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                                                       Calendar No. 525
115th Congress        }                    {                  Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session           }                    {                  115-306

======================================================================



 
                UDALL PARK LAND EXCHANGE COMPLETION ACT

                                _______
                                

                 July 23, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 612]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 612) to provide for the unencumbering of 
title to non-Federal land owned by the city of Tucson, Arizona, 
for purposes of economic development by conveyance of the 
Federal reversionary interest to the City, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill, do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 612 is to provide for the unencumbering 
of title to non-Federal land owned by the city of Tucson, 
Arizona, for purposes of economic development by conveyance of 
the Federal reversionary interest to the City.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    In 1980, the City of Tucson, Arizona entered into a long-
term lease from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for a 172.8 
acre parcel of land that was improved for public use by the 
city and named ``Udall Park,'' after Rep. Morris K. Udall, who 
represented the Tucson area in the House of Representatives 
from 1961 until 1991. Title to Udall Park was later conveyed to 
the City of Tucson in 1989 by the BLM under the authority of 
the Recreation and Public Purposes Act (RPPA). Both the lease 
and title conveyance (patent) included a reversionary clause 
prohibiting certain commercial uses of the property.
    At the time of conveyance of the Udall Park property to the 
City in 1989, the BLM Arizona State Office and the City were 
negotiating a multi-part land exchange with the approval of the 
Mayor and City Council of Tucson.
    Under the proposal, the City would acquire permanent rights 
and full use of Udall Park, and the BLM would receive 297 acres 
from the City and the City would help resolve a long-standing 
sand and gravel trespass that was under litigation. The City 
also paid $135,000 to move a United States Geologic Survey 
facility from Udall Park to nearby Federal lands.
    At the time, the City expected that BLM would support 
legislative efforts to eliminate the reverter clause in the 
patent. Documents from the period indicate that time 
constraints in the ongoing litigation required use of an RPPA 
patent rather than a transfer of fee title to the City.
    The then-BLM State Director recommended support for future 
legislative efforts to eliminate the reverter clause. However, 
legislation was never introduced and the City has managed Udall 
Park since that time under the RPPA lease.
    The City has testified that it will continue to manage 
Udall Park as a public park. However, the City's attempts to 
permit a farmer's market at the park and to allow for the 
installation of a communications tower at Udall Park were 
denied by the BLM and raised questions about the City's 
authority to manage the park.
    The bill resolves this uncertainty by conveying the Federal 
reversionary interests to the City.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 612 was introduced by Senators Flake and McCain on March 
13, 2017.
    Companion legislation, H.R. 1547, was introduced in the 
House of Representatives by Representative McSally on March 15, 
2017, and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources. H.R. 
1547 was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources on 
August 29, 2017 (H. Rept. 115-280), and passed the House of 
Representatives by a vote of 401-0 on October 2, 2017.
    The Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining 
conducted a hearing on S. 612 and H.R. 1547 on February 7, 
2018.
    In the 114th Congress, Senators Flake and McCain introduced 
similar legislation, S. 2379, on December 9, 2015. The 
Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a 
hearing on S. 2379 on April 21, 2016. In the House of 
Representatives, Representative McSally introduced similar 
legislation, H.R. 5520, on June 6, 2016.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on May 17, 2018, and ordered S. 612 and H.R. 
1547 favorably reported.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on May 17, 2018, by a majority voice vote 
of a quorum present recommends that the Senate pass S. 612.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 contains the short title.

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 contains key definitions.

Section 3. Conveyance of Federal reversionary interest in land located 
        in Tucson, Arizona

    Section 3(a) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary) to convey to the City of Tucson, Arizona, without 
consideration, the reversionary interests of the United States 
in and to the non-Federal land for the purpose of unencumbering 
the title to the non-Federal land to enable economic 
development of the non-Federal land.
    Subsection (b) directs the Secretary to determine, in a 
manner satisfactory to the Secretary, exact legal descriptions 
of the non-Federal land as soon as practicable after the date 
of enactment of this Act.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the Secretary to require 
additional terms and conditions to the authorized conveyance, 
consistent with subsection (a), as the Secretary considers 
appropriate to protect the interests of the United States.
    Subsection (d) requires the City of Tucson, Arizona to pay 
all costs associated with the authorized conveyance, consistent 
with subsection (a), including the costs of any surveys, 
recording costs, and other reasonable costs.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    S. 612 would require the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey the reversionary interest of the United States in 173 
acres of land to the city of Tucson, Arizona. Under current 
law, the city holds title to those lands and will retain title 
as long as the lands are used for public purposes. If the city 
stops using the lands for such purposes, the title would revert 
back to the federal government.
    Using information provided by the city of Tucson, CBO 
expects that, under current law, the city will continue to use 
the affected lands for public purposes and will hold title to 
those lands over the next 10 years. Furthermore, under the 
bill, any administrative costs associated with conveying the 
reversionary interest in those lands would be paid by the city; 
therefore, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have 
no effect on the federal budget.
    Because enacting S. 612 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 612 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    S. 612 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On August 18, 2017, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 1547, the Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act, as 
ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on 
July 26, 2017. The two pieces of legislation are similar, and 
CBO's estimates of their budgetary effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 612. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 612, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 612, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the February 7, 2018, hearing on S. 612 follows:

Statement of Brian Steed, Deputy Director for Policy & Programs Bureau 
           of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior

    Thank you for inviting the Department of the Interior 
(Department) to testify on S. 612, the Udall Park Land Exchange 
Completion Act. The bill provides for the conveyance of the 
Federal government's reversionary interest in a 173-acre parcel 
of land known as Udall Park located in the City of Tucson, 
Arizona.
    Under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), 
the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is authorized to convey a 
reversionary interest upon payment of fair market value 
determined by an appraisal. The Department supports the goal of 
conveying the reversionary interest to the City of Tucson and 
could support S. 612 if amended to ensure payment of fair 
market value for the reversionary interest.
    We are mindful that legislated transfers of land and 
interests in land often promote varied public interest 
considerations that may not lend themselves readily to the 
standard appraisal process or to equal value exchanges in all 
cases. In these instances, the balancing of important public 
policy considerations, including ensuring a fair return for the 
American taxpayer, ultimately rests with Congress.
Background
    The BLM regularly transfers public land to local 
governments and nonprofits for a variety of public purposes. 
These transfers are typically accomplished under the provisions 
of the Recreation and Public Purposes (R&PP;) Act or through 
direction supplied through specific Acts of Congress. The R&PP; 
Act is a statute frequently used by the BLM to help States, 
local communities, and nonprofit organizations obtain lands--at 
no or low cost--for important public purposes such as parks, 
schools, hospitals and other health facilities, fire and law 
enforcement facilities, courthouses, social services 
facilities, and public works. Because these public purpose 
lands are conveyed at far below market value, R&PP; Act 
conveyances and many similar legislated conveyances include a 
reversionary clause requiring that lands be used for public 
purposes or revert to the Federal government. Over the years, 
the BLM has consistently required the payment of fair market 
value for the reversionary interest, in accordance with FLPMA's 
requirements for disposal of lands or interests in land.
    Udall Park is a popular, heavily used urban recreation park 
located in the eastern part of the City of Tucson (City). The 
173-acre park was established in 1980, when the City entered 
into an R&PP; Act lease with the BLM. Udall Park then was 
transferred to the City in 1989, under an R&PP; Act patent. Both 
the lease and patent transferring title to the City included a 
clause requiring that the lands be used for public purposes.
    Prior to the issuance of the 1989 R&PP; Act patent, the City 
had expressed interest in acquiring the parcel through sale or 
exchange. Extensive discussions with the BLM about a potential 
exchange followed, although no appraisals of either the parcel 
or the land proposed for exchange were conducted at the time. 
The City elected to receive the parcel under an R&PP; Act patent 
rather than as part of a land exchange. The City conveyed land 
to the BLM; however, no appraisal was conducted. The Department 
notes that the City's conveyance to the BLM and the BLM's 
issuance of an R&PP; Act patent to the City, when taken 
together, do not constitute a land exchange. A land exchange 
would have required appraisals of the properties and 
equalization of values. The R&PP; Act patent to the City 
contains the reversionary clause requiring that the lands be 
used for public purposes.
    The BLM has authority under FLPMA to convey a reversionary 
interest retained by the Federal government under the R&PP; Act 
at fair market value in accordance with uniform appraisal 
standards. In the Udall Park case, the BLM and the City have 
explored the possible conveyance of the reversionary interest 
at fair market value, enabling the City to allow commercial 
uses of the land such as the installation of a cellular tower.
S. 612
    S. 612 would transfer the Federal reversionary interest in 
the Udall Park parcel to the City to facilitate economic 
development. All administrative costs associated with the 
conveyance would be the responsibility of the City.
    FLPMA, which is the authority under which BLM generally 
disposes of public land or interests without limit, requires 
receipt of fair market value for public lands or interests 
transferred out of public ownership. This serves to ensure that 
taxpayers are fairly compensated for the removal of public 
lands or interests from Federal ownership. The Department 
supports the goal of conveying the reversionary interest 
outlined in this section. As with previous such proposals, we 
recommend amending S. 612 to ensure the payment of fair market 
value for the reversionary interest. However, the Department 
recognizes that there may be circumstances, as determined by 
Congress, in which the public benefits of a proposed transfer 
outweigh financial considerations.
Conclusion
    Thank you for the opportunity to testify. We look forward 
to working with the sponsor and the Subcommittee to address the 
needs of the City of Tucson.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill as ordered 
reported.

                                  [all]