City May Annex Airport Land, Collect Rent On It | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

City May Annex Airport Land, Collect Rent On It

Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote says he would like for the City of Jackson to start collecting rent currently paid to the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, including along Lakeland Drive in Flowood.

Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote says he would like for the City of Jackson to start collecting rent currently paid to the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, including along Lakeland Drive in Flowood. Photo by Imani Khayyam/File Photo

— Ward 4 City Councilman De’Keither Stamps today asked a representative from the city attorney’s office to send him information pertaining to annexing city property that is outside the city’s corporate limits, specifically land currently controlled by the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. The suggestion came in the wake of state legislation that would take control of the airport away from Jackson officials.

Stamps said he would like to place the annexation on the Jackson City Council agenda as soon as possible. “I would like to start the process in the next council meeting,” Stamps said at today’s Planning Committee meeting. Annexation would allow for the city to tax the property, bringing revenue from the property back to the City’s general fund.

Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote said that he had looked into leasing the property the airport maintains. He said the three parcels he knows about bring in a total of $65,000 annually in rent. At the moment that leasing revenue goes back to the JMAA.

“Perhaps that money should be going to the City of Jackson, because it really has nothing to do with the airport,” Foote said.

The properties he discussed were centered on the Lakeland Drive area in Rankin County, including the Parkway Theater, the Sleep Inn and other shopping development areas.

“I think we need to be proactive in making sure that we are getting a fair return for the City of Jackson for that land, particularly if it is getting used in a productive manner, such as the movie theater,” Foote said.

“And if there is other land that is very valuable, and has become increasingly valuable like the area along Lakeland Drive,” Foote added, “we want to make sure that we are putting productive use for and getting a benefit for the City of Jackson.”

In addition to the property already mentioned, in December 2015 the JMAA entered into an option to lease 130 acres of the land it controls, bringing in the potential for even more revenue. In 2014, in collaboration with Entergy Mississippi, the JMAA qualified 211 acres of land as development-ready on par with the strict requirements of the large energy corporation, inviting large-scale development on land that is now owned, although not annexed, by the City of Jackson.

Email city reporter Tim Summers, Jr. at tim@jacksonfreepress.com See more local news at jfp.ms/localnews and more on the airport “takeover” attempt at jfp.ms/airport.

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