Rural Counties Receive $465 Million PILT Funds

Wayne, Shannon and Reynolds Are Top Three Counties in Missouri

WASHINGTON – While meeting with local, state and federal officials in Nevada June 30, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke an­nounced that more than 1,900 local governments around the country will receive $464.6 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2017.

This year’s $464.6 million is the largest amount ever al­located in the program’s 40- year history. This funding level continues to underscore the Trump Administration’s commitment to rural commu­nities. A full list of funding by state and county is below and also available at www.doi. gov/pilt.

California was the state re­ceiving the most PILT dollars, being awarded $48,261,603. The next four states were Utah ($39,500,105), New Mexico ($38,525,087), Colo­rado ($36,618,440) and Ari­zona ($36,023,640).

Missouri was 17th of the 50 states, receiving $4,036,144.

Six of the top 11 counties in Missouri are right here in the Ozark Highlands.

Wayne County received the most of any Missouri county ($244,917 for 133,138 acres of public land). Second was Shannon County with $196,470 for 119,476 acres, and Reynolds County was third in the state, receiving $177,374 for 107,264 acres of land.

Other local counties high on the list were Iron County sixth on the list receiving $162,888 for 98,746 acres; Carter County was eighth, getting $159,901 for 99,105 acres; and Dent County was eleventh, receiving $150,416 for 76,303 acres.

As a kid who grew up in northwest Montana and whose sons graduated from the same high school as I did, I know how important PILT payments are to local commu­nities that have Federal lands. These investments are one of the ways the federal govern­ment is fulfilling its role of being a good land manager and good neighbor to local communities,” said Secretary Zinke.

Rural America, especially states out west with large fed­eral land holdings, play a big part in feeding and powering the nation and also in provid­ing recreation opportunities, but because the lands are Fed­eral, the local governments don’t earn revenue from them.

PILT investments often serve as critical support for local communities as they juggle planning and paying for basic services, such as public safety, fire-fighting, social services and transpor­tation.”

We are pleased that Sec­retary Zinke and the Interior Department are distributing this fiscal year’s Payments in Lieu of Taxes funding,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “PILT sup­ports essential county ser­vices including road mainte­nance, solid waste disposal, law enforcement, fire preven­tion, search and rescue and public health.

We look forward to work­ing with the administration and Congress to establish greater long-term certainty for the PILT program and address other public lands issues for counties, such as Secure Rural Schools fund­ing and active forest manage­ment.”

PILT are Federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal lands within their boundar­ies. 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.

The payments are made an­nually for tax-exempt Federal lands administered by the Bu­reau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice (all agencies of the In­terior Department), the U.S. Forest Service (part of the U.S. Department of Agricul­ture), and for Federal water projects and some military installations. PILT payments are one of the ways the Fed­eral Government can fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities.

Using a formula provided by statute, the annual PILT payments to local govern­ments are computed based on the number of acres of federal land within each county or ju­risdiction and the population of that county or jurisdiction.

Since PILT payments began in 1977, Interior has distribut­ed nearly $8 billion dollars to states and the District of Co­lumbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Interior Department collects more than $8.8 bil­lion in revenue annually from commercial activities on pub­lic lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting.

A portion of these revenues is shared with states and coun­ties. The balance is deposited in the U.S. Treasury, which in turn pays for a broad array of federal activities, including PILT funding to counties.

Individual county payments may vary from the prior year as a result of changes in acre­age data, which is updated yearly by the federal agency administering the land; prior year Federal Revenue Sharing payments reported yearly by the Governor of each State; and population data, which is updated using information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Federal Revenue Sharing payments were made to local governments under programs other than PILT during the previous fiscal year, includ­ing the Refuge Revenue Shar­ing Fund, the National Forest Fund and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self- Determination Act of 2000, among others.

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