JJ is going to court against Gulfside Partnership Casino in Hinds County Chancery Court. Gulfside built the $58 million Island View hotel in Gulfport. Gulfside applied for a sales tax rebate under the tourism sales tax rebate program administered by the Mississippi Development Authority. Gulfside sued MDA and the Kingfish (oui, c'est moi) on September 10
after this website asked for copies of all rebate applications
submitted to MDA. Gulfside Partnership Casino petitioned Chancellor Dewayne Thomas in September to seal records that were part of its application for the rebate. Judge Thomas granted the protective order on September 11. JJ filed a motion to for relief from the order on December 30.
A short hearing was held on December 30. Judge Thomas told all three parties and their attorneys he was going to hold a hearing on the motion. It is scheduled for February 4.
JJ sent a request to MDA in August for copies of all applications submitted to the agency under the tourism sales tax rebate program. Jim Hood lawyer Royce Cole (assigned to MDA) sent a notice to Gulfside so it could have the opportunity to seek a protective order if it did not want any proprietary information or trade secrets released.
Gulfside argued it needed a protective order as it wanted to prevent competitors from obtaining financial information about the Island View project. Gulfside applied for the rebate on April 13, 2015. MDA approved the application on April 28. MDA estimated Gulfside would be eligible for a rebate of $24,221,221.
Gulfside asked the court to seal tax ID numbers, percentage of ownership, financial information, job creation projections, attendance projections, business plan, timetable for project, tax returns, financial statements, marketing plan, and amount of revenue subject to the sales tax for first ten years. Gulfside said such information would provide an unfair advantage to its competitors . However, the rebate is based upon revenue information that the company wants to keep secret.
Ironically, Gulfside filed a motion to dismiss this correspondent as a defendant on the same day that the motion for relief from the order was filed. Earlier post.
Kingfish note: It is really quite simple. The taxpayers have a right to know how their money is spent. Given what has taken place at the Mississippi Department of Corrections and other agencies, trusting our government officials to spend our money with no oversight is laughable. The November 24, 2015 post stated:
What is egregious is the fact that the Kingfish was never noticed on this lawsuit. This correspondent found out about the existence of the lawsuit last Thursday. Gulfside attorney Amanda Alexander claimed in her petition that she did not have my address so her client did not serve notice upon me. You read that correctly: Gulfside sued the Kingfish yet never provided notice of the petition. Judge Thomas actually issued the order without providing any opportunity or notice to this party.
What Ms. Alexander does not state is that my public records request that was provided to her by MDA had my phone number and email address. Ms. Alexander made no effort to contact me or provide notice of the lawsuit filed against me. It is the opinion of this website that Ms. Alexander perpetuated a fraud upon the court.
Oh, and remember that fight between the Clarion-Ledger and Mattiace? Did the newspaper ever actually publish any of the records or information in them that was obtained through the settlement?