Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

What counties/local jurisdictions are eligible to receive PILT funding?

PILT program eligibility is reserved for local governments that contain nontaxable Federal lands within their boundaries. Those jurisdictions provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas throughout the year. PILT seeks to compensate local governments for the inability to collect property taxes on federally owned land.

For more information, refer to the list of PILT Acres by Agency, searchable by State and county, used in the calculation of PILT payments each year.

Requirements

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

Section 6902 of the PILT Act (Chapter 69, Title 31 of the U.S. Code) states PILT payments may be used by recipients (usually counties) for any governmental purpose and are not required to be further distributed to other local government units, such as school districts or cities. Payment is typically made directly to the eligible local government unless the State government chooses to enact legislation (under guidelines in section 6907 of the Act) to receive the payments and, in turn, may pass the money on to other, smaller governmental units within the counties. Wisconsin is currently the only State with such legislation.

Payments made under Sections 6904 and 6905 of the Act must be redistributed proportionally to affected areas and school districts that lost property taxes because of the Federal acquisition. Recipients may then use the payment for any governmental purpose.

CFDA#

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

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

Appropriation

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

On March 15, 2022, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Public Law 117-103), which appropriated full funding for the FY 2022 PILT program. Funding for the FY 2022 PILT program was not affected by sequestration.

Qualifying Acres

What lands does Interior consider in calculating payments?

The formula established by the PILT law distinguishes three categories of entitlement lands:

  • Section 6902: 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. Army Corps of Engineers, inactive and semi-active Army installations, and some lands donated to the Federal Government.
  • Section 6904: Federal lands acquired after December 30, 1970, as additions to lands in the National Park System or National Forest Wilderness Areas.
  • Section 6905: 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 (Public Law 96-586, 94 Stat. 3383).

Computations

How does Interior compute PILT payments?

The Department computes payments authorized under Section 6902 of the Act using the greater of the following two alternatives:

(A)$2.94 (in 2022 dollars) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the unit of local government (as defined previously), reduced by the amount of funds received by the locality in the prior fiscal year under certain other Federal land revenue-sharing programs, such as the Secure Rural Schools program or the mineral leasing program.

-or-

(B) $0.42 (in 2022 dollars) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the unit of local government, with no deduction for prior-year payments.

Both alternatives 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 1 percent of the fair market value of land acquired for addition to the National Forest or National Park System and comparing the result with the amount of property taxes paid on the land in the year before Federal acquisition. The payment is the lesser of the two.

Section 6904 payments are made annually for a period of 5 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 otherwise mandated by law.

Section 6905 payments are also made annually but continue until 5 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 otherwise mandated by law; however, the yearly payment may not exceed the lesser of 1 percent of the fair market value or the property taxes that were assessed prior to Federal acquisition.

Once the calculation is determined, payments are adjusted to allow for $400,000 in necessary program administration expenses. Funding for the program is limited to the amount provided in the annual appropriation. In years in which the appropriation provides less than full funding, payments are proportionally prorated to the amount of available funding. Reductions in PILT payments due to funding limitations are not carried forward into subsequent years.

Inflation

Are payments adjusted for inflation?

Yes. The law, as amended in 1994, directs use of the Consumer Price Index to adjust the population and per-acre dollar values referenced in the statutory calculation.

Deductions

What are "prior-year payments"?

Prior-year payments are Federal payments to local governments under programs other than PILT made during the previous fiscal year. 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. The PILT Act requires each State to report those payments to the Department each year.

Payment Comparison

Why is the FY 2022 payment amount higher than the FY 2021 payment?

The biggest driver of the change between FY 2021 and FY 2022 is the decrease in State prior-year payment deductions. Generally, when State prior-year payment deductions go down, the PILT calculation goes up. Overall, 52 of the 53 States and territories will receive an increase in their FY 2022 PILT payments.

 

Payment Method and ACH Enrollment Form

How are payments made?

Payments are made by wire transfer directly to local government bank accounts or by check to the address of record. Local governments already registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) will need to update the address of record and bank account information directly in SAM. If the local government is not registered in SAM, registration is available at the SAM website: www.sam.gov. The SAM help desk number is 866–606–8220. The information in SAM will interface with the financial system that disburses PILT payments. Additional information about SAM can be found on the PILT website at https://www.doi.gov/pilt/sam-bulletin.

PILT Acreage Contacts

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

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

 
Bureau of Land Management
State   Name/Office   Phone
Alaska   Dina Torres   (907) 271-5699
Arizona   Rick Selbach   (602) 417-9386
California   Susan Sarantopoulous   (916) 978-4321
Colorado   Jennifer Whyte   (303) 239-3708
Idaho   Courtney Busse   (208) 373-3872
MT/ND/SD   Tammi Lorenz   (406) 896-5053
Nevada   Edison Garcia   (775) 861-6530
NM/KS/OK/TX   Jeannette Arquero   (505) 954-2155
OR/WA   Tara McLain   (541) 573-4462
Utah   Brandon Johnson   435-644-1278
WY/NE   Keesha Cary   (307) 775-6189
All other states   Diann Rasmussen   (703) 558–7767
Army/Corps of Engineers   Cartavius Whitehead   (202) 761-0425
Bureau of Reclamation   Jason Kirby (CO)   (303) 445-2895
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   Ken Fowler (VA)   (703) 358-1876
Forest Service   Susan Ruzicka (OR)   (503) 808-2431
National Park Service   Nadine Leisz (DC)   (202) 354-6961
Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission   Channa Vyfvinkel   (801) 524–3146

Additional Information

How do I obtain additional information?

Additional information concerning the PILT program may be obtained by writing to U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Budget, 1849 C Street NW (Mail Stop 4106, MIB), Washington, DC 20240; emailing  doi_pilt@ios.doi.gov; or calling (202) 513-7783.

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