The Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has begun implementation of an innovative policy to support increased revenue for public lands counties.
Under the 2021 legislation, HB 2174, DAS, upon the request of a county, was required to credit forest reserve funds that would otherwise be credited to a county road program, to a separate public entity.
This policy, developed by the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) in partnership with Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane), provides flexibility for county governments to increase federal dollars from Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) to support critical needs in rural communities by diverting the 75 percent of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Title I payment to a separate public entity.
The full movement of these funds could bring an estimated $22 million in PILT funding available to Oregon’s counties. Funding credited to a public body under the new law is to be used in the same manner and subject to the same restrictions that would have applied to the funding under the previous distribution model, including, but not limited to, the statutory requirements related to a county road fund.
Counties may now submit requests to DAS by emailing Adam.P.Crawford@das.oregon.gov and Sherry.KUDNA@das.oregon.gov with the following information:
- The name of the new district/entity.
- The new banking information (routing and account number).
- A statement that the county wants to split out their money into the new district pursuant to HB 2174 (2021) until further notice.
Eligible public entities include:
- An intergovernmental entity created by agreement under ORS 190.003 to 190.130,
- A county road district formed under ORS 371.055 to 371.110, or
- A service district for roads established under ORS Chapter 451.
Jefferson County and Klamath County have passed local ordinances in accordance with HB 2174. These counties have offered to share their county ordinances and intergovernmental agreements to serve as a reference for other countries exploring the new law:
Additional resources and information on road district formation are available in the AOC County Road Manual (Chapter 3: Road Revenue, 3.150 County Service District, 3.170 Intergovernmental Transportation Agreements, and Chapter 12: Districting for Road Purpose).
DAS released Federal Fiscal Year 2021 (County Payment Year 2022) SRS payments before any counties implemented this innovative policy. For counties that utilize the new policy under HB 2174, DAS will set up a new vendor profile for the new district, as the payee, changing the payout from the county to the new district. DAS accounting staff will ensure the apportionment among counties of money received from federal government forest reserves is amended in the distribution formula pursuant to ORS 293.560 and ORS 294.060.
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