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Bagaimana Saham Dibatasi dan RSU Dikontrak Kompensasi karyawan adalah pengeluaran utama bagi kebanyakan perusahaan karena itu, banyak perusahaan merasa lebih mudah untuk membayar setidaknya sebagian dari kompensasi karyawan mereka dalam bentuk saham. Jenis kompensasi ini memiliki dua keuntungan: mengurangi jumlah kompensasi tunai yang harus dibayar majikan, dan juga berfungsi sebagai insentif bagi produktivitas karyawan. Ada banyak jenis kompensasi saham. Dan masing-masing memiliki peraturan dan peraturan tersendiri. Eksekutif yang menerima opsi saham menghadapi serangkaian peraturan khusus yang membatasi keadaan di mana mereka dapat berolahraga dan menjualnya. Artikel ini akan meneliti sifat stock terbatas dan stock stock terbatas (RSU) dan bagaimana mereka dikenai pajak. Apa yang Dibatasi Stok Saham yang dibatasi adalah, menurut definisi, saham yang telah diberikan kepada eksekutif yang tidak dapat dialihkan dan dikenai penyitaan dalam kondisi tertentu, seperti penghentian pekerjaan atau kegagalan memenuhi tolok ukur kinerja perusahaan atau pribadi. Stok terbatas juga umumnya tersedia bagi penerimanya dalam jadwal vesting bergradasi yang berlangsung selama beberapa tahun. Meskipun ada beberapa pengecualian, sebagian besar saham terlarang diberikan kepada eksekutif yang dianggap memiliki pengetahuan orang dalam tentang perusahaan, sehingga membuatnya tunduk pada peraturan perdagangan orang dalam di bawah SEC Rule 144. Gagal mematuhi peraturan ini juga dapat mengakibatkan penyitaan. Pemegang saham yang dibatasi penggunaannya memiliki hak suara. Sama seperti tipe pemegang saham lainnya. Hibah saham terbatas telah menjadi lebih populer sejak pertengahan tahun 2000an, ketika perusahaan diminta untuk memberikan hibah opsi saham. Apa yang Dibatasi Unit Saham RSU menyerupai opsi saham terbatas secara konseptual, namun berbeda dalam beberapa masalah utama. RSU merupakan janji tanpa jaminan oleh pemberi kerja untuk memberikan sejumlah saham kepada karyawan pada saat selesainya jadwal vesting. Beberapa jenis rencana memungkinkan pembayaran tunai dilakukan sebagai ganti saham, namun jenis rencana ini adalah minoritas. Sebagian besar rencana mengamanatkan bahwa saham sebenarnya dari saham tersebut tidak akan diterbitkan sampai perjanjian yang mendasar dipenuhi. Oleh karena itu, saham tidak dapat dikirim sampai persyaratan vesting dan forfeiture telah terpenuhi dan pembebasannya diberikan. Beberapa rencana RSU memungkinkan karyawan tersebut memutuskan dalam batas tertentu kapan dia ingin menerima saham tersebut, yang dapat membantu perencanaan pajak. Namun, tidak seperti pemegang saham standar, peserta RSU tidak memiliki hak suara atas saham selama periode vesting, karena tidak ada stok yang benar-benar dikeluarkan. Aturan masing-masing rencana akan menentukan apakah pemegang RSU menerima dividen setara. Bagaimana Saham Dibatasi Dibebankan Pajak Dibatasi saham dan RSU dikenakan pajak berbeda dari jenis opsi saham lainnya. Seperti rencana pembelian saham wajib undang-undang atau non-undang-undang (ESPPs). Rencana tersebut umumnya memiliki konsekuensi pajak pada saat pelaksanaan atau penjualan, sedangkan saham yang dibatasi biasanya menjadi kena pajak setelah selesainya jadwal vesting. Untuk rencana stock terbatas, seluruh jumlah saham yang dilunasi harus dihitung sebagai pendapatan biasa di tahun vesting. Jumlah yang harus dinyatakan ditentukan dengan mengurangkan harga pembelian atau pelaksanaan semula dari saham (yang mungkin nol) dari nilai pasar wajar saham pada tanggal dimana saham tersebut menjadi hak penuh. Perbedaannya harus dilaporkan oleh pemegang saham sebagai pendapatan biasa. Namun, jika pemegang saham tidak menjual saham pada saat melakukan vesting dan menjualnya di lain waktu, selisih antara harga jual dan nilai pasar wajar pada tanggal vesting dilaporkan sebagai capital gain atau loss. Bagian 83 (b) Pemegang Saham Pemilu yang dibatasi penggunaannya diperbolehkan untuk melaporkan nilai wajar dari saham mereka sebagai pendapatan biasa pada tanggal pemberian, alih-alih bila menjadi hak, jika mereka menginginkannya. Pemilu ini bisa sangat mengurangi jumlah pajak yang dibayarkan atas rencananya, karena harga saham pada saat hibah seringkali jauh lebih rendah dari pada saat vesting. Oleh karena itu, perawatan capital gain dimulai pada saat pemberian dan tidak di vesting. Jenis pemilihan ini bisa sangat berguna bila ada jangka waktu yang lebih lama antara saat saham diberikan dan kapan mereka rampung (lima tahun atau lebih). Contoh - Pelaporan Stok Terbatas John dan Frank keduanya merupakan eksekutif utama di sebuah perusahaan besar. Mereka masing-masing menerima hibah saham terbatas 10.000 saham seharga nol dolar. Saham perusahaan diperdagangkan pada 20 per saham pada tanggal pemberian. John memutuskan untuk menyatakan sahamnya saat vesting sementara Frank memilih Bagian 83 (b) perawatan. Oleh karena itu, John tidak menyatakan apapun pada tahun hibah sementara Frank harus melaporkan 200.000 sebagai pendapatan biasa. Lima tahun kemudian, pada tanggal saham menjadi sepenuhnya dilipat, saham diperdagangkan pada 90 per saham. John harus melaporkan 900.000 kuadrat ekuitasnya sebagai pendapatan biasa di tahun vesting, sementara Frank tidak melaporkan apapun kecuali jika dia menjual sahamnya, yang akan memenuhi syarat untuk mendapatkan perawatan capital gain. Oleh karena itu, Frank membayar tingkat yang lebih rendah pada sebagian besar hasil sahamnya, sementara John harus membayar tingkat bunga tertinggi pada seluruh jumlah keuntungan yang direalisasikan selama periode vesting. Sayangnya, ada risiko penyitaan yang substansial terkait dengan Bagian 83 (b) pemilihan yang berjalan di atas dan di luar risiko penyitaan standar yang melekat pada semua rencana saham terbatas. Jika Frank harus meninggalkan perusahaan sebelum rencana tersebut menjadi haknya, dia akan menyerahkan semua hak atas keseluruhan saldo saham, walaupun dia telah mengumumkan 200.000 saham yang diberikan kepadanya sebagai pendapatan. Dia tidak akan bisa mengembalikan pajak yang dia bayarkan sebagai hasil pemilihannya. Beberapa rencana juga mengharuskan karyawan membayar setidaknya sebagian dari saham pada tanggal pemberian dana, dan jumlah ini dapat dilaporkan sebagai kerugian modal dalam situasi ini. Perpajakan RSU Perpajakan RSU sedikit lebih sederhana daripada rencana stock terbatas standar. Karena tidak ada stok aktual yang dikeluarkan pada saat hibah, tidak ada Bagian 83 (b) pemilihan diperbolehkan. Ini berarti bahwa hanya ada satu tanggal dalam kehidupan rencana dimana nilai saham dapat diumumkan. Jumlah yang dilaporkan akan sama dengan nilai pasar wajar saham pada tanggal vesting, yang juga merupakan tanggal pengiriman dalam kasus ini. Oleh karena itu, nilai saham dilaporkan sebagai pendapatan biasa pada tahun dimana saham tersebut menjadi haknya. Garis Bawah Ada banyak jenis stok terbatas, dan aturan pajak dan penyitaan yang terkait dengannya bisa sangat rumit. Artikel ini hanya membahas tentang pokok bahasan ini dan tidak boleh dianggap sebagai saran pajak. Untuk informasi lebih lanjut, konsultasikan dengan penasihat keuangan Anda. Nilai total pasar dolar dari semua saham beredar perusahaan. Kapitalisasi pasar dihitung dengan cara mengalikan. Frexit singkatan dari quotFrench exitquot adalah spinoff Prancis dari istilah Brexit, yang muncul saat Inggris memilih. Perintah ditempatkan dengan broker yang menggabungkan fitur stop order dengan perintah limit. Perintah stop-limit akan. Ronde pembiayaan dimana investor membeli saham dari perusahaan dengan valuasi lebih rendah daripada valuasi yang ditempatkan pada. Teori ekonomi tentang pengeluaran total dalam perekonomian dan pengaruhnya terhadap output dan inflasi. Ekonomi Keynesian dikembangkan. Kepemilikan aset dalam portofolio. Investasi portofolio dilakukan dengan harapan menghasilkan laba di atasnya. Penghargaan dan pajak saham.Restricted ini: Apa yang harus diketahui oleh karyawan dan pengusaha Penggunaan penghargaan saham terbatas untuk memberi kompensasi kepada karyawan semakin populer menggantikan pilihan saham yang banyak dipermalukan. Salah satu alasan untuk beralih ke saham terlarang adalah berkurangnya biaya terhadap pendapatan yang diberikan oleh penghargaan saham terbatas dibandingkan dengan opsi opsi saham. Saham yang dibatasi juga kurang dilutif terhadap saham perusahaan daripada opsi, karena nilai pada karyawan dapat dicapai dengan jumlah saham yang lebih sedikit. Praktik kompensasi eksekutif mendapat sorotan kongres karena pelanggaran di perusahaan seperti Enron menjadi publik. American Jobs Creation Act tahun 2004, P.L. 108-357, menambahkan Sec. 409A, yang mempercepat pendapatan bagi karyawan yang berpartisipasi dalam beberapa rencana kompensasi ditangguhkan yang tidak memenuhi syarat (termasuk opsi opsi saham). Kemudian pada tahun 2004, FASB mengeluarkan pernyataan no. 123 (R), Pembayaran Berbasis Saham. Yang memerlukan perlakuan biaya untuk opsi saham untuk periode tahunan yang dimulai pada tahun 2005. (Pernyataan no. 123 (R) sekarang tergabung dalam FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718, CompensationStock Compensation.) Jumlah opsi opsi saham (per perusahaan) yang diberikan oleh Fortune 1000 perusahaan mengalami penurunan sebesar 40 antara tahun 2003 dan 2005, dan median jumlah penghargaan saham terbatas meningkat hampir 41 pada periode yang sama (Expensing Rule Drives Stock Awards, Pekan Kepatuhan 27 Maret 2007). Dari tahun 2004 sampai 2010, jumlah kepemilikan saham terbatas dari semua eksekutif pelaporan di SampP 500 meningkat sebesar 88. Dengan meningkatnya popularitas saham yang dibatasi, praktisi pajak BPA harus memahami peraturan yang mengatur perpajakan tentang pemberian saham terbatas ketika memberi saran kepada klien yang Telah atau mungkin ditawarkan penghargaan saham terbatas, serta saat menasihati perusahaan yang membuat penghargaan. RISIKO KEAMANAN DAN NONTRANSFERABILITY Sec. 83 menentukan konsekuensi pajak penghasilan kepada penerima penghargaan (karyawan) dan pemberi tugasnya (pemberi kerja). Di bawah huruf 83 (a), properti yang ditransfer ke karyawan sebagai kompensasi atas layanan dikenakan pajak kepada karyawan pada tanggal yang lebih awal, properti tersebut tidak mengalami risiko penyitaan yang substansial oleh karyawan atau tanggal pengirimannya oleh karyawan tersebut. Di bawah Regs. Detik. 1.83-3 (c) (1), risiko penyitaan substansial ada jika hak-hak dalam saham dikondisikan, secara langsung atau tidak langsung, terhadap kinerja masa depan (atau menahan diri dari kinerja) layanan substansial oleh karyawan (biasanya disebut sebagai Pembatasan penghasilan), atau terjadinya suatu kondisi yang berkaitan dengan tujuan transfer, dan kemungkinan penyitaan substansial jika kondisi tersebut tidak terpenuhi. Contoh kondisi yang berkaitan dengan tujuan transfer adalah persyaratan agar karyawan mengembalikan saham jika total pendapatan perusahaan tidak meningkat. Salah satu persyaratan yang lebih umum adalah bahwa karyawan tersebut tetap bersama perusahaan untuk waktu tertentu. Namun, Regs. Detik. 1.83-3 (c) (2) menunjukkan bahwa persyaratan bahwa saham dikembalikan kepada karyawan yang dipecat karena alasan atau karena melakukan tindak pidana tidak akan dianggap sebagai risiko penyitaan yang substansial. Persyaratan yang dapat dipaksakan bahwa karyawan tersebut menyetujui sebuah perjanjian agar tidak bersaing setelah meninggalkan perusahaan atau karyawan yang setuju untuk memberikan jasa konsultasi setelah pensiun juga tidak dianggap sebagai risiko penyitaan yang substansial kecuali jika fakta dan keadaan tertentu mengindikasikan hal yang sebaliknya. Regs. Detik. 1.83-3 (c) (3) memperingatkan bahwa risiko penyitaan yang substansial tidak akan ada jika karyawan memiliki sejumlah besar saham pemungutan suara atau kelas saham perusahaan lainnya, kecuali jika mereka dapat menunjukkan bahwa mereka tidak mengendalikan perusahaan dan kemungkinan Dari perusahaan yang memberlakukan pembatasan penyitaan cukup besar. Selain itu, saham tidak tunduk pada risiko penyitaan yang substansial jika pengusaha diwajibkan untuk membayar nilai wajar (FMV) saham kepada karyawan pada saat pengembalian saham (Regs Sec. 1,83-3 ( C) (1)). Di bawah Regs. Detik. 1.83-3 (d), saham tidak dapat dialihkan jika karyawan dilarang menjual, menugaskan atau menjamin (sebagai jaminan atas pinjaman, sebagai jaminan atas kinerja suatu kewajiban atau untuk tujuan lain) kepentingannya atas saham Untuk siapapun Selain itu, saham akan dianggap tidak dapat dialihkan jika penerima transfusi tunduk pada pembatasan penyitaan, bahkan jika karyawan tersebut diizinkan untuk menjual, menetapkan atau menjamin persediaan. Contoh di Regs. Detik. 1.83-1 (f) menyediakan pelabuhan yang aman bagi karyawan tersebut: Jika bukti risiko penyitaan dicap pada setiap sertifikat saham, saham tersebut dianggap tidak dapat dipindahkan. Peraturan tersebut juga mengatur agar stok tidak dianggap dapat dipindahtangankan hanya karena karyawan tersebut dapat menunjuk penerima manfaat untuk menerima persediaan saat meninggal dunia. Akibatnya, penghargaan saham terbatas akan menghasilkan penghasilan kena pajak untuk karyawan di bawah Sec. 83 dalam jumlah yang sama dengan selisih stok FMV pada tanggal selisih restriksi, atas harga jual saham kepada karyawan. Karyawan menyesuaikan basis asalnya dalam persediaan dengan jumlah pendapatan. Majikan dapat mengklaim pengurangan pada tanggal penyimpangan pembatasan untuk jumlah yang termasuk dalam pendapatan karyawan. Dalam situasi dimana karyawan membeli saham majikan dengan uang yang dipinjam dari perusahaan, Regs. Detik. 1.83-4 (c) mewajibkan karyawan untuk memasukkan penghasilan dalam jumlah apapun yang kemudian dibatalkan, diampuni atau dipuaskan dengan jumlah yang lebih rendah dari hutang, pada tahun pajak dimana pembatalan, pengampunan atau kepuasan terjadi. Detik. 83 (h) memungkinkan deduksi kepada pemberi kerja dalam jumlah yang sama. PEMILIHAN UNTUK MENCAPAI PENGHASILAN PENGHASILAN Sec. 83 (b) memungkinkan karyawan untuk mempercepat pengakuan pendapatan dengan memilih untuk memasukkan bagian kompensasi dari saham terbatas (kelebihan FMV-nya pada saat transfer atas jumlah yang dibayarkan untuknya, ditentukan tanpa memperhatikan pembatasan lainnya Daripada pembatasan permanen atas kemampuan transfer) dalam pendapatan kotor pada tahun penghargaan tersebut diterima. Pelarangan pembatasan tersebut bukan merupakan kejadian kena pajak jika karyawan tersebut membuat pemilihan. Pemilu dapat bermanfaat bagi karyawan, karena apresiasi nilai saham antara tanggal pemberian penghargaan dan tanggal pembatasan selisih hanya dikenakan pajak jika dan kapan karyawan tersebut menentukan sahamnya. Selain itu, periode holding karyawan dimulai pada tanggal pemberian penghargaan, bukan pada saat selisihnya terlewatkan, jadi ketika karyawan tersebut menentukan sahamnya, apresiasi tersebut dikenakan pajak tidak berdasarkan tingkat pajak penghasilan biasa tetapi lebih rendah, pajak capital gain jangka panjang Rate (dengan asumsi sudah berlangsung lebih dari satu tahun). Oleh karena itu, dalam situasi di mana karyawan mengharapkan kenaikan harga saham selama periode terbatas, dia dapat mengharapkan untuk mengurangi kewajiban pajak dengan spread antara tarif pajak biasa dan tingkat pajak capital gain jangka panjangnya. Namun, pemilihan bisa merugikan dimana saham kemudian mengalami penurunan nilai atau hangus. Lihat Resiko untuk karyawan di bawah ini. Regs. Detik. 1.83-2 (a) memungkinkan pemilihan dalam situasi di mana karyawan telah membayar nilai penuh untuk saham tersebut, tanpa menyadari ada unsur tawar-menawar dalam transaksi. Dalam kasus tersebut, karyawan tidak akan mengakui penghasilan pada tanggal pemberian penghargaan dan akan menghindari kompensasi atas penghargaan atas penghargaan setelah pemberian penghargaan tersebut. Bagian 83 (b) pemilihan dapat mempertimbangkan lebih lanjut bagi direksi, pejabat dan pemegang saham utama pemberi kerja yang memiliki hutang laba usaha short swing berdasarkan Bagian 16 (b) dari Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Sec. 83 (c) (3) menetapkan bahwa tanggung jawab potensial ini adalah pembatasan sebagaimana didefinisikan dalam Bagian. 83 (a). Oleh karena itu, penjualan saham kompensasi kepada mereka yang tercakup dalam Bagian 16 (b) pertanggungjawaban dapat mengakibatkan pendapatan kompensasi yang tidak diantisipasi terhadap pembeli meskipun saham tersebut tampaknya tidak dibatasi (yaitu, tidak ada risiko besar untuk pembatasan atau pembatasan kelancaran) Dalam semua aspek lainnya. Membuat bagian 83 (b) pemilihan memungkinkan individu untuk menghindari kompensasi pendapatan ketika Bagian 16 (b) penyimpangan pembatasan. Cara pembuatannya. Detik. 83 (b) (2) menetapkan bahwa Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan harus dilakukan paling lambat 30 hari sejak tanggal pemindahan. Regs. Detik. 1.83-2 mewajibkan karyawan tersebut untuk mengajukan pemilihan dalam bentuk pernyataan tertulis dengan kantor IRS dimana karyawan tersebut secara teratur membukukan pengembalian pajaknya dan melampirkan salinan pengembaliannya. Karyawan harus mengirimkan salinan hasil pemilihan ke majikan jika penerima hak milik bukan pegawai, karyawan tersebut harus menyerahkan salinan hasil pemilihan kepada penerima transfer. Pernyataan yang dibutuhkan informasi ditentukan dalam Regs. Detik. 1,83-2 (e). Pencabutan Detik. 83 (b) (2) juga menetapkan bahwa pemilihan tidak dapat dibatalkan tanpa persetujuan IRS. Namun, Pendeta Proc. 2006-31 mengizinkan pembatalan jika karyawan mencantumkannya pada atau sebelum tanggal jatuh tempo untuk membuat pemilihan. Selain itu, di bawah Regs. Detik. 1.83-2 (f), pencabutan akan diberikan dimana pihak penerima transfer berada dalam kesalahan fakta mengenai transaksi yang mendasarinya dan pencabutannya diminta dalam waktu 60 hari sejak tanggal kesalahan fakta pertama diketahui oleh orang yang melakukan pemilihan. Bagian 5, Contoh 3 dari Pengantar Proc. 2006-31 menggambarkan sebagai contoh kesalahan fakta sebuah situasi dimana kelas saham yang berbeda dipindahkan ke karyawan daripada kelas yang ditentukan berdasarkan kontrak kerja, di mana setelah membuat pemilihan, karyawan tersebut menemukan bahwa saham yang ditransfer berbeda kelas. Namun, kesalahan tentang nilai properti sehubungan dengan siapa karyawan tersebut membuat pemilihan, atau kegagalan untuk melakukan tindakan yang dipikirkan pada saat pengalihan harta benda bukanlah kesalahan dari fakta. Kesalahan fakta tidak termasuk kesalahan penafsiran hukum, termasuk salah paham dengan peraturan penangkapan atau aspek lain dari perlakuan pajak yang tepat atas transfer tersebut. Resiko bagi karyawan. Pemilihan di bawah Sec. 83 (b) membawa setidaknya dua risiko kepada karyawan tersebut. Salah satunya adalah bahwa properti tersebut mungkin tidak benar-benar menghargai namun, sebaliknya, terdepresiasi selama periode terbatas. Dalam hal demikian, jumlah yang termasuk dalam pendapatan saat karyawan membuat pemilihan sekarang tidak dapat dikurangkan. Juga, karyawan tersebut dapat mengambil pengurangan kerugian hanya jika dia menjual saham tersebut, dan deduksi tersebut akan tunduk pada peraturan pembatasan kerugian modal. Karyawan akan menemukan diri mereka dalam posisi yang tidak enak karena telah melaporkan pendapatan biasa pada saat penghargaan tersebut dan membayar pajak penghasilan yang dipersyaratkan, diikuti oleh kerugian modal atas disposisi selanjutnya. Jadi, jika karyawan tersebut tidak yakin mengenai pertumbuhan atau penurunan nilai saham yang diterima, dia mungkin mempertimbangkan untuk tidak membuat Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan. Risiko kedua adalah bahwa, di bawah Sec. 83 (b) (1), tidak ada pengurangan yang diberikan kepada karyawan jika saham tersebut dibatalkan. Ingat, seperti yang telah dibahas sebelumnya, kesalahpahaman tentang ketentuan penyitaan bukanlah pembenaran untuk mencabut pemilihan. Namun, Regs. Detik. 1.83-2 (a) mengizinkan pengurangan kerugian modal untuk selisih yang dibayar untuk saham yang dibatalkan alih jumlah yang direalisasikan atas penyitaan, termasuk sejumlah harga pembelian yang dipulihkan oleh pemberi kerja kepada karyawan tersebut. Regs. Detik. 1.83-2 (a) juga memperingatkan bahwa penjualan atau disposisi properti lainnya yang secara substansi merupakan penyitaan atau yang dibuat dalam kontemplasi akan penyitaan harus dianggap sebagai penyitaan. Resiko penyitaan dibawa secara menyakitkan ke Kadillak (127 Tk 184 (2006), affw, 534 F.3d 1197 (9 Cir 2008)). Dengan menggunakan opsi saham insentif yang diberikan kepadanya oleh atasannya, Anthony Kadillak membeli saham perusahaan yang tunduk pada pembatasan bahwa perusahaan dapat menggunakan hak untuk membeli kembali saham tersebut jika perusahaannya bekerja dengan perusahaan tersebut diakhiri dalam waktu empat tahun setelah pemberian penghargaan tersebut. Perusahaan memegang saham di escrow dan akan mentransfernya ke Kadillak karena mereka berada di bawah periode empat tahun. Kadillak tepat waktu mengajukan Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan saham. Pada saat pengembalian pajak untuk tahun penghargaan tersebut, Kadillak melaporkan penghasilan kena pajak minimum alternatif (AMTI) lebih dari 4 juta, dimana sekitar 3,26 juta mewakili selisih antara nilai saham dan biayanya kepadanya. Sekitar satu tahun setelah pemberian penghargaan tersebut, Kadillaks bekerja dengan perusahaan tersebut diakhiri, dan perusahaan tersebut membeli kembali sahamnya yang tidak ditagih dengan harga tertentu. Kadillak kemudian mengajukan pengembalian yang telah diubah untuk tahun penghargaan tersebut, dengan mengklaim bahwa AMTI tidak boleh dikenali pada saham yang tidak dilepas. Sebelum Pengadilan Pajak, Kadillak memperdebatkan Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan tidak sah karena perusahaan memegang saham di escrow dan mereka tidak dipindahkan secara sah kepadanya. Pengadilan tersebut, bagaimanapun, beralasan bahwa, karena Kadillak memegang semua hak pemegang saham di saham yang belum dipanen, termasuk hak atas dividen, dia memegang saham tersebut sebagai pemilik hak menikmati, Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan itu sah, dan dia berhutang pajak sebesar 3,26 juta AMTI penuh, seperti yang dilaporkan pada kepulangan semula. Kadillak mengajukan banding ke Sirkuit Kesembilan, yang menegaskan bahwa Pengadilan Pajak memegang. Deductibility perusahaan Bagian 83 (b) pemilihan juga mempengaruhi jumlah dan waktu pengurang yang diijinkan perusahaan dalam pengembalian pajak penghasilannya. Umumnya, perusahaan yang memberikan penghargaan saham terbatas kepada karyawan diijinkan pengurangan pajak saat batasan tersebut berakhir. Namun, di mana karyawan tersebut telah membuat Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan, pengurangan perusahaan dipercepat ke tanggal pemberian penghargaan. Dalam situasi di mana harga saham meningkat selama periode pembatasan, Sec. 83 (b) hasil pemilihan di deduksi yang lebih rendah untuk korporasi daripada jika Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan belum dilakukan. Unit saham yang dibatasi penggunaannya. Beberapa majikan memilih untuk mengeluarkan unit saham terbatas (RSU) kepada karyawan daripada saham terbatas, karena karyawan tidak dapat membuat Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan sehubungan dengan unit saham terbatas. RSU tidak memiliki janji untuk membayar uang tunai atau saham kepada karyawan berdasarkan jadwal vesting. Satu RSU biasanya sama nilainya dengan satu saham perusahaan. Perusahaan tidak menyerahkan uang tunai atau sahamnya sampai persyaratan vesting dan forfeiture telah terpenuhi. Peserta RSU tidak memiliki hak suara atas saham selama periode vesting, karena sebenarnya mereka belum mengeluarkan saham. Aturan masing-masing rencana menentukan apakah pemegang RSU menerima dividen setara. Penerbitan RSU memungkinkan atasan (bukan karyawan) untuk mengendalikan waktu pengurangan kompensasi dan memiliki kemungkinan pengurangan yang lebih besar seandainya nilai saham pengusaha meningkat selama periode terbatas. Selain itu, atasan yang mengeluarkan RSU tidak perlu melacak apakah karyawan telah membuat Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan. MEMBANTU KLIEN MEMBUAT KEPUTUSAN INFORMASI Penting agar karyawan memahami konsekuensi pajak di bawah Secs. 83 (a) dan (b) sehingga mereka dapat membuat keputusan yang tepat dan tidak terjebak dengan kewajiban pajak yang tidak terduga. Praktisi pajak BPA harus memberi tahu klien mereka yang telah atau mungkin ditawarkan bagian terbatas dari keuntungan dan risiko yang terkait dengan Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan. Pemilu akan bermanfaat bagi klien jika klien yakin bahwa dia tidak akan kehilangan saham dan bahwa saham akan menghargai nilainya selama periode terbatas. Di sisi lain, pemilihan tidak akan menguntungkan klien jika dia kehilangan saham dan jika saham tersebut turun nilainya setelah pemilihan dilakukan. Praktisi pajak BPA yang menasihati klien perusahaan yang menerbitkan saham terbatas harus menunjukkan bahwa jumlah dan waktu pengurangan kompensasi atas pengembalian pajak badan untuk saham terbatas dapat dipengaruhi oleh tindakan karyawan. Pengurangnya bisa dikurangi jika karyawan diijinkan membuat Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan. Kemungkinan seperti itu tidak ada, namun, jika perusahaan menerbitkan saham terbatas daripada saham terbatas. Sementara opsi saham kompensasi telah jatuh dari nikmat, penggunaan penghargaan saham terbatas telah meningkat. Stok tidak dikenakan pajak kepada karyawan sampai tidak lagi dikenakan risiko penyitaan yang substansial oleh karyawan atau dapat dialihkan oleh karyawan tersebut. Risiko penyitaan umumnya ada jika karyawan tersebut harus tetap dipekerjakan oleh perusahaan, atau pendapatan perusahaan mencapai target yang ditentukan dan pemberi kerja tidak diwajibkan untuk membayar nilai wajar pasar saham (FMV) kepada karyawan jika telah dibatalkan. Karyawan dapat memilih sebagai pengganti di bawah Sec. 83 (b) memasukkan pendapatan kotor pada saat mentransfer saham FMV (tanpa memperhatikan pembatasan selain pembatasan permanen atas kemampuan transfer) di atas jumlah yang dibayarkan untuk saham tersebut. Namun, risiko bagi karyawan mencakup bahwa tidak ada pengurangan kerugian atas disposisi saham pada umumnya diperbolehkan jika saham tersebut dibatalkan. Pemilu dapat dicabut hanya dalam beberapa keadaan termasuk kesalahan fakta mengenai pemilihan. CPA dapat membantu klien wajib pajak individu membuat keputusan yang tepat mengenai saham yang dibatasi dan apakah mereka harus membuat Sec. 83 (b) pemilihan. Mereka yang menasihati klien perusahaan dapat memberikan panduan mengenai jumlah dan waktu pengurangan kompensasi saham terbatas yang dibayarkan. Steven T. Petra (actstphofstra.edu) adalah seorang profesor dan direktur program pascasarjana di bidang perpajakan di Hofstra University di Hempstead, N.Y. Nina T. Dorata (doratanstjohns.edu) adalah seorang profesor di St. Johns University di New York City. Mengomentari artikel ini atau menyarankan gagasan untuk artikel lain, hubungi Paul Bonner, editor senior, di pbonneraicpa.org atau 919-402-4434. Artikel Penasihat Pajak Implikasi Pajak atas Transaksi yang Melibatkan Pertimbangan Kontinjensi, Agustus 2010, halaman 558 Klinik Pajak: Bagian. 83 dalam Konteks Kontrak Manufaktur, 2009, halaman 590 Klinik Pajak: Stok Terbatas untuk Akuisisi: IRS Memberikan Panduan yang Dibutuhkan Banyaknya, April 2008, halaman 199 Untuk mendapatkan artikel dari The Tax Adviser. Pergi ke thetaxadviser dan cari berdasarkan tahun di kolom sebelah kiri. AICPAs 1040 Tax Return Workshop oleh Sid Kess (735226) AICPAs 2011 Review Pajak Individu: Luar Biasa (733634) Perencanaan Pajak yang Inovatif untuk Perorangan dan Perorangan (745535) Konferensi Rencana Imbalan Kerja, 30 AprilMay 2, Atlanta Untuk informasi lebih lanjut atau Untuk melakukan pembelian atau pendaftaran, pergi ke cpa2biz atau hubungi Institut di 888-777-7077. Bagian Penasihat Pajak dan Pajak Penasihat Pajak tersedia dengan harga berlangganan yang dikurangi untuk anggota Bagian Pajak, yang menyediakan alat, teknologi dan interaksi antar rekan dengan CPA dengan praktik pajak. Lebih dari 23.000 CPA adalah anggota Bagian Pajak. Bagian ini membuat anggota tetap up to date mengenai perkembangan legislatif dan peraturan pajak. Kunjungi Pusat Pajak di aicpa.orgtax. Masalah saat ini dari The Tax Adviser tersedia di thetaxadviser. Lebih dari JofA: Pembuangan Tanah Publik Amerika Serikat Hibah Kereta Api Pergerakan Pengambilan Pengambilan Gagal Uap 75 Tahun Pengambilan Lahan untuk Tanah Pencapaian dan Kegagalan Penyitaan Warisan Lahan Warisan Lives On Referensi Dikutip Saya sekarang ingin mencegah monopoli abadi Lebih dari 50.000.000 hektar tanah oleh sebuah perusahaan kereta api yang sangat luas. Saya berharap Senat Amerika. Tidak akan dengan tindakan mereka di sini hari ini menyebabkan anak cucu mereka mengutuk kenangan mereka karena dengan demikian membangun monopoli yang begitu besar sehingga merugikan negara, terhadap penindasan dan luka dari semua orang yang mungkin tinggal di daerah itu. - Senator AS Howell, yang menentang subsidi tambahan ke Northern Pacific Railroad, pada tahun 1870. Kemungkinan kekuatan yang terlibat dalam konsentrasi kepemilikan tanah semacam itu, terlepas dari kayu tersebut, tidak memerlukan diskusi. Bahaya penyalahgunaan kekuasaan itu, dengan tidak adanya peraturan yang ketat, sudah jelas. Bahaya ini, apalagi, sangat meningkat karena beberapa pemilik terbesar tanah ini juga menempati posisi yang mendominasi dalam transportasi kereta api di sebagian besar wilayah negara tersebut. - Biro Korporasi A.S., 1913-14. Sejarawan kurang tertarik pada apakah pemerintah mengajukan tawaran yang tajam daripada pada nasib 174.000.000 hektar tanah Federal dan sekitar 49.000.000 hektar tanah negara yang ditawarkan ke jalur kereta api. - Sejarawan David Maldwyn Ellis, 1946 Pelajaran dari hibah tanah kereta api setelah lebih dari seratus tahun adalah bahwa pemerintah tidak mampu untuk berurusan secara meyakinkan dan memiliki senjata dengan kepentingan ekonomi yang kuat. - Pengacara Sheldon Greene, 1976. Pembuangan Tanah Publik Amerika Segera setelah Revolusi, pemerintah Amerika mulai memindahkan sebagian besar benua ke dalam kepemilikan pribadi. Lebih dari satu miliar hektar diberikan atau dijual kepada para veteran perang dan perorangan lainnya untuk pelayanan mereka kepada negara, diberikan kepada negara-negara untuk mengembangkan sistem pendidikan dan transportasi mereka, kepada perorangan untuk melakukan homesteading, dan kepada perusahaan untuk mengembangkan sumber daya air, kayu, dan mineral Untuk bangsa Undang-undang yang disahkan untuk memindahkan lahan publik ke tangan swasta termasuk Undang-Undang Tanah tahun 1796, Undang-Undang Penundaan 1841, Undang-Undang Homestead 1862, Undang-Undang Mineral Umum tahun 1872, Tanah Gurun dan Kisah Batu Kayu di tahun 1870-an. Undang-undang tersebut berhasil dengan cepat memberikan sebagian besar lahan publik, meski tidak selalu, seperti yang akan kita lihat, kepada publik. Menjelang akhir 1880-an, undang-undang pertanahan sedang direvisi atau dicabut, karena akhir ini telah terlihat untuk pembuangan lahan publik Amerika. Sebagai pengacara dan land reformer Sheldon Greene telah menjelaskan, Selama seratus tahun pertama, pekerjaan Amerika Serikat adalah untuk menguasai tanahnya. Penjajahan dan perluasan teritorial Amerika Serikat, secara sederhana, adalah sebuah tanah kolosal yang terburu-buru. Pengalihan kekayaan semacam itu tidak tercapai tanpa spekulasi, keserakahan, dan kecurangan langsung. Sepanjang sebagian besar pemukiman dan preemption dan wisma wisma, korupsi dalam urusan pertanahan adalah peraturan, dan bukan pengecualian. Kepala Kantor Pertanahan Umum A.S., badan yang mengucurkan tanah federal, memperkirakan bahwa pada tahun 1883 kecurangan menyumbang 40 persen dari wisma 5 tahun, 90 persen klaim kayu, dan 100 persen dari Preemption dan klaim Homestead yang diprakarsai ulang. Sebuah survei tahun 1910 memperkirakan bahwa 90 persen tempat pendahuluan dan wisma di Wisconsin sebenarnya telah diperoleh untuk kayu. Pada tahun 1880-an, tarif untuk penghitung dummy berkisar antara 50 sampai 125 Anda bisa membeli saksi untuk 25. Keserakahan dan limbah jadi ditandai dengan era yang dijuluki The Great Barbecue. Pelepasan domain publik sangat terkait dengan Zaman Gilded, Baron Robber, Wild West, dan mitos besar lainnya pada era industri Amerika, dan drama dan masalah yang mereka hadapi. Banyak drama ini masih dimainkan di seluruh negeri hari ini. Tujuan dari makalah ini adalah untuk menguraikan keberhasilan dan kegagalan gerakan untuk merevisi kembali hibah tanah kereta api, dan untuk menunjukkan bahwa selama kekaisaran hibah tanah kereta yang tidak direncanakan terus berlanjut, kontroversi politik, sosioekonomi, dan lingkungan Juga akan berlanjut, seperti juga pilihan untuk mengambil tindakan perbaikan dengan merevitalisasi tanah kembali ke publik. Tabel 1. Disposisi Tanah Publik Jenis hibah atau penjualan Hibah Tanah Kereta Api Salah satu pelepasan lahan publik yang paling kontroversial adalah hibah tanah kereta api, serangkaian tindakan federal dan negara antara tahun 1850 dan 1871. Tujuan nyata dari perkeretaapian Hibah tanah adalah untuk membangun sistem kereta api lintas benua dan telegraf, dan untuk membantu menyelesaikan Barat. Perusahaan kereta api, yang seringkali merupakan perusahaan publik yang tergabung dalam federasi federal, berlaku untuk menjadi agen kebijakan lahan publik federal dan negara bagian. Jalan kereta api, bukan Kantor Pertanahan Umum A.S., seperti biasanya, akan menjual tanah kepada pemukim, dan menggunakan uang yang dikeluarkan untuk membayar pembangunan sistem transportasi dan komunikasi nasional. Selain ketentuan penjualan umum ini, ada persyaratan lain yang ditempatkan pada hibah tanah, termasuk membangun rel kereta api dalam jangka waktu tertentu, menyediakan layanan kereta api selama-lamanya, dan mengangkut barang militer dan pos dengan tarif yang lebih rendah. Sifat, besaran, dan pelaksanaan program hibah tanah diperdebatkan dengan hangat selama bertahun-tahun. Pendukung hibah tanah termasuk argumen bahwa negara tersebut membutuhkan jalan militer untuk perang India dan Perang Saudara. Barat adalah padang gurun yang perlu diselesaikan dan dikembangkan. Orang membutuhkan tanah, tapi tanah Barat tidak berharga tanpa dibuka oleh rel kereta api. Hibah tanah adalah satu-satunya cara untuk mendanai pembangunan kereta api, dan A.S. tidak akan kehilangan uang dengan mengabulkan separuh dari tanahnya dan menjual separuh lainnya dua kali harga. Penentang hibah tanah berpendapat bahwa perkeretaapian tidak boleh disubsidi dengan sumber daya publik, dan bahwa pemerintah akan kehilangan pendapatan dari program penjualan lahan publiknya. Hibah tanah jauh melebihi apa yang dibutuhkan untuk mengamankan pembangunan rel kereta api, dan akan menghasilkan monopoli perusahaan atas tanah dan sumber daya. Bahkan saat perdebatan berlanjut, hibah tanah mulai disahkan, dengan para penentang mengelola untuk memasukkan apa yang dianggap sebagai perlindungan terhadap salah urus atau pelecehan. Tabel x. Perkiraan Perhitungan Hibah Tanah Kereta Api Sebelum tahun 1862, hibah dilakukan melalui pemerintah negara bagian sembilan negara bagian yang diberikan hampir 49 juta hektar untuk hibah tanah kereta api. Pada tahun 1862, dengan munculnya jalur kereta api lintas negara bagian antarnegara bagian, pemerintah federal mulai memberikan hibah secara langsung ke perusahaan kereta api. Tabel 2 menunjukkan hibah tanah terbesar. Tabel 2. Hibah Jalan Kereta Api Lebih dari Juta hektar total areal pemberian hibah Tiga perempat dari semua tanah hunian kereta api akhirnya dikumpulkan di bawah empat rel kereta api: Pasifik Utara (40 juta hektar), Santa Fe (15 juta hektar), Pasifik Selatan (18 Juta hektar), dan Union Pacific (19 juta ekar). Pada tahun 1995 dan 1996, setelah lebih dari satu abad mengakuisisi dan mengkonsolidasikan lusinan rel kereta api yang lebih kecil, keempat rel kereta api ini digabungkan menjadi dua: Burlington Northern Santa Fe dan Union Pacific (yang telah mengakuisisi Pasifik Selatan). Hibah tanah kereta api mencakup sepuluh persen dari daratan Amerika Serikat, namun karena pola koridor dan kotak-kotak hibah, pengaruhnya meluas jauh melampaui itu. Seorang sejarawan memperkirakan bahwa perusahaan kereta api mengendalikan penyelesaian sepertiga dari negara tersebut, dan bagian yang lebih besar dari Amerika Barat, di mana sebagian besar hibah tanah berada. Bahkan saat ini, pemilik lahan terbesar di banyak negara Barat masih menjadi relasi hibah tanah dan ahli warisnya. Sebagian besar tanah telah dijual atau dipintal ke perusahaan baru, dan warisan hibah tanah kereta api abad kesembilan belas adalah konsentrasi kepemilikan tanah dan eksploitasi sumber daya alam yang luar biasa dan mengganggu yang tidak pernah dimaksudkan oleh Kongres. Pengendalian lahan hibah telah dan terus diterjemahkan ke dalam kekuatan ekonomi dan politik bagi perusahaan yang mengendalikannya. Seperti sebagian besar pembuangan lahan publik, hibah tanah kereta api dipenuhi oleh politik dan kecelakan daging babi. Tindakan yang dilakukan untuk menghindari ketentuan pemberian hibah, atau untuk menipu pemerintah, masyarakat umum, dan atau pemegang saham kereta api, termasuk: Penyuapan pejabat federal dan lokal. Ancaman dan kekerasan terhadap pejabat, pesaing, pemukim, dan anggota dewan juri. Mempekerjakan penghitung dummy untuk menghindari ketentuan penjualan umum dari hibah tanah. Penyiraman saham (menjual lebih banyak saham daripada perusahaan itu layak) dan bentuk manipulasi keuangan dan kecurangan lainnya. Proses kebangkrutan ilegal. Iklan palsu dalam penjualan tanah. Mengalihkan dana konstruksi ke usaha real estat dan non-kereta api. Tingkat relasi diskriminatif yang mendiskriminasi petani dan pengirim kecil lainnya. Pengetatan harga, pembalasan ilegal, dan kesepakatan kekasih lainnya dengan perusahaan-perusahaan yang saling terkait. Gagal melakukan survei dan pemberian hak paten untuk menghindari pajak properti. Memegang lahan hibah untuk spekulasi real estat dan keperluan non-rel lainnya. Mencuri kayu dari lahan publik yang berdekatan. Layanan kereta api yang buruk dan ditinggalkannya jalur cabang. Praktek agribisnis monopolistik: rel kereta api mengangkut transportasi petani, terminal biji-bijian, hipotek dan pinjaman lainnya, dan sering memeriksa buku petani untuk memantau keuntungan mereka, dan menetapkan tarif mereka pada apa pun yang dapat ditanggung lalu lintas. Pengendalian ekonomi daerah dan penghancuran usaha kecil. Deforestasi dan hilangnya keanekaragaman hayati. Limbah beracun dari operasi penambangan. Pertukaran perusahaan-pemerintah dari lahan hibah kotak-kotak memberi tanah yang lebih luas lagi. Beberapa masalah ini muncul dalam beberapa dekade setelah hibah dibuat dan rel kereta api telah dibangun orang lain berlanjut setelah lebih dari satu abad, sementara beberapa lainnya mulai terdengar. Karena berbagai alasan, mulai dari kekurangan modal, medan kasar, cuaca buruk, masalah teknik, masalah ketenagakerjaan, kebangkrutan berulang, salah urus, korupsi, dan kecurangan langsung, banyak rel kereta api tidak dibangun seperti yang direncanakan: sebenarnya, empat puluh dari Tujuh puluh rel kereta api hibah tidak memenuhi tenggat waktu konstruksi mereka. Misalnya, Pasifik Utara, yang telah melewatkan tenggat waktunya berulang kali, membutuhkan waktu dua puluh tahun (1864 sampai 1883) untuk membangun, dan masih membuat klaim untuk lahan hibah pada tahun 1940. Pada akhirnya, setelah kegagalan konstruksi, keruntuhan keuangan, tuntutan hukum, dan Penyitaan dan revestasi, hanya tiga perempat dari total areal hibah yang ditawarkan benar-benar dialihkan ke jalur kereta api. Sedikitnya lebih dari 131 juta hektar lahan federal, dan hampir 49 juta hektar lahan negara, akhirnya dipindahkan ke 61 rel kereta api, termasuk 25 persen lahan di Washington dan Minnesota, 20 persen Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, dan Montana, 14 persen dari Nebraska, dan 12 persen dari California. Antara tahun 1867 dan 1890, sekitar 35 juta hektar hilang oleh 20 rel kereta api kembali ke pemerintah federal karena kegagalan kereta api untuk memenuhi persyaratan hibah tanah mereka. Pada tahun 1916, dua juta hektar dipulihkan dari Oregon dan California Railroad. Pada tahun 1929, Northern Pacific Railroad kehilangan klaim atas tambahan tiga juta ekar. In 1941, about eight million acres of additional land claims were released by the railroads, which in exchange were released from their contract to give the government discounted rail rates. In the conventional wisdom, the railroad land grant era was over. But by tracing the history of forfeiture, and examining its accomplishments and failures, we will see that the land grant legacy is very much alive. The Movement for Forfeiture Gains Steam The construction of the land grant legislation turned out to be a bigger challenge than the construction of the railroads. Given the ineptitude and collusion of the U.S. General Land Office, Congress, and the courts, the publics ambivalence toward corporations, the near-universal desire for private property, the confusion between the nature of private and corporate property, and the widespread beliefs in manifest destiny and the inexhaustibility of the frontier and its resources, it is no surprise that the land grant policy was troubled from the beginning. There were debates over the propriety and magnitude of federal subsidies to corporations for building public roads. While there had been land subsidies for canals for decades, the railroad enterprise dwarfed the canals. Not everyone had equal enthusiasm for building thousands of miles of rail lines through the wilderness of the West. The debate over the need for the railroads was mixed with debates over states rights and the nature of interstate commerce. Intertwined with these questions were the regional disputes of the 1850s, which stalled Congresss selection of the general routes of the railroads. With the onset of the Civil War, the Southern delegation left Capitol Hill in the hands of Northern politicians. Not surprisingly, then, when Congress passed the 1862 Pacific Railway Act, the first transcontinental railroad was the Union Pacific rather than the Confederate Pacific. The Northern Pacific followed two years later. Once a majority of Congress was persuaded that transcontinental railroads should be subsidized by the federal government, there were additional problems in the design and implementation of the subsidy policy. The land grant legislation itself was ambiguous and contradictory. It was poorly administered by the Interior Department, the General Land Office, and U.S. Forest Service, which often colluded with the railroad corporations to transfer excess land. There was an unclear and shifting jurisdiction between the legislative, administrative, and judicial branches, and all three branches alternated between indecisiveness and collusion. The unfortunate checkerboard pattern of the land grants had begun during the canal land grant era, and continued with the railroad grants as a concession to opponents both of land subsidies and of interstate railroads. Land grant proponents compromised by agreeing to grant every other square-mile section of land to the railroads. The rationale for this was that the governments sections would double in value because of their proximity to the railroad, and thus the government would lose no revenues from its own land sales. The reality turned out quite differently for a number of reasons, including the fact that ultimately, not all the checkerboards were sold by the railroads or by the government, and the fact that the government did not always receive the expected 2.50 per acre. The pork barrel nature of many of the railroad projects, which seemed designed more to line private pockets than to build rail systems, became apparent early on. In some cases, land grants passed from corporate shell to corporate shell, without the roads ever being built. With a rising Populist movement threatening more than land grant forfeiture, a divided Congress finally began to recover some of the unearned land - even before ending the handouts. Arguments for forfeiture were based on the views that many of the railroads hadnt been built on time, or at all, or had abandoned unprofitable lines. The railroads were actually delaying settlement by withholding land they were supposed to sell to the public the railroads should not be rewarded for their speculative holding of lands. The railroads received more land than they needed to construct and maintain the railroads the excess should be returned to the public domain. Opponents of forfeiture tried to defend the railroads, saying that the railroads had earned their grants, and the U.S. was responsible for fulfilling its part of the contracts. Revesting grant lands would deprive railroad stock and bondholders of their value. Many stockholders were widows and orphans. Some of the railroads claimed that the unsold lands should not be forfeited because the land grant legislation did not actually require them to sell their land, but only to dispose of it. Union Pacific Railroad mortgaged its lands to an affiliated corporation, and claimed that while the lands had not been sold to settlers, they had been disposed of, and so were not subject to forfeiture. The Supreme Court agreed in that case, but rejected that argument in the Oregon amp California Railroad case. The Northern Pacific Railroad made a similar claim, that in its 1890s bankruptcy, it had sold the lands - even though they were all sold to one of its own subsidiaries, the Northern Pacific Railway . Northern Pacifics land transfers to itself were also approved by federal courts. Forfeiture was not the only method used to try to enforce the public sale requirement of the land grants. Two other methods were the homestead clause and administrative action by the General Land Office. After 1866, land grants included a homestead or actual settlers clause requiring the sale of grant lands to actual settlers only, in maximum parcels of 160 acres, at a maximum price of 2.50 per acre. This clause was routinely ignored by many of land grant corporations, as well as by the administrative agencies and Congress. One of the most disturbing aspects of the land grant story is the continued failure of Congress to draft unambiguous legislation, and the failure of the administrative and judicial bodies to enforce the law. Occasionally, as in the Oregon amp California case, violation of the settler clause did result in revestiture. But even in that case, the railroad was paid for the land (at the rate of 2.50 per acre, as specified in the land grant contract), and the illegal sales were allowed to stand. The public sale provision was reemphasized in 1870, when U.S. Representative William Holman of Indiana introduced a resolution declaring that the remaining public lands should be held for the exclusive purpose of securing homesteads to actual settlers under the homestead and preemption laws. The House endorsed the resolution, but proceeded to grant another 20 million acres to railroad corporations in the next year. Holman became the shepherd of forfeiture legislation for twenty years. He introduced legislation throughout the 1870s and 1880s, and in 1884 sponsored a stronger resolution calling for the forfeiture of all expired land grants. He was also a principal participant in the compromises which led to the General Forfeiture Act in 1890. 75 Years of Land Grant Forfeiture The forfeiture of land grants began even before they were all handed out, and continued for 75 years. Twenty-six railroads lost 40 million acres. There were many reasons for forfeiture, and most of the forfeitures were enacted as separate acts. For simplicity, historian David Ellis has divided the land grant forfeitures into three periods, to which we may add a fourth and fifth. Period 1: 1867-1877: The Early Period of Forfeiture The decade marked the end of the land grants and the beginning of forfeiture. Wholesale forfeiture was restrained by the wish to complete the railroad system, and by the fact that many grants did not expire until after 1877. Total forfeited: 650,000 acres. By 1872, the Republican Party followed the Liberal Republicans and the Democrats in adopting a platform against additional land grants. In 1873, the Credit Mobilier scandal broke. The Credit Mobilier, a construction subsidiary of the Union Pacific Railroad, had bribed its way to success by giving shares of stock to the U.S. vice-president, the vice-president-elect, Congressional committee chairmen, a dozen Republican House and Senate leaders, and the Democratic floor leader. Millions in capital were missing, reportedly funneled into the Credit Mobilier. All this became public knowledge: The members of it are in Congress they are trustees for the bondholders, they are directors, they are stockholders, they are contractors in Washington they vote these subsidies, in New York they receive them, upon the Plains they expend them, and in the Credit Mobilier they divide them. Under one name or another a ring of some seventy persons is struck. Congress investigated itself, and censured a few of its members. UP stock fluctuated, manipulated by railroad financier Jay Gould, and the UP debt to the U.S. went unpaid. The affair left the public aware of and disgusted by financial and political manipulation on a grand scale. In the beginning, forfeiture was seen as an administrative matter in which the General Land Office could restore to the public the grant lands of a railroad which had failed to meet its construction deadlines. In 1874, the Supreme Courts Schulenberg v. Harriman decision made forfeiture more difficult by ruling that it required Congressional action. If the grant be a public one, it must be asserted by judicial proceedings authorized by law. or there must be some legislative assertion of ownership of the property for breach of condition. In other words, even when a railroad failed to comply with the land grant conditions (as they often did), the title to the land remained with the railroad if the government did not take positive action. Even when lawsuits or legislative actions were underway, the lengthy nature of these actions meant that the railroads could proceed to construct track and patent land. Citizen oversight did not exist, and government oversight was often tardy or nonexistent. In 1877, the General Land Office urged Congress to either extend the construction deadlines or take action to forfeit the unearned grants. In that same year, a decade before the Northern Pacific forfeiture controversy reached its full height, Washington Territorial attorney general McGilvra urged the forfeiture of NPs Cascade branch. Period 2: 1877-1887: Major Period of Forfeiture During this decade, while 21 million acres of grant land was reopened to settlement, many railroads managed to avoid forfeiture by continuing construction. Total forfeited: 28,000,000 acres. Railroads Forfeiting Grant Lands Iron Mountain RR (MO, KS) Oregon Central RR (OR) Texas Pacific RR Atlantic amp Pacific RR (MO, AR, to Pacific Coast) Jackson (MS) to AL Elyton to Tennessee River (AL) Memphis and Charleston Railway (AL, SC) Savannah amp Albany RR (AL) New Orleans to MS State (LA) In 1878, Representatives Joyce and Thurman introduced forfeiture legislation in the House the Thurman bill forced the Union Pacific and Central Pacific to create sinking funds to ensure repayment of their debts to the government. Ever-creative, the railroads themselves used forfeiture as a strategy against their rivals. For example, Henry Villard, who controlled the Oregon Navigation and Railroad Company, pushed for the forfeiture of the Northern Pacifics grant, until he gained control of the NP in 1881. Subsequently another NP rival, the Central Pacific, pushed for the forfeiture of NPs grant in the 1882 Casserly bill. In the early 1880s, Knights of Labor and the Greenback National Party urged forfeiture, and by 1884, both major political party platforms included forfeiture, though the Republican platform included a loophole for any railroad except those where there has been no attempt in good faith to perform the condition of such grants. In 1883, the Knights of Labor urged forfeiture. In 1883, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary suggested that the courts, rather than Congress, were the proper arena for forfeitures, but on January 21, 1884, the House passed, in a 251 to 17 vote, a resolution introduced by forfeiture champion William Holman. The resolution urged the recovery of all unearned grants, and gave priority to forfeiture bills on the congressional calendar. More than half of the 70 railroads were not built on time. By 1885, up to a hundred million acres of grant lands lay along late or non-existing track. These became the focus of the proposals for a general forfeiture act. The U.S. General Land Office The U.S. Department of Interiors General Land Office (GLO), as the administering agency for public lands, was a key to the failures and the forfeitures of the land grants. Created in 1800 to administer the transfer of public lands into private hands, the GLO was variously described over the next 150 years as underfunded, inept, andor corrupt. It was at times all of those, and played a key role in the implementation of the homestead and land grant policies. The GLO Commissioners report for 1872 admitted that the agencys substandard salaries made the agency merely a sort of training school for land lawyers and agents for railways and private land companies. The GLO training school had a revolving door which very well served those corporations. For example, both of the principals of the premier land law firm of Britton amp Gray were former employees of the GLO, and their brothers-in-law were chief clerk and assistant chief of the GLOs railroad division. Britton amp Gray represented the Atlantic amp Pacific Railroad in its unsuccessful defense against the GLOs 1885 revocation of unselected indemnity lands, but were quite successful representing the Northern Pacific during the 1920s-30s hearings and lawsuit brought by the U.S. government. The nemesis to the General Land Offices routine failures and collusion was William Andrew Jackson Sparks, a self-made attorney, federal lands office receiver, Illinois state representative and senator, and from 1872 to 1882, a U.S. Representative, where he was an advocate of railroad regulation. In March 1885, Sparks was appointed GLO Commissioner by Grover Cleveland. Sparks found the state of affairs intransigent as well as unacceptable: I found that the magnificent estate of the nation in its public lands had been to a wide extent wasted under defective and improvident laws, and through a laxity of public administration astonishing in a business sense if not culpable in recklessness of official responsibility. That the abuses of the public lands laws are largely due to inefficient administration, to the conduct of weak or corrupt officials, and to erratic and fanciful decisions, is undeniable but that the laws themselves are defective in want of adequate safeguards is also true. The vast machinery of the land department appears to have been devoted to the chief result of conveying the title of the United States to public lands upon fraudulent entries under strained construction of imperfect laws and upon illegal claims under public and private grants. Within a month of being appointed GLO Commissioner, Sparks suspended the transfer of homestead entries in 10 states. He recommended the repeal of preemption acts and other public land laws that cash sales should be stopped, and that land should be made available to actual settlers only. Sparks also abolished land lawyers access to GLO clerks, thus making bribery and threats more difficult. Sparks estimated that ten million acres had been claimed in excess of the land grant formulas, and in 1885 and 1886, he administratively revoked 97,000 acres of NP grant land in Washington state, and 1.5 million acres of Atlantic amp Pacific Railroad grant in California, but he failed to recover another 90,000 acres from the AampP in Missouri. Sparks also went after lands fraudulently claimed by timber corporations. Depredations upon public timber are universal, flagrant, and limitless. Whole ranges of townships covered with pine timber, the forests at headwaters of streams, and timber land along water-courses and railroad lines have been cut over by lumber companies under pretense of title derived through preemption and homestead entries made by their employees and afterward assigned to the companies. Steam saw-mills are established promiscuously on public lands for the manufacture of lumber procured from the public domain by miscellaneous trespassers. Large operators employ hundreds, and in some cases thousands of men, cutting government timber and sawing it into lumber and shingles. Under cover of the privilege of obtaining timber and other material for the construction of right-of-way and land-grant railroads, large quantities of public timber have been cut and removed for export and sale. In his 1885 report, Sparks specifically mentions two corporations: the Sierra Lumber Company of California, and the Montana Improvement Company (MIC). In 1885, Sparks accused the MIC of cutting 45 million board feet from public lands, but the proceedings were dropped when the federal funds allocated to the case were exhausted. What followed was a convoluted series of transactions and corporate reorganizations-a pattern that has come to characterize the land grants evolution. The MIC, actually owned by principals of the Northern Pacific Railroad and Amalgamated Copper, went through a series of reorganizations. Amalgamated Copper itself, which purchased a million acres of NP grant land in Montana in 1907, was soon reorganized as Anaconda Copper. In 1993, the Northern Pacifics timber spin-off, Plum Creek Timber, bought back much of the Anaconda grant land (which had since been owned by ARCO and then by Champion International). Plum Creek Timber currently holds title to more than 1.5 million land grant acres in Montana, 90 percent of the timber industry land in the state. In 1885 and 1886, the two largest forfeitures were enacted by Congress: the Texas Pacific lost 15 million acres in New Mexico and Arizona, and the Atlantic amp Pacific lost 10 million acres along uncompleted roads in New Mexico and California. In March 1887, Congress directed the Department of Interior (DOI) to adjust all the railroad land grants, a process which until then had been up to the discretion of the DOI. If upon the GLOs calculation, it was found that railroads had too much land, they would be asked to relinquish it if they refused, the U.S. Attorney General was instructed to bring suit. In May 1887, the General Land Office (GLO) ordered railroads to show why their unselected indemnity lands should not be revoked, and in August 1887, the Interior Department restored 21,323,600 acres from the Northern Pacific, Southern Pacific, Oregon amp California, and other railroads to the public domain. But public lands reform had its limits. In 1886, Sparks had attempted but failed to cancel 1.5 million acres of the Northern Pacifics land grant in Washington State. Much of this land was soon purchased by the Weyerhaeuser timber syndicate. Sparks continued to push, but his limits were soon exceeded, in another case involving Weyerhaeuser. Sparks calculation that the Chicago, St. Paul (formerly St. Croix) Railroad had an excess of 406,684 acres was rejected by Interior Secretary Lucius Lamar, who ruled that the railroad had a right to indemnity for 200,000 acres. Sparks again clashed with Lamar in 1887, ending hopes of a threatened suit against Weyerhauser over title to North Wisconsin Railroad indemnity lands. Having pushed as far as Clevelands administration and the corporations would allow, the tension led to Sparks forced resignation in November 1887. Sparks departure, instigated by the future Secretary of the Interior William Vilas of Wisconsin, was covered by newspapers, which included descriptions of Vilas timber interests. Sparks is famous for being impetuous, for having an excitable disposition, and for his crusading fervor. Sparks blunt style can be found in the Congressional Record . and in his annual reports, which are full of stories about the bold, defiant, and persistent depredators on the public domain. His sympathies were clear: The rights of the corporations have been upheld. The defaults of the companies have been voluntary. The rights of the public are now to be considered - the right of the people to repossess themselves of their own. The case is not one calling for sympathy to the corporations it is one calling for justice to the people of the country. One historian has observed, During his three years in office Commissioner Sparks established a record practically unique in Land Office history. He attempted with considerable vigor to improve the methods, practices, and conditions of the Office. At times he blundered, but there is no question of his honesty. He worked with hope that he could secure Congressional assistance, but Congress only confronted him with additional handicaps. One wonders, given the legal and political atmosphere during the wholesale disposal of the public lands, and given the state of the General Land Office, if an effective reformer might not have blundered. Sparks honesty and willingness to act boldly were what the GLO most needed. Yet more than a century later, Sparks is still viewed from some quarters with condescension and ill feeling. During Sparks short tenure, Congress revested more than 28 million acres of railroad land grants, most of it from the Texas Pacific and Atlantic amp Pacific Railroads in New Mexico, Arizona and California. In August and December 1887, Interior Secretary Lamar had revoked 21 million acres in railroad land withdrawals and restored the lands to public entry. During President Clevelands administration, more than 81 million acres were (at least temporarily) restored to the public domain, land that had been seized, as Sparks put it, by illegal usurpation, improvident grants, and fraudulent claims and entries. But in the end, the value of the lands and resources made the transfer process impossible to control. Sparks removal from office in 1887 was followed by a backslide into frenzied patenting of public lands by corporations, guided by the cronyism of Interior and GLO executives, and covered up by the convenient disappearance of General Land Office records. The new GLO Commissioner explained in his annual report that he tried to make up for the delays Sparks had caused in transferring public lands to private ownership, claiming that the GLOs work had to be resumed so hastily that many of the records had disappeared because of bad ink. Interior Secretary William Vilas approved the speed-up in the work of the GLO, once issuing 3,633 patents in one week. His successor, John Noble, an attorney serving railroad, mining, and other large corporations in the Southwest, went even farther in speeding the patenting process, especially for timber cases, proving himself a true friend of the corporations dummy entrymen. GLO Commissioner Lewis Groff attacked Sparks reforms and did his best to downplay the fraud. By the height of the movement to revest railroad land grants, Congressmen were announcing that The great corporations and other monopolies have for many years been stretching out their strong and unscrupulous arms over the public lands remaining for enterprising and honest settlers. Millions of acres of this domain have been seized and stolen, and I have to say this robbery could not have succeeded without the collusion and cooperation of agents employed to protect the interests of the people. Immense combinations have been formed, including the ties of political and social life, for a common object-to break down all attempts at Washington to crush out a venal system which has flourished by departmental indifference or favor. But Congress steadfastly refused to improve the GLO, and the courts refused to enforce the laws. Open fraud by prominent figures, ignored by Congress and upheld by the courts, was accompanied by continued bribery and violence against government officials and witnesses. The Great Barbecue continued until there was little left. What was left, the Forest Reserves, had to be set aside by administrative order. The GLO was absorbed into the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in 1946, which continues to pass public land and timber to corporations. Congressional Committees and the Regulation of Railroads Several Congressional committees investigated the construction of railroads and the implementation of the land grant policy. The Credit Mobilier scandal of the mid-1870s has already been mentioned. In another investigation in 1887 and 1888, the U.S. Pacific Railway Commission investigated the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads, finding corruption, unpaid debts, missing funds, and missing receipts and other records. Other investigations, concerned with the ongoing operation of the railroads, led to the creation of the first regulatory agency: the Interstate Commerce Commission. In 1885 and 1886, the Senates Cullom Committee investigated various railroad abuses, including excessive and discriminatory rates, secret rebates, and manipulation of railroad company stock. The committees work led to the creation in 1887 of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) for the regulation of railroad operations. However, the ICC was stacked with railroad men, and with their usual creativity and ruthlessness, the railroads managed to use the ICC to their advantage. In an 1892 letter to his friend Charles E. Perkins, president of the Chicago, Burlington amp Quincy Railroad, U.S. Attorney General Richard Olney wrote: The Commission, as its functions have now been limited by the courts, is, or can be made of great use to the railroads. It satisfies the popular clamor for a government supervision of railroads, at the same time that supervision is almost entirely nominal. Further, the older such a commission gets to be, the more inclined it will be found to take the business and railroad view of things. It thus becomes a sort of barrier between railroad corporations and the people and a sort of protection against hasty and crude legislation hostile to railroad interests. The part of wisdom is not to destroy the Commission but to utilize it. Period 3: 1887-1894: The Push for a General Forfeiture Act The organized push for general forfeiture legislation was softened by land grant defenders in the Senate, who succeeded in limiting the forfeitures to lands adjoining uncompleted portions of the railroads. From 1888, the real focus of Congress was on passage of a general forfeiture act which would deal with the almost 100 million acres of grant lands alongside railroads which had not been built on time. Various versions of general forfeiture legislation were pushed and compromised by land reformers, rival railroads, their stock and bondholders, and by their lobbyists and representatives in Congress. A triangle of interests sought various degrees of forfeiture of unearned land grants. Three members of the House Committee on Public Lands agreed with the Senates stance that 5,600,000 acres of lands adjoining uncompleted railroads should be forfeited. The majority on the Committee sought forfeiture of 54,000,000 acres of lands adjoining any portions of railroads not completed within their time limits. Two members sought the forfeiture of all 78,500,000 acres of the grant lands of railroads which had not been completed on time. Having sought revestment of grant lands for 20 years, U.S. Representative William Holman now argued against radical proposals which would doom the legislation, warning that endless litigation would result. The middle ground was approved by the House in a vote of 179 to 8, but it was rejected by the Senate. Holman neednt have feared a radical law that couldnt be enforced. The General Forfeiture Act which did pass in 1890 was the conservative Senates version of less than six million acres, which Holman charged was sponsored by the Northern Pacific Railroad itself in order to avoid a larger forfeiture. In fact, the Northern Pacific, having acquired the existing Oregon Railroad line along the Columbia River, did not intend to build another, and had given up any claims to the adjoining land. The General Forfeiture Act reclaimed only 5.6 million acres from eleven railroads, including the Northern Pacific (2,000,000 acres), the Southern Pacific (1,075,200 acres), the Gulf amp Ship Island (652,800 acres), and the Mobile and Girard (536,064 acres). The fight in Congress was not yet over. In 1892, with the Populist Party calling for the return of all land held by railroads and corporations in excess of their actual needs, and all lands now owned by aliens, the House passed a bill which called for the recovery of all lands not earned within the time limits. The bills would have revested more than 50 million acres, but the Senate failed to act. The House passed a similar bill in 1894, even protecting innocent land purchasers by including an exemption for purchasers of less than 320 acres. The Senate again opposed the bill, with forfeiture opponent Dolph warning that vast interests, large farms, vast tracts of lands, the interests of the purchasers of the railroad companies. would be destroyed by further forfeitures. Of course, that was the point of forfeiture--to dismantle unintended empires. But Dolph represented powerful interests, and prevailed. Forfeiture historian Ellis marks 1894 as the end of the forfeiture movement, observing that the later forfeiture cases of the Oregon amp California and Northern Pacific Railroad grew out of special circumstances, and were different from the 1867-1890 forfeitures, which were based mainly upon the construction and time limit failures of the railroads. Period 4: 1908-1917: Oregon amp California Revestment The General Forfeiture Act of 1890 had marked the climax of forfeiture as a strategy to deal with the failures of the land grant policy. Later forfeitures, while large, concerned but two railroads whose failures were especially glaring: the Oregon amp California Railroad (by then a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific) and the Northern Pacific Railroad. The Oregon amp California forfeiture was preceded by the Oregon land fraud trials of 1903 to 1910. More than a thousand people were indicted, and more than 100 were convicted for defrauding the U.S. and Oregon state governments of land by forgery, perjury, falsification of records, bribery and intimidation of witnesses and officers of the courts, and obstructing free passages over public lands. Those indicted included the U.S. District Attorney, a General Land Office Commissioner and some of his agents, U.S. government surveyors, both U.S. Senators and a U.S. Representative from Oregon (including U.S. Senator Mitchell, who had been one of the staunch opponents of land grant forfeiture). Also indicted were Oregon State Senators, Assistant Attorneys for Oregon, city and county officials, and bankers, attorneys, lumber dealers, hotel owners, real estate agents, and stockbrokers. Wile convictions were relatively few, they were scandalously noteworthy, and resulted in the break-up of several land fraud rings, and in the repeal of the easily-abused lieu-land provisions of the Forest Reservation Act. The Oregon land fraud trials set the stage for a much larger case: that of the Oregon amp California Railroad. By 1908, the OampC, out of its grant of 3.7 million acres, had sold only 813,000 acres, and only 127,000 acres of that had been sold in parcels no greater than 160 acres, to actual settlers only, for no more than 2.50 per acre. The OampC had sold the other 700,000 acres, much of it to timber corporations, in violation of the law, in parcels of thousands or tens of thousands of acres, at prices up to 10 per acre. And in 1903, the OampC (by then a subsidiary of Harrimans Southern Pacific) announced that it would sell no more land at all. Investigators sent by President Roosevelt ended up on railroad and timber payrolls. Roosevelt eventually turned to Gifford Pinchot, who sent U.S. attorney Francis Heney, who successfully prosecuted some of the principals. After a series of Congressional acts and court decisions between 1908 and 1918, the Oregon amp California Railroad forfeited 2,900,000 acres. The revested acreage was transferred to the GLOs successor agency, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which sold most of the timber to corporations over the next fifty years. The OampC revestment set several important precedents. One was that railroads were not entitled to be rewarded for their speculation: with the backing of the U.S. Supreme Court, the railroad was paid only the 2.50 per acre it was supposed to have received. Another part of the revestiture proved quite agreeable to the purchasers of the railroads lands. In 1912, Congress passed the Forgiveness (or Innocent Purchasers) Act, which allowed purchasers of OampC parcels of more than 1,000 acres to keep the lands if they paid the U.S. government the 2.50 per acre originally required. Smaller purchasers werent required to pay at all. Period 5: 1924-1940: The Battle for the Northern Pacific The Northern Pacific Railroad received the largest of all land grants. Running across the northern tier from the Great Lakes to Puget Sound, the NP eventually claimed almost 40 million acres. In the size of its land grant, but also in its violations, controversies, investigations, and lawsuits, the Northern Pacific had no peers. In 1886, General Land Office Commissioner Sparks restored to the public domain 1.5 million acres of Northern Pacific grant land grant in western Washington, declaring that the 1870 amendments to the original 1864 NP legislation did not clearly and unequivocally grant additional land. Although House and Senate reports in 1884 recommended forfeiture of the NPs grant along the Columbia River, and there was a proposal in Congress to forfeit the Northern Pacific Railroads Cascade line, Sparks order was reversed by Interior Secretary Lamar in 1887. In 1888, a H.R. 9151, which would have forfeited three-quarters of the NP land grant, was passed without debate, but the Senate refused to act upon it. The Western Washington land remained under the control of the NP, and soon became the basis for Weyerhaeusers vast timber holdings in the Northwest. Instead, the 1890 General Forfeiture Act reclaimed only the two million acres of unearned NP land along the Columbia River, leaving most of the grant lands in control of the railroad. In the next two decades, the NP sold millions of acres to timber and mining corporations, including Weyerhaeuser, Boise Cascade, Potlatch, and Amalgamated Copper (later named Anaconda Copper). In 1905, the Northern Pacific had filed a claim for 5,600 acres within the Gallatin National Forest. In 1915, the GLO, having realized its error in issuing the patents, filed suit against the NP, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1921 that the government could not deny land claims that fell within forest reserves. The U.S. attorneys who worked on that case were soon brought in for a much larger job: investigating the entire 40-million-acre Northern Pacific land grant. Joint Congressional hearings were held from 1924 to 1928, detailing dozens of violations by the Northern Pacific Railroad, ranging from failure to sell the grant lands at public auction, diverting construction funds to non-rail purposes such as timber, mining, and real estate speculation, failure to sell stock to the public as required, tax evasion, and fraudulent classification of land. In 1929, Congress acted upon the Joint Committees recommendations by revoking NPs claims to another 2,900,000 acres lying within National Forests in Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, and directing the U.S. Attorney General to file suit against the railroad in order to have a complete judicial accounting and determination of any and all issues arising out of violations of the Northern Pacific land grant. Twenty-two charges were brought by the U.S. against the railroad. A complex ten-year case followed, with rulings by special masters, federal district courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court left several major charges undecided, and the entire case was ended with a settlement between the railroad and the Attorney General. Northern Pacific agreed to pay the U.S. 300,000 and lost its claims to 2.9 million acres, but retained 39 million acres of land. 1941: The Railroads Release Further Claims Between 1867 and 1940, more than forty million acres of railroad grant land had been forfeited. On the eve of World War II, the railroads and the federal government had another concern: the requirement that the land grant railroads haul military freight at reduced rates. The U.S. Board of Investigation and Research, created by the Transportation Act of 1940, concluded that the ending of land grant rail rate concessions should be a two-way street, with the railroads returning their remaining lands to the government. So in 1941, with their eye on wartime profits, the land grant railroads released further claims on eight million acres, in exchange for being released from reduced rates for government freight. More than half of the acreage released was by the Northern Pacific, which surrendered 4,500,000 acres of additional claims. The Boards investigation provided the following list: Table 3. Patented Railroad Grant Lands in 1941 Atlantic Coast Line The Accomplishments and Failures of Forfeiture Law professor John Leshy has summarized the problems in the land grant policy, and of the attempts of Congress and the courts to address those problems. His conclusions are quoted at length because he is currently the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Interior. Litigation has been. ineffective, even though the courts continued to acknowledge that the intent of Congress has been thwarted. In one celebrated instance arising shortly after the turn of the century, the United States sought to enforce a proviso of the OampC railroad grant, charging that the railroad grantee had retained most of the granted land and sold the rest of it in violation of the statutory size and price limits. After the Supreme Court agreed, Congress enacted legislation which revested title to the unsold lands in the United States but which, significantly, ignored those lands the railroad had previously sold to third parties in quantities or at prices exceeding the terms of the grants. Moreover, in taking back title to the unsold lands, the United States paid the railroad grantee the price the latter would have received if it had complied with the restriction by selling to settlers. Thus, even in this exceptional situation, which gave birth to the so-called OampC lands in western Oregon, purchasers from the railroad were fully protected despite their lack of bona fides . and the railroad suffered no actual penalty from its breach. Apart from this almost unique case, the restrictions in the railroad grants turned out to be largely unenforceable and ineffective. A basic problem was in the language of the grants: for example, the restrictions were not clearly labeled as covenants or conditions (a legally significant distinction), failed to set out a clear mechanism for transferring the land to settlers, and were silent both on remedies for violation and on their enforceability by the courts at the initiative of either the executive branch or potential settlers. These ambiguities eventually resulted in a series of Supreme Court decisions--such as the one allowing railroads to shield themselves from the duty to sell the lands simply by mortgaging them--which largely negated the restrictions. After years of wrangling, Congress and the executive branch together finally washed their hands of the matter on the eve of World War II. This is not to say that congressional attempts to include these restrictions were totally frustrated indeed, some of the land subject to the restrictions passed from railroad ownership, and small parcels actually were sold cheaply to those bona fide settlers Congress apparently intended to benefit. But even today railroads own large acreages that had been subject to these restrictions, and undeniably disposed of some of their grant lands in large tracts, at higher than statutory process, to other than actual settlers, all in contradiction of the ostensible purpose of Congress. The fact that some of the granted lands actually ended up in the hands of the intended secondary beneficiaries seems more coincidental than not. Was the public interest served by subsidizing the transcontinental railroads with public land grants Historians have argued convincingly that not only would the land grant railroads have been built without subsidies, but that the land grant railroads actually delayed settlement of the West. In the nineteenth century, the opening and settling of the West was widely assumed to be a public good bordering on absolute necessity. But it clearly benefited some more than others, and the wisdom of the land grant policy was ferociously debated even at the time. Another issue is the size of the land grants. Author Lloyd Mercer, who spent years analyzing the land grant subsidies, did his best to show that they were a profitable deal for the public, but he didnt factor in the billion of dollars worth of real estate, timber, coal, oil, gold, and other resources in his calculations. He also stopped his calculations at the year 1900, using turn of the century land values and rates of return. Even so, he concluded that the Northern Pacific grant was particularly excessive. The public (i.e. the settlers) should hardly have been secondary beneficiaries, as Leshy describes them. Yet the public has participated in its own defrauding. It is time for the public, through its representatives in Congress, to right the wrongs of a century. The Northern Pacific Empire Builder James Hill dismissed the controversies, claiming that When we are all dead and gone the sun will still shine, the rain will fall, and this railroad will run as usual. He may have been right about that. But as usual turns out to mean that the sun shines on deforested hillsides, and the rain falls in torrents and landslides, and trains are frequently derailed because of inadequate safety and manpower. The country can do better with its public lands and with its rail system. Perhaps a more realistic estimate has come from public lands scholars George Coggins and Charles Wilkinson: It is not necessary to chronicle fully the splendid indifference to the common public good in the matter of transcontinental railroads. When the Great Barbecue was over, Congress had given over 90 million acres to the railroads directly and another 35-40 million acres to states to be used by the railroads (in addition to another 200 million acres for other internal improvements, some of which were also granted to railroads). The progress of the first transcontinental line the Union Pacific and Central Pacific is somewhat typical of the problems generated. The Gilded Age was one of the low points of public morality in the United States, but its effects were not uniformly bad. As promoters, the railroads encouraged and directed immigration. The West was developed, and towns sprang up in the railroads wake. Opposition to the worst abuses was noteworthy and led to some worthwhile reforms. The railroad enterprise effectively ended the frontier. Pressure to force return of the railroad lands to the public domain has continued all through this century and has not yet died out completely. Nor will it, as long as the lands are controlled by corporations to the detriment of local communities, the public, and the land itself. As historian Fred Shannon wrote in 1946, If any lobbying is justifiable today it should be from a peoples lobby. It should demand that after three-quarters of a century (in some cases almost a century) of private profit from public gifts, it is now time for the people to take back the property without further recompense, so that in the future the benefits shall be reaped by the people who paid. Any reimbursement to the people made by the land-grant railroads such as reduced rates for government freight, to the present, has been just a little interest on the original obligation. The Land Grant Legacy Lives On The railroads and their defenders continue to claim that the land grant era ended in 1941. For example, railroad lobbyist Frank Wilner has argued that both Congress and the federal courts have ruled that the books have been closed on the matter of past railroad land grants. Many legal scholars disagree, and the U.S. Supreme Court itself, in the OampC revestment case, declared that the land grant laws are covenants, and enforceable. The grants must be taken as they were given. Assent to them was required and made. The acts are laws as well as grants and must be given the exactness of laws. This comment applies to and answers all the other contentions of the railroad company based on waiver, acquiescence and estoppel and even to the defenses of laches and the statute of limitations. Regardless of the pronouncements of railroad men, lobbyists, and judges, the land grant legacy clearly lives on, as can be seen by examining todays socioeconomic and environmental controversies in newspaper headlines, Congressional hearings, citizens petitions for return of the grant lands, land exchanges involving land grant checkerboards, and other efforts to address the continuing problems deriving from the land grant legacy. The days of robber barons, open fraud, and railroad wars are not over. The heirs to the land grant empires continue their control of the land, and their political influence. Timber and mining corporations which acquired railroad grant lands use their wealth to defeat state referendums for forest protection, to forward their own legislative proposals which give them access to additional public lands and exempt them from environmental laws, to squeeze independent companies out of business, and to price-gouge consumers, and to export forests and jobs. Citizen Pressure, Agency Hearings and Investigations As in the nineteenth century, the public pushes regulators, Congress, and the courts to understand and resist the political power of the land grant corporations. In 1972, the National Coalition for Land Reform (NCLR) filed a Petition for Return of Railroad Lands as an administrative complaint to the Secretary of the Interior. The petition asked the Secretary to investigate the status of the land grant-based corporations and their noncompliance with the law, an investigation which the petitioners were convinced should result in forfeiture or sale of the remaining grant lands, and reimbursement to the public treasury of profits derived from illegal exploitation of the grant lands. The Secretarys rejection of the petition was filed on August 31, 1972, on behalf of the Southern Pacific Transportation and Southern Pacific Land Company. A few years later, the non-profit Center for Balanced Transportation (CBT) urged Congress to conduct oversight hearings into the Interior Departments handling of the NCLRs land grant petition. The CBT, whose work encompassed national and state transportation and energy issues, had conducted historical and legal analyses of the Northern Pacific land grant, concluding that the policy had failed, but that Congress could still address the problems. In the early 1980s, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, backed by the National Grange, the National Farmers Organization, the American Farm Bureau, and the National Wheat Growers Association, called for congressional investigation into the obligation of the land grant railroads to use their land grant income to sustain and strengthen rail operations and the extent to which the carriers have breached their contracts with the government by transferring land grant assets out of the railroad without adequate compensation. Unhitching the Grants, Exploiting the Land In the 1970s and 1980s, as a result of a complex web of events, including the depletion of public lands resources, declining railroad profits, and railroad deregulation, many of the land grant railroads spun-off their land grant resources into new, independent corporations. The railroad mergers and restructuring inspired protest from rival transportation systems, railroad employees, citizens, and a new wave of hearings and studies by state and federal governments. The U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) conducted several studies on railroad mergers and holding companies. Its 1977 study on Railroad Conglomerates and Other Corporate Structures showed that land, natural resources, and other valuable assets (assets acquired over the years by government grant) had been diverted from the railroads transportation purposes and had diminished railroad revenues. The railroad as an instrument of public service has been deprived of wealth accumulated over many years, including resources such as land grants provided at public expense. The ICC concluded that the interests of conglomerate managements and their stockholders often diverge from the public interest in a sound transportation system, and that the continuation of asset separation poses a potential threat to the future health of the Nations rail system. In 1982, U.S. Representative Byron Dorgan (D-SD) initiated a Congressional investigation of railroads by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Dorgan claimed that the Interstate Commerce Commission has adopted such a narrow view of its authority regarding rail holding companies and land grants. that it is doing virtually nothing to protect the public in these areas. This is why the ball is in the Congress court. It does not seem fair to expect our taxpayers to provide additional subsidies, and our shippers and merchants to pay exorbitant freight rates, while rail managements turn to other uses the subsidies they have already received. Nor does it seem fair to permit these managements to use the holding companies device to walk away from the bargain with the American people regarding the railroad land grants. Joint Congressional Committee hearings requested by Dorgan and Representative Pat Williams (D-MT) were followed by a bill introduced by Williams that would require all land grant railroads (or their holding companies) to put a third of their pre-tax profits from resource extraction into railroad maintenance. Williams declared that Congress must decide whether the public still has a right to demand service from the railroads as a result of the enormous grants of land they received in the 1880s. In 1980, U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, requested that the Interstate Commerce Commission condition approval of the proposed merger of the Union Pacific, Missouri Pacific, and Western Pacific Railroads upon a study of the value of their land grants and mineral rights. Dingell wrote that it is unacceptable to have government aid diverted from its main objective of benefiting the ultimate public which the railroads serve. The next year, U.S. Representative Sieberling (D-OH), also concerned about the transfer of land grant assets to non-rail corporations, requested that the ICC continue its investigations of the effects of railroad holding companies which then spun off land grant assets to separate corporations. Calls for the investigation of railroad holding companies and land grant spin-offs also came from railroad employees and rival transportation systems. For example, the Water Transport Association claimed that the revenues and profits from land grant resources should be included when determining how much railroads should be allowed to charge for service. Additional challengers to Burlington Northern Railroads move to create a holding company for land grant assets included the Western Coal Traffic League, the State of Minnesota, BN employees, and a citizens group. In 1982 hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Railway Labor Executives Association expressed concern over the reduction of railroad plant and rail labor jobs due to the stripping of assets. The Western Coal Traffic League (utilities and industries) supported legislative initiatives to prevent the milking of the Burlington Northern Railroad of its resource assets, including its land grant assets. Congressman Pat Williams of Montana claimed that the land grant assets should come into play. BN ought to call upon some of its remaining land grant properties as a source of revenue with which to upgrade railroad lines in Montana. Continuation of service on the lines may or may not be profitable, but will be a public service, and public service was the intent of the land grants. Not surprisingly, Richard Bressler, the CEO of Burlington Northern, testified that his corporation did not recognize any continuing obligations, but hearings chairman Senator Max Baucus said I believe the federal government should determine once and for all whether the land grants created a continuing obligation for rail carriers to provide rail service. The conclusions of these hearings were backed by Congressional Research Service studies which reiterated the continuing obligations of the railroads, and the duty of Congress to determine just what those obligations were. Land Buy-Outs: Buying Back Public Land Though the grant lands were supposed to be sold to settlers, generally at 2.50 per acre, much of the land was held by the railroads or sold in large parcels to other corporations. Under the rationale that the public needs green space, some of the corporations are now selling the grant lands back to the public--at hundreds or thousands of dollars per acre. Table 4. Land Grant Sales to Public Agencies Every year, there are dozens of land exchanges around the country. Originally used as a way to deal with small private inholdings within public lands, in recent years the exchanges have become much larger, often encompassing tens of thousands of acres. Many of the land exchanges now being arranged involve the land grant checkerboards. Exchanges are a politically palatable way to consolidate the fragmented public-private land ownership patterns created by the railroad land grants. But in the process, public lands are being exchanged for land that had already been donated to the railroads--in effect, a second public land grant. Timber corporations, real estate brokers, and others are misusing the land exchange process in order to speculate for quick profits. Improper procedures, conflicts of interest, and bribery in connection with various land exchanges have led to four audits of the BLM and several ongoing investigations of the U.S. Forest Service. An investigative series on the abuses and problems with the land exchanges was published in the Seattle Times in 1998. The authors recommended several reforms, including (1) that exchange lands should be traded lands to the highest bidder, rather than to the corporation which suggests a deal (2) the land appraisals should be made public and (3) the public should be given a seat at the negotiating table. Many of the grassroots citizens groups which have arisen to monitor corporate-government land exchanges, including the Seattle-based Western Land Exchange Project, agree with these recommendations, and are working to expose land exchange abuses, and to ensure that reforms will take place. The land exchanges give a century-old court decision new relevancy: It seems but an ill return for the generosity of the Government in granting these railroads half its lands to claim that it thereby incidentally granted them the benefit of the whole. The names and faces of land grant reformers have changed, and the current issues may seem unique. But the goals and visions of the Farmers Alliances, the Populists, the conservationists, and all the others who have fought for democracy are alive. Their work to mitigate and reform the land grant policy continues, as it has for more than a century. What is missing from the scene today is an informed, aroused movement to revest the land grants themselves. An opinion poll during World War II showed that only half of the population had ever heard of the railroad land grants, and most of them thought the railroads had paid for the land. Since then, another half-century has passed, and the land grants have an even smaller place in our social memory. Without an awareness of the past, and an understanding of how it affects the present, we will continue to suffer the continuing impacts of the land grant legacy. Most of the recent attempts to correct or mitigate the problems unleashed by the railroad land grant policy are well-intentioned and necessary. They are also symptomatic treatments which do not address the underlying problem: a bad policy poorly implemented. As land reformer Sheldon Greene clearly stated, The economic interests of large landowners and railroads have prevented a broad-based distribution of public lands without proper regard for the public interest. Although 70 years now a century have passed since the bulk of our public lands were transferred to private ownership, the original distributive goal of the land laws remains unfulfilled. Yet, despite the lapse of time, it is still realistic to seek to attain this objective. As William Faulkner once wrote, history isnt dead its not even past. It is time to revisit the land grant era, an era which never ended. Its time to revest the land back to the public. The era of selling public lands to settlers is long over, but corporate control of land and resources has never been stronger than today. And the public lands have never been more in need of protection. Applegate, Rick. 1979. An Unintended Empire: A Case Study Of Rail Land Holdings . Pages 100-240 in: Additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System, hearings before the Subcommittee on Public Lands of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, 96th Congress, 1st Session on H.R. 3928, held in Washington DC on Sept. 17, 1979. and oversights on land ownership in the Beaverhead and Gallatin National Forests, hearing held in Bozeman, Montana, Oct. 4, 1979. Serial No. 96-11, Part IV. 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