*SRS issue: Time to send the feds an invoice?

Editor’s note:  This editorial comes to us from author/editor David Rauzi of the IDAHO COUNTY FREE PRESS; it was published on Feb. 3rd.  Idaho County, incidentally, is 81.6% owned by the Forest Service, the second highest national-forest ownership in Idaho, second behind Valley County (86.3% national forest).  Shoshone County, according to the most recent estimate I’ve received, is 71% owned by the Forest service — about the same percentage as Boise County and Lemhi County.  David Rauzi’s suggestion that forest counties simply bill the federal government for services rendered and costs incurred represents one of four chief moral definitions of the federal-obligation-to-forested counties situation.  The other three are:  (1) the requirement to honor a contract (i.e., the compact made between forested counties and Gifford Pinchot in the Forest Service’s formative years); (2) paying property tax equivalency for non-tax-paying federal lands; and (3) sharing wealth represented by a county’s natural resources, but owned by the federal government, with the county.  Rouzi’s fee-for-services approach is worthy of more exploration.  My impression is that it represents the least explored moral basis of the four I’ve listed.   — Ron

When highway district representatives, county commissioners and state elected officials came together Saturday for a meeting on a world without Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funds, two things came to mind.

First, the point was well-made that we’ve become overly dependent on these funds. Budgets and services hinge on this annual allocation, and we fret like meth addicts every year waiting for our appropriation “hit.”

(continue reading at source)

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One Response to *SRS issue: Time to send the feds an invoice?

  1. tree says:

    First, it does not cost counties anything to forgoe resource extraction on lands they don’t own or pay taxes on. Gimme a break.
    Second, how about if the Feds send counties a bill for the clean water, scenic vales, fish and wildlife, carbon storage, flood control, and the quality of life that attracts economic activity to rural areas?

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