The HR 4423 will limit the growing accumulation of land by the federal government
Jun 17, 2014
The Property Rights Alliance applauds HR 4423, also known as the Acre In, Acre Out Act, which was recently introduced by Congressman in Morgan Griffith (R-VA9) in order to combat the growing accumulation of land by the federal government. In the past thirty years the government has been purchasing large portions of land that has led to the government owning nearly 30 percent of the entire country. Additionally, HR 4423 looks to address the growing Federal Debt that is constraining the economy.
From the date enacted, Congressman Griffith’s would prohibit the further accumulation of land by the Federal government unless each new acre of land purchased is met with the sale of an equal amount of acreage at market value. Specifically, the proceeds from said sales of Federal land would be required to go towards the financing of the Federal Debt. Exceptions apply to purchases by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture in order to facilitate the management of Federal lands. Otherwise, all land purchases made by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture that would increase the land under the jurisdiction of the National Parks Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Forest Service must be followed with the sale of an equal amount of acreage.
Furthermore, it will be the obligation of the Federal government to sell the land at market price. Market price will be determined by property values and sales in surrounding regions. After six months of being posted for sale, the price for said land will decrease by 10 percent each month left unsold. The exemption to the reduction of land price by 10 percent monthly does not apply when the sale is in either negotiation or withdrawn from the market.
Congressman Griffith’s bill is a crucial piece of legislation needed to curtail the growing size of land under Federal control. Such significant ownership of land on behalf of the Federal government inhibits states to control what occurs within its borders. The growing rate of land ownership by the Federal government is a clear infringement upon states’ rights. For example in Nevada, the Federal government owns approximately 81 percent of all land. That means Nevada has merely 19 percent of its land for people to inhabit and to explore modes of developing its economy. Similarly the Federal government owns 66 and 61 percent of the land in Utah and Idaho respectively.
The ownership of said land is stifling economic growth, often going unused, the land is serving as a drain on the economy, preventing valuable energy production. Furthermore, by forcing the government to sell land if it desires more, it will help the government address the growing Federal Debt that is undeniably inhibiting economic growth. The PRA everyone everyone to contact their Representatives and Senators in order to encourage the passage of the HR 4423, the Acre In, Acre Out Act.