County receives $1.94M from feds

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talks with reporters with part of Mount Katahdin in the background at the Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument near Staceyville Maine Wednesday

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talks with reporters with part of Mount Katahdin in the background at the Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument near Staceyville Maine Wednesday

PILT payments, which stands for Payment in Lieu of Taxes, are issued by the federal government each year as a way to offset losses from property taxes on federal land.

Colorado counties received $36.6 million, the largest share of which went to Mesa County, or $2.23 per acre of federal land in the county.

"The PILT program is critical for communities across Colorado that rely on these funds for services like road maintenance and law enforcement", Bennet said in the release.

The federal government had made these payments to local governments every year since the 1970s on federally owned lands that are not otherwise subject to taxation, and every county in Idaho gets some.

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. 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.

The county is to receive $3,461,667, up from the $3,382,219 it received previous year, for lands on which the county is unable to levy a property tax, but which also require county law enforcement and other services. 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. But Lander, Nye and White Pine counties are all more than 90 percent federal.

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. "It will be great to help fund much of the needed infrastructure projects within the county", said Rio Blanco County Commissioner Geri Byrne.

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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