Rep. Kristi Noem introduced a bill Tuesday to reform the federal impact program, which provides money to school districts with large amounts of federal or reservation land.

The Local Taxpayer Relief Act of 2011, which Noem introduced with Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, reauthorizes the impact aid program while reforming it.

“South Dakota has a lot of federally impacted land, with Ellsworth Air Force Base, nine Indian reservations, and other federal lands. This means fewer local property tax dollars for school districts,” Noem said in a statement. “I’m pleased to join Rep. Hirono in crafting a bill to help ensure every school district has the resources they need to educate our kids without unfairly burdening certain local taxpayers with more than their fair share simply because they live in a school district which hosts a large amount of federally impacted land.”

The bill does not increase federal spending, Noem said.

Schools receive impact aid money to compensate for federal land that has been taken off the tax rolls and for the cost of educating federally connected children, such as children living on a military base.

Noem said the Local Taxpayer Relief Act of 2011, HR1342, would help schools by “increasing efficiency, eliminating subjectivity, and providing greater flexibility to school districts.”

Across the country there are more than 1,300 impacted school districts educating more than 12 million children.

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