CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE February 28, 2008S. 1341 - Las Cienegas Enhancement and Saguaro National Park Boundary Adjustment ActAs ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on January 30, 2008 S. 1341 would provide for an exchange of federal and private land near the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and the Saguaro National Park in Arizona. CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant effect on the federal budget. Implementing the bill could increase offsetting receipts and associated direct spending, but we expect that those changes would offset each other over the next three years. Enacting S. 1341 would not affect revenues. The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no significant costs on state, local, or tribal governments. Under S. 1341, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would convey about 1,200 acres of federal land to a private landowner in exchange for about 2,600 acres near the conservation area and 160 acres near the national park. The bill would provide that the value of the properties to be exchanged could be equalized through either a cash payment or by reducing the acreage to be transferred. Any payment received by the federal government would be deposited into BLM’s land disposal account and would be available, without further appropriation, to acquire land in southern Arizona. Formal appraisals of the properties have not been undertaken, but, based on information provided by BLM and the National Park Service, CBO estimates that the budgetary effects of the bill would be minimal. The federal government could receive a cash equalization payment (if the federal land is found to be more valuable than the private land), but we estimate that any such payment would be less than $500,000. BLM would spend this amount, without further appropriation, over the next few years to acquire other land in Arizona.According to BLM, the property to be conveyed by the federal government currently generates no significant offsetting receipts (a credit against direct spending) and is not expected to do so over the next 10 years. Therefore, conveying that property would result in no loss of offsetting receipts over that period. One-time administrative costs related to the exchange, such as appraisal and mapping expenses, would be paid by the private landowner. Finally, we estimate that any change in discretionary costs to manage the conservation area and the national park after the exchange would be negligible. The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew Pickford. This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
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