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L. Reforestation Trust Fund
In 1980, the Congress enacted Title III of Public Law 96-451, which provided for the amortization of certain reforestation expenses and established the Reforestation Trust Fund.
In 1982, provisions were enacted as part of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (H.R. 6211, P.L. 97-424) directing the Secretary of Agriculture to expend all amounts in the Trust Fund during fiscal years 1983, 1984, and 1985, and directing that the Secretary spend not less than $104 million in fiscal year 1983. The 1982 Act also stated that it was the intent of the Congress that amounts remaining in the Trust Fund as of October 1, 1985, from the earlier period were to be distributed to the States for use in State forestry programs no later than April 30, 1986.
Funds for the Reforestation Trust Fund are derived from import duties on plywood and lumber. The Secretary of the Treasury is required to transfer receipts from these tariffs to the Trust Fund in maximum amounts of $30 million for each fiscal year. In addition, the Trust Fund earns interest on investments of any cash balance.
Moneys in the Trust Fund are to be used to supplement congressional appropriations for reforestation and timber stock improvement on publicly owned national forests in order to eliminate and prevent a backlog in reforestation of the National Forest System. For each of the five fiscal years from fiscal year 1981 through fiscal year 1985, appropriations were authorized from the Trust Fund to the Secretary of Agriculture to pay estimated necessary direct costs and properly allocable administrative costs for reforestation and related programs (under section 3(d)(2)) of the Forest Rangeland Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1601(d)(2)), but only to the extent these estimated costs exceeded amounts appropriated out of the general fund for these purposes.
While the expenditure language regarding the Trust Fund appears to provide expenditure purposes only through fiscal year 1985, it does add that it is the intent of the Congress that the Secretary of Agriculture expend all of the funds available in the Trust Fund in each fiscal year. Any such funds which are not expended in a given fiscal year remain available for expenditure without fiscal year limitation (except as noted above).
After consulting with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Treasury must submit annual reports to the Congress setting forth the financial condition and operating results of the Reforestation Trust Fund for the preceding fiscal year and the expected condition and results of the Trust Fund for the next year.
The statutory language establishing the Reforestation Trust Fund and governing its operations are located at 16 U.S.C. 1606(a).
FINANCIAL STATUS OF FUND
The table below presents data on amounts in the Reforestation Trust Fund available for appropriation.
M. Deep Seabed Revenue Sharing Trust Fund (Expired)
The Deep Seabed Revenue Sharing Trust Fund was established in 1979 by Title IX of the Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act (P.L. 96-283, enacted on June 28, 1980). The purpose of the Trust Fund is to accelerate the program of environmental assessment of exploration for and commercial recovery of hard mineral resources of the deep seabed and assure that such exploration and recovery activities are conducted in a manner which will encourage the conservation of such resources, protect the quality of the environment, and promote the safety of life and property at sea. An additional purpose is to encourage continued development of deep seabed mining technology.
The Deep Seabed Revenue Sharing Trust Fund is funded by amounts determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be equivalent to the amount of the excise taxes received in the Treasury under the Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Removal Tax Act of 1979. The excise tax, imposed under Internal Revenue Code section 4495, is 3.75 percent of the "imputed value" of hard mineral resources removed from the deep seabed.1 The tax was imposed as of January 1, 1980, to terminate after the earlier of (a) the date on which an international deep seabed treaty takes effect with respect to the United States or (b) June 29, 1990.2 However, the tax is imposed only in conjunction with deep seabed permits issued under the Resources Act. No such permits have yet been issued, since the technology for commercial recovery of deep seabed minerals has not yet been developed. Consequently, no revenues have yet been collected under the Act.3
Appropriations have been authorized from the Trust Fund for making contributions required pursuant to any international deep
1The "imputed value" is equal to 20 percent of the fair market value of the commercially recoverable metals and minerals in such resources. Thus, the effective tax rate is 0.75 percent of the fair market value of the resource. (Sec. 4495)
2 The United States has not yet entered into such a treaty, thus the tax expired after June 28, 1990.
If the tax were to be implemented, a mining company could elect to have the application of the excise tax suspended with respect to one or more commercially recoverable metals or minerals contained in the nodules removed from the deep seabed if the mining company did not intend to process, use commercially, or sell that metal or mineral within one year after the date of extraction. If a mining company elects to suspend the tax on a mineral and later processes, uses, or sells that mineral, then the mining company is liable for the excise tax and interest on the deferred amount. The interest is paid into the Trust Fund and is treated like other amounts in the Trust Fund. If the additional tax is paid after substantial disposition of Trust Fund assets by Congress, the additional tax is to be disposed of in a manner provided in the legislation making the substantial disposition or in subsequent acts.
seabed treaty which became effective with respect to the United States on or before June 28, 1990. Trust Fund amounts could have been appropriated for making contributions required under such a treaty for the purpose of sharing the revenue from deep seabed mining among nations of the world. No such treaty became effective.
The Secretary of the Treasury was required to submit an annual report to the Congress with respect to the Deep Seabed Revenue Sharing Trust Fund beginning with the fiscal year ending September 30, 1980.
The statutory provisions establishing the Deep Seabed Revenue Sharing Trust Fund and governing its operation are located at 30 U.S.C. 1472.
FINANCIAL STATUS OF FUND
As indicated above, there have not been any excise tax revenues collected for the Trust Fund nor any appropriations from the Trust Fund.