SALT LAKE CITY — Today HJR 2 – Joint Resolution Urging Congress to Relocate Federal Land Management Agency Headquarters and HB 357 – Evaluating Tax Revenue Foregone From Federally Controlled Lands passed the Utah House and Senate.
Matt Anderson, director of the Coalition for Self-Government in the West (a project of Sutherland Institute) released the following corresponding statements:
HJR 2 – Joint Resolution Urging Congress to Relocate Federal Land Management Agency Headquarters:
“As the crossroads of the West, Utah is uniquely positioned to house the headquarters for the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior,” Anderson said. “Our central location in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, strong communities, and love of public lands makes our state an ideal location for our federal partners. Bringing federal lands managers out West will reduce tensions, promote collaboration and improve the health and quality of our public lands.”
HB 357 – Evaluating Tax Revenue Foregone From Federally Controlled Lands:
“The PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program is not working in the West,” Anderson said. “The program was designed to compensate rural communities and their schools for lost property tax revenue due to federal land ownership. While there is disagreement about how much more funding rural communities should receive from these payments, both sides of the aisle recognize that Utah and our schoolchildren are being shortchanged. It is my hope that HB 357 will start a national conversation about the PILT program and urge Congress to act.”