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First Regular Session

Sixty-first General Assembly

LLS NO. R97@0801.01 GWF



also SENATOR Chlouber.




WHEREAS, In 1976, the United States Congress enacted the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program administered by the United States Bureau of Land Management to compensate local governments for the tax­exempt nature of and the costs associated with the presence of federal lands; and

WHEREAS, Counties have historically and traditionally shared in the benefits of economic activity on public lands through statutory formulas that guarantee a percentage of all gross receipts to be returned to the counties where the activity occurs; and

WHEREAS, Shared natural resource payments to counties from economic activities such as timber sales, mineral leasing, and grazing are absolutely vital to the financial stability of county government; and

WHEREAS, Counties utilize shared receipts to provide vital services through long­standing intergovernmental agreements with the federal government; and

WHEREAS, The United States Congress considered and passed legislation in 1994 known as S.455, which adjusted the PILT program by increasing the authorization level to reflect full value as enacted in 1976; and

WHEREAS, In 1995, Congress increased the authorization for PILT to double the previous $100 million level gradually over several years in order to make up for inflation, making a full appropriation for fiscal year 1999 of $190 million rather than the $101.5 million Interior Secretary Babbitt is asking for; and

WHEREAS, The United States Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, announced that the Clinton Administration's budget proposal calls for a $12 million cut in PILT funding that dramatically impacts western states; and

WHEREAS, The money cut from the PILT program will apparently be used to help pay for the management of the new Escalante Monument in Utah, which was established by President Clinton without the usual environmental and public hearing process; and

WHEREAS, An 11 percent reduction of Colorado's $8 million share of the PILT payments would mean that approximately $900,000 per year would be taken from Colorado counties to contribute to the Escalante Monument project; and

WHEREAS, Cutting money from the PILT program violates the original agreement between the federal government and our nation's counties; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Sixty­first General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the Senate concurring herein:

That we, the members of the General Assembly, support full funding of the federal PILT program as authorized by the passage of S.455 in 1994 and urge the Colorado Congressional Delegation to advocate for the full funding level.

Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of Interior, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation.