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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 19
INTRODUCED BY A. CURTISS
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA URGING THE FULL FUNDING OF PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES ON FEDERAL LAND IN MONTANA, THE PROPER HARVEST OF THE ALLOWABLE SALE QUOTA FOR TIMBER, AND A RENEWAL OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S COMPACT WITH STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO CONTRIBUTE A FAIR SHARE OF TAXES ON FEDERAL LAND IN MONTANA.
WHEREAS, the stability of Montana's economy has historically been dependent on use of our abundant natural resources; and
WHEREAS, the natural resource harvest has contributed billions of dollars to Montana's economy by providing employment opportunities to members of our communities and by supporting our business communities; and
WHEREAS, revenue from industries related to natural resource harvest has produced taxes for the support of local and state governments; and
WHEREAS, the federal government has long recognized the importance of supporting local governments in counties where the United States controls management of public lands by reimbursing state and local governments by payments in lieu of taxes (PILT); and
WHEREAS, a variety of federal legislation, such as the Forest Reserve Act of 1890 sought to make equitable distribution to counties and to the education system of 25% of net proceeds derived by the sale of resources harvested on federal land; and
WHEREAS, the federal government is now reducing the volume of timber cut in relation to the allowable sale quotas (ASQ), redistributing funds historically contained in the 25% fund (outfitter fees), reducing its commitment to full funding of PILT, which was reduced from 100% in 1994 to 53% in 1998, and redefining its commitment to states and counties (a decoupling effort to overturn the 1890 Forest Reserve Act); and
WHEREAS, this effort has and will cause irreparable financial harm to state and local governments, our natural resource industries, and employment opportunities for Montanans.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Legislature of the State of Montana petition the U.S. Congress to ensure a full commitment by the federal government to full funding of PILT, a commitment toward the proper harvest of the natural resource base by way of already adopted ASQ, and a renewal of its compact with states and local governments to contribute the federal government's fair share in taxes on land present in Montana but retained by the federal government.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Secretary of State of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Western Governors' Association, and the Montana Congressional Delegation.
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Latest Version of HJ 19 (HJ0019.ENR)
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