Public Lands | Frequently Asked Questions

This section presents the user with the most frequently asked questions and the appropriate responses relative to Agency Lands.


Our Most Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How would I find a legal description for a certain piece of state-owned land?
  2. Can I lease state-owned land? If so, under what circumstances is it possible?
  3. Who do I contact concerning a property line when state-owned land is an issue?
  4. How do I determine if a certain piece of state-owned land is available for purchase?
  5. If I am interested in selling or donating privately owned property to the State of Mississippi, who do I contact? What procedures have to be followed?
  6. How do I determine which state agency controls a particular piece of property?
  7. How many acres does the state own? How many acres are owned in a particular county?
  8. How many acres are controlled by a particular state agency?
  9. Are there restrictions on land use for an agency or the state?
  10. Is it possible to access our Agency Files to get information and copies of conveyances, deeds, etc.?
  11. What procedure do we need to follow to purchase land?
  12. What procedure is required to transfer property to another agency?
  13. Since property is state-owned is another conveyance necessary to transfer the property?
  14. Is there a list of guidelines and procedures for buying and selling property?
  15. Do all land transactions have to go through the Secretary of State's Office?
  16. Does our agency have to report any alteration to the existing property under our jurisdiction to the Secretary of State's Office?
  17. What procedure is necessary to lease state-owned land for any purpose?
  18. If I have any questions about Agency Lands, how do I contact your office?



Answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions:

How would I find a legal description for a certain piece of state-owned land?

Answer:
Legal descriptions are contained on property deeds. Copies of deeds are housed in the county court house where the land is located. Copies of deeds can also be found in the Secretary of State's Office, provided the deed is on file.

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2. Can I lease state-owned land? If so, under what circumstances is it possible?

Answer:
Certain state-owned property can be leased. Each circumstance is unique. Contact the agency which controls the property or the Public Lands Division of the Secretary of State's Office for details.

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3. Who do I contact concerning a property line when state-owned land is an issue?

Answer:
Contact the agency which controls the adjoining property or the Public Lands Division of the Secretary of State's Office.

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4. How do I determine if a certain piece of state-owned land is available for purchase?

Answer:
Contact the agency which controls the property or the Public Lands Division of the Secretary of State's Office.

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5. If I am interested in selling or donating privately owned property to the State of Mississippi, who do I contact? What procedures have to be followed?

Answer:
Information can be obtained from the Public Lands Division of the Secretary of State's Office or the Bureau of Real Property Management in the Department of Finance & Administration. Generally, a current survey, appraisal, title certificate, and an environmental assessment are required before the State can accept real property donations or consider property for purchase.

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6. How do I determine which state agency controls a particular piece of property?

Answer:
You can look up the deed to the property in the county chancery clerk's office or contact the Public Lands Division of the Secretary of State's Office.

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7. How many acres does the state own? How many acres are owned in a particular county?

Answer:
It is currently estimated that the state through its various agencies owns approximately 800,000 acres. This acreage is constantly changing due to acquisitions and sales. This total does not include 16th section school trust lands, public trust tidelands, or tax forfeited lands. The total acres for a particular county are listed in the reports section of the inventory of agency lands.

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8. How many acres are controlled by a particular state agency?

Answer:
The total acres by state agency is contained the reports section of the inventory of agency lands.

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9. Are there restrictions on land use for an agency or the state?

Answer:
The restrictions, if any, varies from land parcel to land parcel. Restrictions can be placed on a parcel by covenants, legislative act, or restrictions contained in the deed.

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10. Is it possible to access our Agency Files to get information and copies of conveyances, deeds, etc.?

Answer:
Yes, records can be viewed agency by agency. Copies of deeds, when available, are attached to the conveyance records and can be printed.

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11. What procedure do we need to follow to purchase land?

Answer:
The agency must have general or specific statutory authority to purchase land. All deeds must be processed through the Public Lands Division of the Secretary of State's Office and signed by the Secretary of State or his Assistant.

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12. What procedure is required to transfer property to another agency?

Answer:
The same as with a land purchase.

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13. Since property is state-owned is another conveyance necessary to transfer the property?

Answer:
Yes if a legal transfer is desired. In some cases a perpetual easement can be granted so that the land will revert to the original agency if the parcel ceases to be used for the purpose granted in the easement.

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14. Is there a list of guidelines and procedures for buying and selling property?

Answer:
Yes, contact the Public Lands Division or the Bureau of Real Property Management in the Department of Finance and Administration to determine these procedures.

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15. Do all land transactions have to go through the Secretary of State's Office?

Answer:
Yes. All land transactions must be signed by the Secretary of State or his Assistant and must be recorded with the Secretary of State's Office.

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16. Does our agency have to report any alteration to the existing property under our jurisdiction to the Secretary of State's Office?

Answer:
Only land conveyance transactions must be reported to the Secretary of State.

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17. What procedure is necessary to lease state-owned land for any purpose?

Answer:
Sixteenth section land are leased through the local school boards and monitored by the Secretary of State. Land owned by a state agency would be leased through the particular agency controlling the land. Contact individual agency or the Public Lands Division for assistance.

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18. If I have any questions about Agency Lands, how do I contact your office?

Answer:
You may telephone the Public Lands Division at (601) 359-6373. The fax number is (601) 359-1461. The mailing address is P. O. Box 136 Jackson, MS 39205.

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