Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Monday that revenue from 16th Section land leases reached $89.2 million for fiscal year 2012, which ended last July.
The money goes to school districts.
“This $89 million will help alleviate some of the financial headaches faced by our school districts today,” Hosemann said in a press release. “In times of serious cutbacks and strict budgets, we were able to increase revenue generated on these public lands to benefit education.”
Hosemann said annual revenue from the leases has increased $34 million since he took office in 2008.
Hosemann’s office executed a memorandum of understanding with the Mississippi Forestry Commission to develop forest management plans for 16th Section land with timber on it. Plans are designed to maximize revenue generated by selling timber. Oil royalty payments have also increased.
All 16th Section leases are posted on the secretary of state’s website at www.sos.ms.gov.
“I made a promise I would protect our public lands for schoolchildren. Time and time again, we have seen attempts to raid 16th Section land funds for short term gains,” Hosemann said. “This increase in funding shows sound management practices are producing cash results.”