Monday, November 17, 2014

Payment in lieu of taxes program for counties that contain federal land is up in the air

More than 1,850 counties in 49 states and U.S. territories receive payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) from the federal government for containing federal land, Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. But no one has seen any payments since June, and the program's funding—which amounted to $437 million in 2014—expired on Sept. 30.

"The continuing resolution that currently keeps the federal government open for business does not include funding for the local-payments program," Marema writes. "That resolution is set to expire in mid-December, and it isn't clear whether Congress will pass a 2015 budget by that time or resort to another stopgap measure," according to a National Association of Counties (NACo) action alert.

"The long-term future of the funding program is also uncertain," Marema writes. "A House Appropriations subcommittee has included a one-year extension of PILT funding in its workup of the 2015 proposed budget, but its Senate counterpart has not yet included the program in its version of legislation."

"Funding for PILT could also be included in some other part of the budget-making process, NACo reported to its members," Marema writes. "One possibility would be to package PILT with the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, which provides funding for rural schools in counties with National Forest lands." (Read more) (Yonder map: Counties that receive PILTs. For more interactive map click here)

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