Nikki Wallace (Simpson), 208-334-1953
Alexah Rogge (Fulcher), 202-225-6611
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Idaho Congressmen Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher signed a letter with 61 of their colleagues urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to include long-term funding certainty for the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) programs for rural counties in the next round of COVID-19 relief.
“PILT is perhaps the most important program for our rural counties in Idaho along with SRS,” said Congressman Simpson. “I have talked to county commissioners across Idaho about the impacts they are seeing from COVID-19. Sadly, our rural counties in Idaho are being hit hard and the already thin resources that exist are being diverted to battle COVID-19. One of the most important things we can do in Congress is support a long term solution to these programs to provide county budgets with the certainty they need to operate and provide direct services to their communities. This letter is a good step towards enacting a long term solution.”
“For years, rural counties in Idaho have experienced strained budgets due to immense federal land ownership in the West,” said Congressman Fulcher. “This issue has been exacerbated as counties face additional expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now imperative that Congress prioritize a long-term and predictable solution for PILT and SRS to assist these counties.”
PILT is currently authorized for fiscal year 2020 and Congressman Simpson and Fulcher are currently working to include funding for PILT in fiscal year 2021. SRS was reauthorized for two years as part of H.R. 1865 which passed in December.
A copy of the letter can be found here.