Letter to the Editor: Feds Stole State Lands of the West

Vicki Cool, a precinct committeeman with the Gila County Republican Committee, recently wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Payson Round-Up.  It was published on April 25, 2014.

Dear Editor:

Only Fox News covered the Bundy/Nevada controversy, but told only half the story. There are 11 states in the West that never got their land after they got statehood. Arizona is one of them.

If this is an issue you care about, go to info@americanlandscouncil.org or call 801-ALC-6622.

You might consider how those who live in New York would pay for their schools if 80 percent of their land was owned and mismanaged by the Forest Service or BLM. Have you ever heard of PILT (payment in lieu of taxes)? They are made by the federal government to the states and are a fraction of what taxes would be were the land held in private ownership.

I guess those of us who live in the West are considered to be too inept to manage and profit from our own land. Perhaps we need to have all western lands covered with those lovely windmills and solar panels. Of course we will get to live with the desert tortoise and Mexican wolves. Those mistakenly endangered species will determine the use of our lands: no copper mining, no lumbering, no ranching, and no fracking. All we get are illegals coming across federal land to use our schools, hospitals, jails, benefits and take our jobs.

Vicki Cool

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Tying Statehood and Education Funding Together

This is a great article written by Shirley Dye, and recently published in the Payson Roundup.  Shirley, by the way, is a Payson Unified School District board member, and she has completed Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the Center For Self Governance coursework.  This Op-Ed was her homework assignment prior to being admitted to Level 3.  

After you read her article, you will understand why we must take action to get our Arizona lands back from the United States Government! Much of our education funding comes from private property taxes. Did you know that in Gila County, 96% of the land is owned by the federal government?  How are we supposed to support our schools with table scraps? In fact, the federal government owns 83% of all of Arizona! Please support HB2700, which is referenced in Shirley’s Op-Ed.  Click HERE for the link to HB2700.


Tying Statehood and Education Funding Together

by Shirley Dye


Why do I tie statehood and education funding together? Because Arizona used to have plenty of money for education, but the federal government overreach has led to a decline in tax proceeds for education funding. By acquiring the public lands that were supposed to be transferred to us in 1912 at statehood, Arizona would have a lot more land under production. Taxes could fund our schools.

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