Bill strengthening 1% tax reporting rules on its way to governor’s desk

Mississippi State Capitol
Mississippi State Capitol(WLBT)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 12:52 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A bill that includes more stringent reporting requirements for the city of Jackson’s infrastructure sales tax is going to the governor.

On Thursday, the House vote 108-2-11 to concur with an amended version of H.B. 1168, clearing the path for the bill to go to Gov. Tate Reeves’ desk.

The measure initially was written to mandate that all of the city’s one-percent infrastructure funds go to water and sewer.

However, the measure was amended to simply strengthen reporting requirements regarding how the money is spent.

Provisions of the amended version mandate Jackson will be required to provide one-percent commissioners with more detailed monthly reports, to include the name of vendors and projects and the dates and amounts paid to those vendors.

H.B. 1168 also requires any expenditures made in excess of what is approved by the commission shall be reimbursed by the city and put back in the one-percent fund.

[House approves bill mandating Jackson’s one-percent funds go toward water, sewer]

The tax was put in place in 2014, with voters overwhelmingly approving it at the ballot box. Revenue from the tax can be used solely to address infrastructure needs, such as road repaving, water line replacement and the like. A special commission was put in place to oversee how the tax dollars are used.

The bill also strengthens the requirements regarding reporting to the state. Under the statute, Jackson is required to submit an annual audit to the House and the Senate. If the city fails to do so, the Department of Revenue will be required to withhold payments to the city until the audit is submitted.

The tax is placed on many commercial transactions within the current city limits. Under terms of the statute, the tax is collected by the Department of Revenue each month and submitted to the city, where it is placed in “a special municipal fund apart from the municipal general fund and other funds of the municipality.”

For fiscal year 2022, the tax generated nearly $16.2 million, about $700,000 more than the prior year. So far, this fiscal year, the tax has brought in more than $11 million, up from little more than $10.7 million through the same time last year, DOR figures show.

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