I thought some of our readers might be interested in a recent paper by Headwaters Economics examining ideas for reforming the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).
Here is the PDF Reform_County_Payments_WhitePaper_LowRes
This outfit does some really neat work and this paper is no exception. Both programs are about to expire and the paper explores eight options in how to possibly move forward. Some of the most interesting ideas are to change the distribution formula to give proportionately higher payments to counties based on various things, such as:
A) giving preferential assistance to counties with the greatest need
B) Linking payments to a County’s willingness to control federal costs by reducing development in wildfire-prone areas
C) Linking payments to the value of ecosystem services provided by federal public lands
D) Distibute higher payments to counties with protected public lands
Also included in the paper is an interactive mapping tool with which you can mess around and see how the various options would impact a particular county, and in some cases a Congressional District.