Rep. Gosar Pressures Feds to Fulfill PILT and SCAAP Obligations to Western States

Mar 25, 2015 Issues: Immigration and Border Security, Energy, Public Lands and Water

For Immediate Release

Date: March 25, 2015

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after leading three legislative requests calling on Congressional leaders to support Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and  the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) in fiscal year 2016:

“Western states like Arizona face unique challenges that other parts of the country are not required to withstand. These challenges are not a result of poor financial management but rather a result of the federal government owning massive swaths of land and not enforcing the rule of law. As Vice Chairman of the Western Caucus, I have a civic duty to hold the federal government accountable for promises made to states in the West and demand it provide adequate support for critical rural programs like PILT and SCAAP.

“More than 90% of federally owned land is located in the Western half of the United States. Local property and sales taxes typically fund county governments allowing them to provide essential services like law enforcement, infrastructure and education needs. The inability for counties to collect local taxes on federal lands is particularly burdensome, especially when counties often provide critical services on these very lands. PILT funding helps offset the losses of these critical revenues and allows for the continuation of essential services. This practice has been done for nearly 40 years and should continue until the federal government returns these lands to the states and private ownership.

 “By law, the federal government is responsible for immigration enforcement, including the incarceration of undocumented criminal offenders. When this is not possible, the law requires the federal government to compensate state and local governments for their incarceration costs. Compensation to local law enforcement agencies under SCAAP typically covers less than 18% of the actual cost of incarcerating undocumented criminal offenders. Further reducing federal SCAAP reimbursements is irresponsible and forces state and local law enforcement agencies to absorb a greater portion of the costs of a federal responsibility.”

Background:

Congressman Gosar submitted a letter with Congressman Scott Tipton to the House Appropriations Committee and signed onto a bipartisan letter with 94 House colleagues calling on House leadership to allocate full-funding for PILT for Fiscal Year 2016. Those letters can be found HERE and HERE respectively.

Congressman Gosar led a bipartisan legislative effort and was joined by 47 of his House Colleagues in seeking to ensure resources for SCAAP are maintained in the Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations Bill. That letter can be found HERE.

Listed below are the PILT Payments and Acreage

 

 

Fiscal Year: 2014

 

 

Arizona's 4th Congressional District

 

 

COUNTY

PAYMENT

TOTAL ACRES

GILA COUNTY

$3,426,420

1,771,484

LA PAZ COUNTY

$1,928,269

1,848,763

MARICOPA COUNTY

$3,011,264

2,434,825

MOHAVE COUNTY

$3,469,643

6,421,638

PINAL COUNTY

$1,223,747

618,750

YAVAPAI COUNTY

$3,177,599

2,599,553

YUMA COUNTY

$3,476,376

1,556,650

TOTAL

19,713,318

17,251,663

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