Washington-The U.S. Forest Service announced Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payment distributions, which is critically important for Idaho’s rural counties. SRS funding fulfills the federal government’s responsibility to counties with tax-exempt federal lands, specifically counties with high percentages of national forests. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which passed in March and was signed into law by President Trump, included two years of funding for SRS. Idaho received approximately $26,000,000 in SRS payments. Congressman Simpson supported this legislation to ensure Idaho counties receive both SRS and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding.
“SRS payments are vital sources of funding for Idaho counties,” said Simpson. “I am pleased that the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill honors the government’s responsibility to Idaho. These funds go to counties’ most critical services such as transportation infrastructure and education. I am also pleased my vote on this bill ensures full funding for PILT, another important funding stream for Idaho.”
Congressman Simpson was a cosponsor of H.R. 2340, a bill to reauthorize SRS. Also included in the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill is full funding for PILT. Idaho received more than $30 million in PILT funding last year.