"Payments in Lieu of Taxes" (PILT) are Federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal lands within their boundaries. The original 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 the inability of local governments to collect property taxes on Federally-owned land can create a financial impact.

"Payments in Lieu of Taxes" (PILT) are Federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal lands within their boundaries. The original 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 the financial impact of the inability of local governments to collect property taxes on Federally-owned land.

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 Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (all bureaus of the Department of the Interior (DOI)), 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 the Federal Government can fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities.

Interior’s Office of the Secretary has administrative authority over the PILT program. In addition to other responsibilities, the Department 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, revenue sharing payments, and the amount of Federal land within an affected county. PILT payments are in addition to other Federal payments to states, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing, and timber harvesting. Since these payments began in 1977, the Department has distributed nearly $8.5 billion dollars in PILT payments to 49 states (all but Rhode Island), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

For additional information, see the press release announcing the 2018 PILT payments or search for individual PILT payments by state or by state and county.

For questions about the PILT program, please contact Dionna Kiernan, the PILT Program Manager, at (202) 513-7783.

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