Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann presented a check for $7,321,138 to the Commission on Marine Resources at a ceremony today. The dollars are generated from Tidelands leases and assessments.
The Tidelands lease revenue was collected on tidelands leases on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008. The Tidelands Assessment revenue is a result of House Bill 44, passed in the 2005 Fifth Extraordinary Session. That bill allowed land-based casinos on the Coast and required them to pay a tidelands assessment, which is based on the casino's capital investment. “This tidelands check is crucial to Mississippi Gulf Coast citizens,” Hosemann said. “And I am happy to report the amount of this check is more than double the check from 2007.”
The people of Mississippi own the public trust tidelands, the land covered by water at high tide. Rent is collected by the Secretary of State’s Office from tidelands leaseholders, including casinos.
As Secretary of State, Hosemann negotiates tidelands leases on behalf of the state. Traditionally, the Mississippi Legislature appropriates the lease revenue for specific projects. Rent is collected from tidelands leaseholders by the Secretary of State and then returned to the Department of Marine Resources at the end of the fiscal year.