Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Colorado to receive $36.6 million in federal payments to local governments

Colorado to receive $36.6 million in federal payments to local governments

"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".

"Those payments in lieu of taxes are critical for the survival of western rural counties to provide services to their citizens", said Ravalli County Commissioner Greg Chilcott, "and to recognize the limitations of their tax base by the federal lands in our county and to provide public safety and protection for those who are visiting those public lands".

The money is paid to counties that have federal lands that are not taxable by local government, but create local services.

$37 million in so-called PILT payments for the 2017 fiscal year in the state. The payments are Wyoming's share of the record $464.6 million distributed nationwide this year, the largest amount ever allocated in the PILT program's 40-year history.

The Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) federal program provides monetary compensation to local governments that contain non-taxable Federal lands such as National Forests, Bureau of Land Management public lands, National Parks, and other public lands.

"It's an attempt by Congress to reimburse counties at least in part for the loss of revenue because of the federal lands not being subject to property taxes", Blattie said. Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties are getting a combined $8.46 million out of the $30 million going to Idaho.

Montana counties will get nearly $32 million in 2017 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding, according to Senator Jon Tester.

With almost 1.2 million acres of federal lands, Garfield County will receive the second largest PILT payment in Colorado for 2017 fiscal of more than $3.1 million. 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.

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