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Payments in Lieu of Taxes




Welcome to the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Website

"Payments in Lieu of Taxes" (or PILT) are Federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal lands within their boundaries. The key law is Public Law 94-565, dated October 20, 1976. This law was rewritten and amended by Public Law 97-258 on September 13, 1982 and codified at Chapter 69, Title 31 of the United States Code. The Law recognizes that the inability of local governments to collect property taxes on Federally-owned land can create a financial impact.

PILT payments help local governments carry out such vital services as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations. The payments are made annually for tax-exempt Federal lands administered by the BLM, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (all agencies of the Interior Department), the U.S. Forest Service (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), and for Federal water projects and some military installations. PILT payments are one of the ways that the Federal government can fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities.

The Department of the Interior's (DOI) Office of the Secretary has administrative authority over the PILT program. In addition to other responsibilities, DOI calculates payments according to the formulas established by law and distributes the available funds. Applicable DOI regulations pertaining to the PILT program were published as a final rule in the Federal Register on December 7, 2004

The formula used to compute the payments is contained in the PILT Act and is based on population, receipt sharing payments, and the amount of Federal land within an affected county. PILT payments are in addition to other Federal revenues (such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing, and timber harvesting) that the Federal Government transfers to the States. The DOI has distributed more than $6.3 billion dollars in PILT payments to States (except Rhode Island), as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands since these payments began in 1977.

See the news release announcing the 2013 PILT payments, as well as a breakdown of PILT payments by State only or by State and County.

For questions about the PILT program, please contact Ryan D. Brown  at 202-208-3078.

Important News for PILT Payments

  • 2/19/2013: Please visit the SAM Bulletin for new information about receiving Federal payments by electronic transfer and check in FY 2013.
  • 3/6/2013: Please read Secretary Salazar's letter about the Sequester and its impact on the PILT program.
  • 6/13/2013: PILT payments were made to approximately 1,900 local governments. Please read the press release on the payments.
  • 6/13/2013: If payment information, including banking information and addresses, needs to be updated, please visit the SAM Bulletin for instructions on how to update the System of Award Management, which is the Federal system that makes payments. If you have questions on updating payment information, please contact Debbie Sanrah at debbie_s_sanrah@nbc.gov or Sann Deboutez at sann_j_deboutez@nbc.gov.
  • 9/30/2013: The President's Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Submission to Congress requested a one-year extension of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The extension would fund PILT payments in FY 2014. At present, funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program has not been reauthorized for Federal Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014). As a result, the Department of the Interior's standard request for acreage and prior-year payment data to calculate payments for 2014 that occurs each October will not take place this year. Please visit the DOI Office of Budget website for updates on 2014 funding issues, including PILT: http://www.doi.gov/budget/index.cfm
  • 2/07/2014: The President signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642 / Public Law 113-79) which included funding of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program for Fiscal Year 2014. The Department sent requests to stakeholders the week of February 10th for required data to be furnished by March 14, 2014 in anticipation of making payments before July 1.