H.R. 4350, Northern Cheyenne Lands Act

Cost Estimate
July 18, 2014

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 29, 2014

H.R. 4350 would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to convey 9,400 acres of land containing coal deposits to Great Northern Properties, a private company, if the company conveys certain mineral rights to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. The land conveyances would not be finalized unless the tribe waived all claims related to the failure of the United States to acquire certain mineral rights underlying the tribe’s reservation land.

Based on information provided by BLM, the tribe, and firms operating in the coal industry, CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would reduce net offsetting receipts (thus increasing direct spending) by $2 million in 2024; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues and would have no significant impact on discretionary spending.

H.R. 4350 would preempt the authority of state and local governments to tax land and mineral interests conveyed to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana. Those requirements would be mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), but CBO estimates that the costs of the mandates would be minimal. The bill contains no private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.