CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, May 16, 2016, the House will consider S. 1492, a bill to direct the Administrator of General Services, on behalf of the Archivist of the United States, to convey certain property located in the State of Alaska to the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, under suspension of the rules. S. 1492 was introduced on June 3, 2015 by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and was referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs ordered the bill reported, favorably, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute on December 9, 2015. S. 1492 passed the Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent on April 6, 2016.
S. 1492 directs the General Services Administration (GSA), on behalf of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), to offer to convey a parcel of land to the municipality of Anchorage, Alaska. The bill requires that the property be appraised and sold at a fair market value, and requires the city of Anchorage to pay for the appraisal and any other costs incidental to the conveyance. Any proceeds from the sale are required to be transferred to the Department of the Treasury to be used for deficit reduction.
On June 8, 2004, GSA purchased a parcel of land in Anchorage, Alaska for the purpose of building a site to expand NARA’s operations in the state. The federal government acquired this undeveloped property for $3.5 million. According to NARA, the additional site was never developed and on March 11, 2014 NARA announced the closure of its facility in Anchorage, ending all NARA activities in the state. Archival records were moved to the NARA center in Seattle, WA. NARA’s chief operating officer stated at the time they “had to look at each of [the record centers] and make an assessment about their level of use, the cost to store materials and other factors, and these recent moves were all based on that.”
According to the bill’s sponsor, “This legislation has a number of concrete benefits for all stakeholders: Taxpayers will see the sale of the land go toward paying down the federal debt and streamlining the long, costly, administrative process, the Archives will be able to offload a property it no longer needs, and the Municipality will be able to acquire a valuable plot of developable land, which is increasingly scarce in the Anchorage area. This legislative is long overdue.”
 See House Report 114-228 at 2.
 See. Sen Sullivan’s Press Release, “Sullivan Applauds Senate Passage of Anchorage Land Transfer Bill” April 6, 2016.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting S. 1492 would not affect revenues or net direct spending. Because the legislation could accelerate the process of selling the property, and thus collection of sale proceeds, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.
For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.