Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Los Alamos County to receive PILT funding

Los Alamos County to receive PILT funding

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced yesterday Idaho will receive $30 million via Payments in Lieu of Taxes, a.k.a.

This money aims to offset losses in property taxes on nontaxable federal lands. Payments are based on the acreage of federal land and population within a county. "As ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the Interior Department's budget, I will do everything I can to ensure this program receives full funding going forward, so we can continue to support these counties for hosting valuable federal lands". PILT payments help local governments carry out such vital services as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations.

"Senator Steve Daines also commented on the funds, saying in a news release, "... the PILT program provides critical support for the safety of Montana's rural counties.

Millions of dollars are feeding back into Montana as part of an annual payment to counties all around the United States, but could future payments be in jeopardy? Funding for the payments comes from the almost $9 billion in annual revenue the Department of Interior collects from commercial activities on federal lands, including energy development, livestock grazing and timber harvests. Federal public lands make up 97 percent of the area in Teton County.

The Mat-Su Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough will receive the largest funding amounts with both getting more than $3 million each from the federal government.

The increase is "absolutely" welcome in Mesa County, which is expecting to dip into reserves this year, County Administrator Frank Whidden said.

While Alaska has the most federal land - 223.8 million acres - Nevada has the highest percentage of federal land at 84.9 percent or 58.2 million acres.

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