Hosemann Wants Control of Biloxi Waterfront Property To Attract A Casino. Biloxi Officials Want To See Family-Friendly Amusement Park Development.
Biloxi Lodging, owner of Margaritaville Resort, is suing (Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert) Hosemann over a little more than an acre of land that is part of the grass field between Margaritaville, a family fun center and hotel, and The Blind Tiger restaurant.
Hosemann claims the state controls the property up to U.S. 90. Previously, the state has claimed only a sliver of the southern portion of the property, and signed leases based on that property line.
Mississippi law clearly establishes that the state holds in trust for the public waterfront property that is subject to the ebb and flow of the tide. This is dry land. The Secretary of State’s Office manages the state’s tidelands, including lucrative leases with casinos.
“The mayor finds it appalling that (Hosemann) is using tidelands money that we generate to fight us for control of our waterfront,” city spokesman Vincent Creel said, sharing Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s opinion. “That’s what it’s about — control.”
If a judge agrees the state controls the land, it would be subject to city, state and county school taxes only if and when it is leased and developed. Also, Biloxi Lodging says it will seek a refund of previous taxes if Hosemann prevails.
Biloxi Lodging wants to put an amusement park on this property and surrounding land. But Hosemann has said he would market the property competitively as a casino site.