TABLE 7.4 Percentages of Total Estimated Costs to Be Borne by a Federal Grant Program


Estimated Percentage


Exclusion of federal land


22 percent of the continental United States is owned by the federal government (area of Alaska not included in original cost estimate)

Use of existing control points and maps


25 percent of the cost might be saved by use of existing ground-control, base maps, and cadastral maps

Spread over 20 years



Federal matching funds ratio


Requires a major share (60 percent) to be committed by state and local governments



Product of the four estimated percentages

should be possible in a nationally coordinated program should save at least $ 1 million of this amount. If cadastres for all the 3114 counties and county equivalents needing to develop cadastres (outside of Alaska) were developed with survey control points at one-half-mile intervals, the national total for coast-to-coast cadastres could be in the vicinity of $7.8 billion, in 1980 dollars. However, because the 24 percent of the area of the continental United States that lies outside the PLSS could make do with a lower density of control points, $7.5 billion would seem to be a reasonable estimate for total program costs, excluding Alaska. This compares reasonably with the estimate of $3.35 billion for a national program derived from the study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1979) and reported on in the Committee on Geodesy (1980) report, which did not include investment in the geodetic reference framework and was expressed in 1979 dollars.

A rough estimate of the annual contribution from the federal grants to counties and municipalities to support the program at the levels recommended in this report would be about 1.2 percent of the total estimated cost, or $90 million per year for 20 years, based on the factors in Table 7.4.

It should be clear from the above that the rough estimate of $90 million per year for 20 years suggested as appropriate for a program of federal matching grants for the multipurpose cadastre is not the result of research but rather of some rough approximations that seem reasonable. If there is general agreement on the parameters of a multipurpose cadastre described herein, then more accurate estimates could be developed fairly rapidly from data available from the U.S. Census of Governments. In the meantime, this rough estimate at least provides the starting point for the discussion of the conclusions presented in Chapter 8.

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