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                                   SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 8414



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By Senators Barr, McMullen, Amondson, Hansen, Smith, Vognild, Anderson, Bailey, Madsen, Hayner and Sutherland



Read first time 4/19/89.



WHEREAS, The United States Forest Service has proposed diverting for its own fire suppression activities a portion of timber sale proceeds currently allocated to counties in lieu of taxes; and

          WHEREAS, The allocation of these funds to counties is based upon the well-established principle of payments in lieu of taxes as compensation inasmuch as a large portion of the land within the Western states is held in public ownership; and

          WHEREAS, This allocation to recompense counties for land withheld from the tax base has a well-founded basis in fairness and equity; and

          WHEREAS, The funds are received by counties in lieu of taxes and are then expended principally on roads and schools, functions of government which have been traditionally been supported by property taxes; and

          WHEREAS, Any significant depletion of these funds, such as this proposal would bring, would adversely impact county governments and would virtually guarantee increased local property taxes;

          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the Senate of the State of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, That the Washington State Legislature strongly oppose any diversion of funds which are now allocated to Western counties for payment in lieu of taxes, that the Forest Service should be encouraged to seek alternative means of meeting its fire suppression costs, and that the Congress of the United States should be encouraged to vigorously resist any attempt to transfer legitimate public charges to local property taxpayers.