan.
A municipality may only have two elections regarding the imposition of the special sales tax.  The repeal date of the law is from and after July 1, 2032; however, if the tax fails to be adopted at an election held for such purpose prior to July 1, 2014, the repeal date of the law is from and after July 1, 2014.