What is Section Sixteen Land in Mississippi?

A fair number of homes in the State of Mississippi are built on what is called “16th Section Land” of which, in  trust, the State of Mississippi owns over 640,000 acres. Trustees manage this land and 108 Mississippi public school districts serve as trustees for 16th Section Land.  The Mississippi Secretary of State FAQ serves as the supervising trustee. The allocation of 16th section property dates back to the Land Ordinance of 1785, which set aside section number 16 in each township for the use and benefit of public schools.

Basics of 16th Section Land

The 108 trustee school districts raise public education funds by leasing 16th Section Land, which is partitioned and classified for different uses. Classifications include agricultural, forestry, farming, hunting and fishing, recreational, residential, industrial and mining. The local school districts advertise the land through notices and newspapers, and the highest bidder wins the lease. When renewing a lease, the land is appraised at fair market rental value. The lessee is responsible for paying the taxes as if the lessee owned the property. The beneficiary of the funds are the various school districts throughout the state.

The All Star Team currently has two homes listed at 1137 and 1145 Grantham (check availability), both listed at $151,500 which are on 16th Section Land. These homes in Hattiesburg were built by Kent Williamson who is a quality builder who has built many similar homes throughout the Hattiesburg area. Buying a home on 16th Section Land is not a complicated proposition. You own the house, but you don’t own the land; you only pay taxes on the land which is leased to you on a long term basis. All in all, the tax burden for owning a home on 16th Section land is the same as any other residential property in any given county.