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Lawrence County v. Lead-Deadwood School District No. 40-1

469 U.S. 256 (1985)

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Lawrence County v. Lead-Deadwood School District No. 40-1

United States Supreme Court

469 U.S. 256 (1985)

Facts

The federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes Act (PILTA) compensated local governments for the loss of tax revenues resulting from the tax-exempt federal lands located within their borders. Lawrence County (the county) (defendant) received over $400,000 under the PILTA. South Dakota enacted a statute (the statute) requiring local governments to distribute federal in-lieu-of-tax payments in the same way that they distributed general tax revenues. The county allocated 60 percent of its general tax revenues to its school districts, so the statute required the county to give 60 percent of its in-lieu payments to the school districts. The county declined to distribute the funds in accordance with the statute, and Lead-Deadwood School District No. 40-1 (plaintiff) filed suit against the county. The South Dakota Supreme Court found that the statute did not conflict with federal law and was thus valid under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. The county appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

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