Frequently Asked Questions

What entities are eligible for PILT payments?

Eligibility for payment is reserved for local governments that provide services such as those related to public safety, environment, housing, social services, and transportation. Payment is made directly to the eligible local government unless the State government chooses to enact legislation (under guidelines in section 6907 of Public Law 97-258) to receive the payments and, in turn, pass the money on to other smaller governmental units located within the counties (Wisconsin is the only State currently employing this option).

What can PILT payments be used for and must they be redistributed to other local government units?

Section 6902 of P.L. 97-258 states that PILT payments may be used by recipients for any governmental purpose and are not required to be further distributed by recipients (usually counties) to other local government units such as school districts or cities.

Payments made under sections 6904 and 6905 of the Act must be must be redistributed proportionally by recipients to units and school districts that lost real property taxes as a result of the Federal acquisition. Recipients may then use the payment for any governmental purpose.

Does PILT have a Code of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number?

The CFDA number for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program is 15.226.

What is the current level of appropriation for the PILT program?

On October 3, 2008, Congress enacted the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343) which authorized counties to receive their full PILT entitlement from 2008 through 2012. On July 6, 2012, the President signed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Public Law 112-141), which reauthorized the program for 2013. On February 7, 2014 the President signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79) which included funding for the program in 2014. The amount authorized for the program in FY 2014 was $437.3 million. This amount is partitioned into $436.9 million for payments to counties and other local governments and $400,000 for expenses to administer the program. Excluding administrative expenses, the 2014 payments of $436.9 will fund 99.9 percent of the authorized level of $437.3 million. The $436.9 million was distributed to approximately 1,900 local government units (mostly counties) in 49 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands.

Qualifying Acres
What lands does the DOI consider in calculating payments?

According to the formula established by the PILT law, there are three categories of entitlement lands:

  • Federal lands in the National Forest System and the National Park System, lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, lands in Federal water resource projects, dredge areas maintained by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, inactive and semi-active Army installations, and some lands donated to the Federal Government (section 6902 payments).
  • Federal lands acquired after December 30, 1970, as additions to lands in the National Park System or National Forest Wilderness Areas (section 6904 payments).
  • Federal lands in the Redwood National Park or lands acquired in the Lake Tahoe Basin near Lake Tahoe under the Act of December 23, 1980, (Section 6904 or 6905 payments).

How does DOI compute PILT payments?

DOI computes payments authorized under section 6902 of the Act using the greater of the following two alternatives:

(A) $2.58 (in fiscal year 2014) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the county (as defined above), reduced by the amount of funds received by the county in the prior fiscal year under certain other Federal land receipt sharing programs such as the twenty-five percent timber program or the mineral leasing program.


(B)Thirty-six cents (in fiscal year 2014) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the county, with no deduction for prior-year payments.

Both alternatives explained above are subject to a population ceiling limitation computed by multiplying the county population times a corresponding dollar value (adjusted annually for inflation) contained in the Act.

Section 6904 and 6905 payments are computed by taking one percent of the fair market value of land acquired for addition to the National Forest or National Park systems and comparing the result to the amount of property taxes paid on the land in the year prior to Federal acquisition. The county payment is the lesser of the two.

Section 6904 payments are made annually for a period of five years. The first payment begins in the Federal fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the land was acquired by the Federal Government, unless mandated otherwise by law.

Section 6905 payments are also made annually but continue until five percent of the fair market value is fully paid. The first payment begins in the Federal fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the land was acquired by the Federal Government, unless mandated otherwise by law. However, the yearly payment may not exceed the lesser of one percent of the fair market value or the property taxes that were assessed prior to Federal acquisition.

Funding limitations are equitably applied to all payments under the program. Any PILT payment or portion of a payment that is not made as a result of funding limitations is not carried forward to future years.

Are payments adjusted for inflation?

The law, as amended in 1994, uses the Consumer Price Index to adjust the population limitations and per acre dollar amounts used to calculate alternatives "A" and "B" under section 6902.

What are "prior-year payments"?

Prior-year payments are Federal payments to local governments under programs other than PILT during the previous fiscal year. These payments include those made under the Refuge Revenue Sharing Fund, the National Forest Fund, the Taylor Grazing Act, the Mineral Leasing Act for acquired lands, the Federal Power Act, and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000. The PILT Act requires each State to report these payments to DOI each year.

How does the Budget Control Act of 2011 sequestration impact PILT payments?

The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (BBEDCA, Title II of P.L. 99-177, 2 U.S.C. 900-922) establishes sequestration as a process of automatic, across-the-board reductions to meet or enforce certain budget goals. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25), sequestration is tied to enforcement of new statutory limits on discretionary spending and achievement of the deficit reduction goal established for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. With the inability of the Joint Committee to propose, and Congress to enact, sufficient deficit reduction, a sequestration was ordered on March 1, 2013, resulting in a 5.1% reduction to PILT program payments in FY 2013.

Only those programs included in the President’s Budget baseline for the affected fiscal year (either because the program is authorized to continue or because the baseline rules in BBEDCA require that the program is assumed to continue) are reduced pursuant to sequestration.  Authorization for the PILT program expired at the end of 2013, and as a result, the baseline for the sequestration order issued with the OMB Report to the Congress on the Joint Committee Reductions for Fiscal Year 2014 (released April 10, 2013) excluded PILT.  The program was reauthorized on February 7, 2014, by the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79), but since it was excluded from the baseline for sequestration calculations, it is not subject to sequestration in FY 2014.  Depending on the timing of subsequent reauthorization, the program could be subject to sequestration in future years.

Payment Method and ACH Enrollment Form
How are payments made?

Payments are made by wire transfer directly to county bank accounts or by check to a county’s address of record. If your county is already registered in System for Award Management (SAM) you will need to make any bank account changes or address changes directly in SAM. If your county is not registered in SAM you should register in SAM by going to The SAM helpdesk number is (866) 606-8220. The information in SAM will interface to the financial system where your PILT payment is disbursed from. Additional information about SAM can be found on the PILT website at

New Laws Affecting Pilt
Have there been any new laws enacted within the last year that may affect PILT payments?

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343) was enacted on October 3, 2008 and authorized full funding for the PILT program from 2008 through 2012. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Public Law 112-141) was enacted on July 6, 2012 and authorized full funding for the PILT program for 2013. On February 7, 2014 the President signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79) which authorized full funding for the program for Fiscal Year 2014. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget proposed a one year extension to the PILT program, and the proposal is currently pending before Congress.

PILT Acreage Contacts
Who do I contact if I have questions about the PILT acreage contained in my county?

A list of PILT "entitlement land" by State, county and Federal agency used in the calculation of the FY 2014 is available by clicking on the following title: Fiscal Year 2014 PILT Entitlement Land

Questions concerning a description (location, type, parcel size, etc.) of PILT entitlement land should be directed to the agency that owns or administers the land. The following is a list, by agency, of people to contact concerning PILT entitlement land.

Bureau of Land Management

Current Events
What are upcoming events related to the PILT program?

The FY 2014 PILT payments were made on June 17, 2014.

Additional Information
How do I obtain additional information?

For FY 2014, additional information concerning the PILT program may be obtained by writing to DOI, Office of Budget, 1849 C Street NW (Mail Stop 4111, MIB), Washington, D.C. 20240; or calling (202) 208-3078.