Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act
Updated: February 2, 2017
Payments to States for 2017 under the Act of May 23, 1908
Without Congressional reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools Act (SRS Act), the Forest Service must revert to making payments to States under the 1908 Act, commonly called the 25% payments, for the 2017 payment year. We are working through the steps required to process the 25% fund payments expeditiously and anticipate making those payments by the middle of February, 2017.
Secure rural Schools Act Reauthorized for 2 years on April 16, 2015
The SRS Act was last reauthorized by section 524 of P.L. 114-10 and signed into law by the President on April 16, 2015. Section 524(a)(2) required that SRS Act payments for FY 2014 be made not later than 45 days after enactment. Updated projected payment reports (ASR 10-1, ASR 10-3, and ASR 18-1) are available on the payments and receipts page.
Payment Timing for Title I and Title III funds
P.L. 114-10 required that SRS Title I and Title III payments for FY 2014 (FY 2015 payment year) be made within 45 days of enactment; by May 31, 2015.
Title II funds
The SRS Act funding included approximately $28 million in Title II funding for FY 2014 (FY 2015 payment year), which can be used to complete special restoration projects on Federal lands proposed by resource advisory committees. Additional Title II funding was available in FY 2016.
Full Funding Amount under section 524 of P.L. 114-10
Section 524 retained the annual decrease in the full funding amount currently provided in section 3(11)(C) of the SRS Act, which provided that for FY 2012 and each fiscal year thereafter, the full funding amount shall be 95% of the full funding amount for the preceding fiscal year. Accordingly, the full funding amount for FY 2014 (FY 2015 payment year) would be 95% of the amount for FY 2013, and the full funding amount for FY 2015 (FY 2016 payment year) would be 95% of the amount for FY 2014.
Section 524 locked-in the Title II and III elections made by counties for the payment for FY 2013 (FY 2014 payment year). For the payments for FY 2014 (FY 2015 payment year) and for FY 2015 (FY 2016 payment year), a county election to receive a payment—the election to receive a share of the State’s 25% payment or a share of the State (formula) payment—and the county election to allocate the share of the State (formula) payment for Titles II and III would be the same elections made by the county for payment for FY 2013 (FY 2014 payment year).
Reduction for Payments Already Made
The amount paid to a State for a county that received a share of the State (formula) payment was reduced by the county’s share of the 25% payment already made in February of 2015. A county that elected to receive a share of the State’s 25% payment for FY 2013 (FY 2014 payment year) was paid its full share of the State’s 25% payment.
Payments made under the 1908 Act in FY 2015
Before the SRS Act was reauthorized on April 16, 2015, the 1908 Act (16 U.S.C. 500) requiring 25-percent payments governed the distribution of payments to States for FY 2014 (FY 2015 payment year). The Forest Service made 25-percent payments to States under the 1908 Act in February of 2015.
Title II and Title III Deadlines
The deadline to initiate a project using title II or title III funds allocated for the payment for FY 2014 (FY 2015 payment year) or for the payment for FY 2015 (FY 2016 payment year) was extended to September 30, 2017. The deadline for the Secretary concerned to obligate the title II funds and for the county to obligate the title III funds was extended to September 30, 2018.
Payments under the SRS Act, including State formula payments and 25-percent payments, for FY 2014 (FY 2015 payment year) and for FY 2015 (FY 2016 payment year) were not subject to sequestration because the Act was not reauthorized at the time the sequestration order for each of the fiscal years was issued.
Secure Rural Schools (SRS) website based database
The Forest Service SRS Title II database can now be found at the following link.