What counties/local jurisdictions are eligible to receive PILT funding?
PILT program eligibility is reserved for local governments (mostly rural counties) that contain nontaxable Federal lands and provide vital services for those lands, such as public safety, housing, social services, and transportation. Those jurisdictions provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas throughout the year. PILT seeks to compensate local governments for their support and for forgoing tax revenue from those Federal lands.
For more information, refer to the County Payments tool on the PILT website and select PILT Acres by Agency from the drop-down menu at the top. This data is searchable by State and county and reflects the acreage amounts used in the calculation of PILT payments each year.
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 PILT Act) to receive the payments and, in turn, 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 PILT 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.
Does PILT have a Federal Assistance Listing Number (ALN)?
Yes. The Federal Assistance Listing number for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program is 15.226.
What is the current level of appropriation for the PILT program?
On December 29, 2022, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Public Law 117–328), which appropriated full funding for PILT.
Were the 2023 payments subject to sequester?
No, the funding for the PILT program provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 was not affected by sequestration.
What lands does Interior consider in calculating payments?
The formula established by the PILT law distinguishes three categories of entitlement lands:
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) $3.15 (in 2023 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.
(B) $0.45 (in 2023 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 rounded county population figure (where applicable) times a corresponding dollar value (adjusted annually for inflation) contained in the PILT Act.
Sections 6904 and 6905 payments are computed by taking 1 percent of the fair market value of land acquired for additions to the National Forest Wilderness Areas or the National Park System and comparing the result with the amount of property taxes paid on the land in the year prior to Federal acquisition. The PILT 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 before 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 future years.
Are payments adjusted for inflation?
Yes. The law, as amended in 1994, directs use of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to adjust the population and per-acre dollar values referenced in the statutory calculation.
What are "prior-year payments"?
Prior-year payments are Federal payments to local governments made during the previous fiscal year under programs other than PILT. 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 those payments to the Department each year.
Why is the FY 2023 payment amount higher than the FY 2022 payment?
The increase to the FY 2023 payments was driven primarily by an increase in the CPI inflation rate. Prior-year payment deductions also increased over FY 2022 levels. While an increase in prior-year payment deductions normally drives PILT payments down, the increase in inflation offsets that impact and increases the payment calculation.
Were the 2023 payments adjusted for prior-year underpayments/overpayments?
Yes. One set of prior-year adjustments are included in FY 2023. Adjustments of -$144,413 were made associated with updated eligible acreage under Section 6902(b)(3) which limits the payment a county may receive on acreage previously owned by the State of Utah. The revised acreage totals were used to recalculate PILT payments for FY 2022.
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.
Who do I contact if I have questions about the PILT acreage 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|
|Montana/North Dakota/South Dakota||Tammi Lorenz||406–896–5053|
|New Mexico/Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas||Jeannette Arquero||505–954–2155|
|All other States||Frank (Dave) Radford||703–558–7759|
|Army Corps of Engineers||Cartavius Whitehead||202–761–0425|
|Bureau of Reclamation||Jason Kirby (CO)||303–445–2895|
|U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service||Allison McCluskey (VA)||703–358–1998|
|Forest Service||Susan Ruzicka (OR)||503-808-2485|
|National Park Service||Nadine Leisz (DC)||202–354–6961|
|Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission||Channa Vyfvinkel||801–524–3146|
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 202–341–2066.