State And Local Government Get More Dollars From From The Interior Department
More than $226.4 million is being distributed in 2005 to approximately 1,850 local governments whose jurisdictions contain tax-exempt federal lands according to the U.S. Department of the Interior. The funds, which are channeled to localities under the federal Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) Program, add up to $2.1 million more than the $224.3 million paid in 2004.
“We are pleased to provide these payments that help states offset the loss of tax revenues to counties that contain federal lands,” Norton said. “This money will help pay for essential services such as firefighting, search-and-rescue operations and a host of other badly needed on-the-ground services.” The amount appropriated for the PILT program in FY 2005 includes $226.4 million for payments to counties and other local governments. The amount is the largest amount ever provided to counties and other local jurisdictions for PILT.
In 2005, the Interior Department will collect revenues of approximately $12.9 billion from commercial and recreational activities on federal lands. Commercial activities include, for example, oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting. A significant portion of these revenues is shared with States and local governments.
The balance is deposited in the general fund of the U.S. Treasury, which in turn pays for a broad array of federal activities, including payments to counties.
The 2005 PILT payments were disbursed by the Interior Department in June.
The PILT payments may be used for any governmental purpose. Funds have been used to help improve local school, water, and road systems. Payment eligibility is reserved for local governments (usually counties) that provide services such as those related to public safety, environment, housing, social services and transportation, and that contain nontaxable federal lands.
Payments under PILT are made for federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Forest Service, Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water projects, and some military installations.
All States except Rhode Island will receive PILT funding in 2005. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands also receive these funds.
The following listing shows amounts paid to counties summarized by state.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 18,359
NEW HAMPSHIRE 1,018,910
NEW JERSEY 76,109
NEW MEXICO 22,386,899
NEW YORK 84,180
NORTH CAROLINA 2,466,816
NORTH DAKOTA 950,280
PUERTO RICO 8,481
RHODE ISLAND 0
SOUTH CAROLINA 259,315
SOUTH DAKOTA 2,566,411
VIRGIN ISLANDS 43,209
WEST VIRGINIA 1,655,880
Grand Total 226,410,287