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Boulder-White Clouds Council
Post Office Box 6313
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
www.wildwhiteclouds.org

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Current News & Issues: Wilderness
 

ACTION
ALERT:

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Petition

Central Idahoans for Accountability in Government
P.O. Box 149
Stanley, Idaho 83278
 


Please mail your completed petitions to Marie Osborn at the above PO Box. Thanks!

Sponsors:  Marie Osborn, Dave Kimpton, Tom Stuart, Doug and Ann Christensen

A petition to Rep. Richard Pombo, Chair, U.S. House Committee on Resources on the
Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA)


Whereas:

(1)  Custer County contains a relatively small private-land taxable base to support county government and essential public services.

(2)  Congress has a mechanism for paying money to county governments to help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within county boundaries called "Payment In Lieu of Taxes" (or PILT).

(3)  As was repeatedly stated at the public hearing on CIEDRA in Challis on July 2, the people of Custer County will be far better off financially with a yearly and dependable allocation of federal funds than with a conveyance of public land.

(4)  Congress is not fully funding PILT, and owes Custer County thousands of dollars in back taxes in lieu.

(5)  The only high school that serves Stanley is located in Challis, over 55 miles away. The school bus commute along the dangerous, winding Salmon River road exceeds 2 hours each way. The 4-hour commute is hard on students and families.  Some families with high-school-age students move away -- impacting businesses, health care, law enforcement, etc.

(6)  The Sawtooth National Recreation Area lands, nearly 1,000 acres at Cape Horn on the Challis National Forest, and other areas are proposed by CIEDRA for conveyance to Custer County.  This areas include critical elk wintering grounds, wild chinook spawning and rearing waters, and other habitat important for wildlife.  These lands will be sold to developers and subdivided, benefiting mostly a few wealthy buyers while harming vulnerable wildlife.

(7)  Giving land or money to government officials in Custer and Blaine Counties without direction and accountability risks squandering scarce federal resources.
 

Therefore,

We the undersigned residents, property owners and visitors to Custer and Blaine Counties request that

(1)  Congress provide federal funds to Custer County rather than destroying critical wildlife habitat.  These monies should include back taxes in lieu owed Custer County, indexed to inflation.

(2)  Congress should direct that the monies be used for emergency medical services, county roads, and education including a high school in Stanley.

(3)  To ensure Congress meets it obligations and counties have a dependable source of income, PILT should change from an annual appropriation to an entitlement, and indexed to inflation. The PILT funding formula should change so that sparsely populated, low-income counties such as Custer County are funded equitably with counties such as Blaine.


 

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