Right now, the PRVWSD is (for the most part) a financially autonomous agency of the State of Mississippi. The PRVWSD states on its website that:
The District carries out its multi-purpose mission without any state or local tax dollars.The PRVWSD self-generates funds for its purpose through lease fees, timber sales, operation of campgrounds, hunting permits, etc. In the normal course of business, no funds are allocated to the PRVWSD from the general budget. Senate Bill 2362 would change that.
If you take a look at page 225 of said Senate Bill, it succinctly provides that the language of Miss. Code Ann. 51-9-149, the funding statute for the PRVWSD, shall be changed to:
(5) From and after July 1, 2016, the expenses of this agency shall be defrayed by appropriation from the State General Fund and all user charges and fees authorized under this section shall be deposited into the State General Fund as authorized by law.What this means is that all leasehold fees, user fees, timber sales, etc., shall be remitted by the PRVWSD to the general fund of the State of Mississippi. In return, the PRVWSD must then annually request its operating money from the Mississippi Legislature like other state agencies. In a sense, the PRVWSD will be at the mercy of the legislature when determining what its budget will be, rather than the master of its own destiny.
I haven't thought this through yet. What are some of the effects this could have on the way the PRVWSD operates? Would it give the PRVWSD less incentive to develop property, or be less accountable to the leaseholders?
Said bill passed the Senate on a party-line vote on March 2, 2016, which included Senator Josh Harkins' supporting vote. It now sits in the House Appropriation Committee for further discussion.