Washington, D.C. – Today the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on legislation that would reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program and provide greater parity to small counties who receive Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding from the federal government. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) is a cosponsor of both pieces of legislation that will provide funding for critical services in counties with large amounts of federal land.
The committee discussed S. 2108, the Small County PILT Parity Act, which would create four new population tiers so that eligible low population counties (those with populations under 5,000) could receive a higher annual PILT payment. This formula adjustment will help bring parity to lower population counties and help address rising infrastructure and emergency services costs. The committee also heard testimony on S. 430, a bill to extend the Secure Rural Schools program, which ensures counties with swaths of tax-exempt forestlands can adequately provide essential services for their residents.
“These bills will improve the funding for essential services for counties with large amounts of tax-exempt forestlands and federal lands,” said Senator Gardner. “I applaud the committee for holding this hearing to discuss critical federal government programs that support counties with a limited tax base as a result of federal acreage. This will make sure critical services like search and rescue, emergency medical services, law enforcement, schools, and maintenance of roads can continue.”
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.
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