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U.S. National Debt:

Idaho Congressional Delegation, State Treasurer Announce Secure Rural Schools Payments

Boise, Idaho--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho), along with Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Idaho State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth announced Idaho counties will receive a total of $26.9 million in payments for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program.  Under Idaho law, 30 percent of the SRS funding goes to counties to help with schools and the remaining 70 percent is earmarked for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects.

The U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management administer the funds.  The totals are based on a formula including economic activity, timber harvest levels and other considerations that vary from county to county.  SRS payments are critical to maintain education programs for many rural counties that contain federal lands exempt from property taxes.  Idaho received the third-highest total in the U.S., behind California and Oregon.

“Infrastructure and education in Idaho’s rural counties benefit greatly from SRS payments, but a permanent solution is needed,” said Crapo.  “Adequate funding for schools, roads and infrastructure repair will only be guaranteed once we can reach agreement on a self-contained funding mechanism outside the yearly votes in Congress, and we are working toward the goal of a more permanent solution.”

“The Secure Rural Schools program provides crucial funding for infrastructure and education for Idaho’s rural counties,” said Risch.  “While I am pleased these payments have been secured for important improvement projects and wildfire prevention efforts, we must continue to fight for a lasting solution our communities can count on.”

“Because of Idaho’s abundance of national forests and federal lands where federal taxes are not collected, many rural counties in Idaho depend on the payments provided through SRS as an alternative source of education funding,” said Simpson.  “We must keep the promises we make to states and localities, and I’m pleased to see these funds allocated to our rural Idaho communities.”

“I appreciate our delegation and the work they do for Idaho to secure this appropriation,” said Ellsworth.  “This funding is so important to our rural communities and my office is working to get these dollars into the hands of our Idaho counties.”

For more information about the administration of public funds by the State Treasurer’s Office (STO), visit the STO’s website HERE.