Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson met with Director Jim Nussle of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today to urge the White House's cooperation in reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, which expired in 2006, provided an alternative source of education funding for communities whose tax receipts have significantly decreased due to restrictions placed on harvesting timber on federal lands. Idaho is over 60 percent federal land and was hit particularly hard when this program expired.
Simpson stressed to Director Nussle this program’s importance to communities in Idaho and throughout the West. “This funding is desperately needed by rural communities,” Simpson said. "Payment in Lieu of Taxes is designed to help, but doesn’t come close to footing the bill. The federal government is responsible for these land management policies, therefore they are obligated to assist these communities."