SITLA Deposits $76M Into Trust Land Beneficiary Endowments
SITLA deposits $76 million into 12 permanent endowments for education, hospitals, universities
The Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, SITLA, reported net contributions of $76,027,304 to the permanent endowments for K-12 education and 11 other trust land beneficiaries, including state hospitals, colleges, and universities.
SITLA earned $89.9 million in revenue from energy, mining, real estate development, surface leases and easements, and land sales. Oil and gas earnings accounted for nearly $35 million; real estate development $31.5 million; surface, including grazing, telecommunication, rights of way, and easements, generated $16.6 million; and mining $6.8 million.
Renewable energy development accounted for approximately $1 million of SITLA’s total revenue for fiscal year 2019, with geothermal leases earning $343,919; solar $306,380; wind $69,220; and energy storage $279,068.
The agency used just under $14 million from gross revenue for operations, including infrastructure for specific development projects and stewardship activities. SITLA is entirely self-funded, receiving no general fund appropriation.
SITLA deposits all net revenue into permanent endowments for each beneficiary. The School and Institutional Trust Funds Office, SITFO, is the independent state agency tasked with investment of these funds. SITFO is overseen by a five-member Board of Trustees of investment professionals and chaired by the Utah State Treasurer David Damschen.
Each beneficiary institution receives a percentage of its permanent fund balance each year to use as it sees fit. Utah’s public schools received $82.7 million from its endowment this school year and Treasurer Damschen reports a record $88.83 million will augment public education funding next school year.
SITLA administers the state’s 3.4 million-acre trust land grant, which was apportioned by Congress at statehood. Since its inception in 1994, SITLA has generated $1.96 billion from trust lands development, helping to grow all permanent funds to approximately $2.6 billion today.