Houses passes bill blocking lease charges for residential piers

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — The Mississippi House has given final passage to a bill that would block Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann from charging for leases for residential piers bordering state waters.

Gulf Coast residents and their legislators have been tangling with Hosemann over his claim that landowners bordering state waters must pay yearly lease fees to build docks. Hosemann said he’s required to do so under state tidelands law. Opponents say lease requirements, not routinely enforced until after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, are burdensome to property owners.

Under Senate Bill 2557, which goes to Gov. Phil Bryant, property owners would still have to obtain permits from the Department of Marine Resources and pay a one-time fee to that department. Commercial users would still have to pay leases for use of state tidelands.

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