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U.S. Forest Service distributes FY 2021 Secure Rural Schools payments to national forest counties

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    U.S. Forest Service distributes FY 2021 Secure Rural Schools payments to national forest counties

    On April 15, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced the release of $238 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments. The money was distributed to 41 states and Puerto Rico and will be delivered as payments to over 700 eligible counties across the country. Counties rely on SRS payments to provide numerous critical services for their communities such as infrastructure, education, conservation projects, search and rescue missions and wildfire prevention programs. For detailed payment tables by county and state, click here. The Bureau of Land Management has not yet distributed payments to the 18 counties in Oregon containing O&C lands.

    SRS is a longstanding revenue share program that assists rural counties and school districts affected by the decline in revenue from timber harvests on federal land. The FY 2021 round of payments is the first of three authorized payments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL, P.L. 117-58). The BIL also increased funding for all three years to FY 2017 levels adding $40 million to county payments.

    Public lands counties rely on programs like SRS and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) to help maintain their budgets while bearing the responsibility of untaxable federal lands. While these payments represent a fraction of what counties would collect from property taxes and timber receipts, they are critical for local governments to meet their governing missions. The last time authorization for SRS lapsed in FY 2016, counties saw an 80 percent decrease in federal forest payments.

    NACo will continue to work with our congressional champions to enact a long-term funding solution to ensure national forest counties can continue to provide essential services to our residents and visitors.

    On April 15, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced the release of $238 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments.
    2022-04-19
    Blog
    2022-04-19
The first of three rounds of SRS payments authorized under the new infrastructure law were distributed April 15 742 counties in 41 states and Puerto Rico receive $238 million to support infrastructure maintenance, education, community wildfire programs and broadband expansion in public schools

On April 15, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced the release of $238 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments. The money was distributed to 41 states and Puerto Rico and will be delivered as payments to over 700 eligible counties across the country. Counties rely on SRS payments to provide numerous critical services for their communities such as infrastructure, education, conservation projects, search and rescue missions and wildfire prevention programs. For detailed payment tables by county and state, click here. The Bureau of Land Management has not yet distributed payments to the 18 counties in Oregon containing O&C lands.

SRS is a longstanding revenue share program that assists rural counties and school districts affected by the decline in revenue from timber harvests on federal land. The FY 2021 round of payments is the first of three authorized payments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL, P.L. 117-58). The BIL also increased funding for all three years to FY 2017 levels adding $40 million to county payments.

Public lands counties rely on programs like SRS and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) to help maintain their budgets while bearing the responsibility of untaxable federal lands. While these payments represent a fraction of what counties would collect from property taxes and timber receipts, they are critical for local governments to meet their governing missions. The last time authorization for SRS lapsed in FY 2016, counties saw an 80 percent decrease in federal forest payments.

NACo will continue to work with our congressional champions to enact a long-term funding solution to ensure national forest counties can continue to provide essential services to our residents and visitors.

About Jonathan Shuffield (Full Bio)

Legislative Director – Public Lands | Western Interstate Region

Jonathan serves as NACo’s legislative director for public lands and liaison to the Western Interstate Region, lobbying Congress on public lands issues including Payments In Lieu of Taxes, Secure Rural Schools, land management and endangered species.

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    Public Lands Steering Committee

    All matters relating to federally-owned public lands including federal land ​management programs, natural resource revenue sharing payments, payments in lieu of taxes, and property tax immunity concerns.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
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    <p>All matters relating to federally-owned public lands including federal land ​management programs, natural resource revenue sharing payments, payments in lieu of taxes, and property tax immunity concerns.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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