The Act provides that the Secretary, at the end of each fiscal year, shall pay to each county out of the fund:
(a) For reserve areas, an amount equal to 25 per centum of the net receipts, collected by the Secretary in connection with the operation and management of such area, provided that when any such area is situated in more than one county, the distributive share to each from the aforesaid receipts shall be proportional to its acreage of such reserve area.
(b) For fee areas, whichever of the following is greater:
(1) An amount equal to 75¢ per acre for the total acreage of the fee area located within such county.
(2) An amount equal to three-fourths of one per centum of the fair market value, as determined by the Secretary, of that portion of the fee area (excluding any improvements thereto made after the date of Federal acquisition) which is located within such county. For those areas of fee land within the National Wildlife Refuge System as of September 30, 1977, the amount of payment based on fair market value will not be less than the amount paid on the adjusted cost basis as in effect at that time. Actual cost, or appraised value in case of donation, will be used for lands acquired during fiscal year 1978. For those areas of fee lands added to lands administered by the Service after September 30, 1978, by purchase, donation, or otherwise, fair market value shall be determined by appraisal as of the date said areas are administered by the Service.
(3) An amount equal to 25 per centum of the net receipts collected by the Secretary in connection with the operation and management of such fee area during such fiscal year; but if a fee area is located in two or more counties, the amount each such county is entitled to shall be the amount which bears to such 25 per centum, the same ratio as that portion of the fee area acreage which is within such county bears to the total acreage of such fee area.
(c) In accordance with section 5(A) of the act, each county which receives a payment under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, with respect to any fee area or reserve area, shall distribute that payment to those units of local government which have incurred the loss or reduction of real property tax revenues because of the existence of such area in accordance with the following guidelines.
The local units of government entitled to this distribution will be those such as, but not limited to, cities, towns, townships, school districts, and the county itself in appropriate cases, which levy and collect real property taxes separately from the county or other primary taxing authority or those for which a tax is separately stated on a consolidated tax bill of the primary taxing authority in areas wherein eligible lands are located. The amount of distribution or passthrough to which each unit of local government shall be entitled shall be in the same proportion as its current tax loss bears to the current whole tax loss.
This proportion may be determined; from representative tax bills for the area; by construction by using assessments and millage rates; or by other suitable methods to achieve an equitable result. An example using the representative tax bill method is:
Typical Tax Bill for the Area
|County||$80 or 80%|
|School District||20 or 20%|
|Total||$100 or 100%|
The county would receive the total payment, keep 80 percent and pass through 20 percent to the school district. An example using the construction method is:
For a Typical Acre
|$100 × 80 mills County||$8||80%|
|$100 × 20 mills School District||$2||20%|
Here again, the county would receive the total payment, keep 80 percent and pass through 20 percent to the school district.
Counties shall distribute the payment to eligible local units of government within 90 days from receipt of the payment. In the event a county cannot make the required distribution for reasons of State or local law, or otherwise, the Service will make the payments directly to local units of government upon return of the check and information upon which to make the payments.
(d) Each county which receives a payment under these regulations shall maintain a record for a period of three years as to how the payment was distributed to units of local government under paragraph (c) of this section. The record shall be available for inspection by the regional director, should a dispute arise as to the distribution of payments. See §29.21-2(c) for a listing of the regional directors of the Service.