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WESTERN CAUCUS NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
House Budget Committee Heeds Western Caucus Call to Fully Fund PILT and Reduce Land Acquisition
Washington, D.C. - For the first time, a House Budget Committee resolution has made room for a fully funded Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and discourages additional federal land acquisition.
The recently released report language for the FY05 budget resolution follows very closely the language of a letter signed by twenty members of the Western Caucus urging the Budget Committee to shift funds from federal land acquisition to the PILT program. The Western Caucus' effort to make good on its PILT commitment was led by Congressmen Jeff Flake (AZ), Tom Tancredo (CO), Chris Cannon (UT), Trent Franks (AZ), and Doc Hastings (WA).
The FY05 report language states: "The resolution can accommodate funding for the [PILT] program at the fully authorized level." The resolution also indicated that federal land acquisition appropriations should be further reduced.
Congressman Flake, the Western Caucus issue leader on fiscal responsibility said, "I'm glad that the Budget Committee recognizes that our priority ought to be to fund PILT rather than acquire more federal land."
Congressman Tancredo said, "I'm encouraged that Congress is finally starting to listen to what a lot of us in the west have been saying for a long time; that the federal government ought to make good on their PILT obligations to public land counties before they acquire any more land."
Chris Cannon, Chairman of the Western Caucus, stated, "I am very pleased that the Budget Committee supports full funding of PILT and recognizes that further reductions should be made in federal land acquisitions."
The text of the Western Caucus letter to the Budget Committee is attached below:
The Western Caucus is a group of 60 members of Congress committed to protecting the interests and ideals of the West. The mission of the Western Caucus is to focus on improving the quality of life in rural areas through policies that promote the protection of private property limited government, individual liberty, economic opportunity and personal responsibility.
March 3, 2004
Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ), Rep. Chris Cannon (UT), Rep. Doug Ose (CA), Rep. Barbara Cubin (WY), Rep. Wally Herger (CA), Rep. Steve Pearce (NM), Rep. Tom Tancredo (CO), Rep. Butch Otter (ID), Rep. George Radanovich (CA), Rep. Devin Nunes (CA), Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (CO), Rep. Rob Bishop (UT), Rep. Jim Gibbons (NV), Rep. Walter Jones (NC), Rep. Elton Gallegly (CA), Rep. John Shadegg (AZ), Rep. Denny Rehberg (MT), Rep. Jim Kolbe (AZ), Rep. Heather Wilson (NM), Rep. Trent Franks (AZ)
Chairman Chris Cannon
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