Reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000

Reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000

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Many counties are compensated for the tax-exempt status of federal lands. Counties with national forest lands and with certain Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands have historically received a percentage of agency revenues, primarily from timber sales. However, timber sales have declined substantially-by more than 90% in some areas-which had led to substantially reduced payments to the counties. Thus, Congress enacted the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (SRS; P.L. 106-393) as a temporary, optional program of payments based on historic rather than current revenues. Authorization for SRS payments originally expired at the end of FY2006, but the program was extended through FY2013 by several reauthorizations, starting with a one-year reauthorization for FY2007 (P.L. 110-28). In 2008, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (P.L. 110-343) enacted a four-year extension to SRS authorization through FY2011, with declining payments, a modified formula, and transition payments for certain areas. In 2012, Congress enacted a one-year extension through FY2012, and amended the program to slow the decline in payment levels and to tighten requirements that counties select a payment option promptly (P.L. 112-141). In 2013, Congress again enacted a one-year extension through FY2013 (P.L. 113-40). SRS payments are disbursed after the fiscal year ends, so the FY2013 SRS payment-the last authorized payment-was made in FY2014. Congressional debates over reauthorization have considered the basis and level of compensation (historical, tax equivalency, etc.); the source of funds (receipts, a new tax or revenue source, etc.); the authorized and required uses of the payments; interaction with other compensation programs (notably Payments in Lieu of Taxes); and the duration of any changes (temporary or permanent). In addition, legislation with mandatory spending, such as SRS reauthorization, raises policy questions about congressional control of spending. Current budget rules to restrain deficit spending typically impose a procedural barrier to such legislation, generally requiring offsets by additional receipts or reductions in other spending. SRS expired at the end of FY2013. County payments are set to return to a revenue-based system for FY2014; therefore, payments made in FY2015 are likely to be significantly lower than the previous years' payments. The 114th Congress may consider extending SRS (with or without modifications), implementing other legislative proposals to address the county payments, or taking no action.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 30 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 1.78mm | 122.47g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507531168
  • 9781507531167