Q Our city parks department has sponsored a soccer league for many years, collecting dues from the players to pay for expenses and placing these receipts in a separate account. A 501(c) (3) has been set up by private individuals and is now running the soccer league. May we donate the remaining funds in this account to the 501(c) (3) to help defray the startup costs of the new soccer organization? If not, may we use these funds for any parks department expenditures?

A No. The dues collected by the parks department are public funds under Section 7-7-1; therefore, there must be statutory authority to make a contribution or payment of these funds. Otherwise, it is a violation of Section 66 of the Mississippi Constitution. As to the second question, yes, based on Section 21-37-39’s description of the disposition of park commission revenues and funds “from any other source.” (Attorney General’s Opinion to Watkins, July 7, 2017)