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?

Congress appropriated $405 million for the 2015 program, which includes $404.6 million for payments to counties and $400,000 for program administration.

These funds were provided through two legislative vehicles:

  • On December 16, 2014, the President signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235) which appropriated $372 million in discretionary funding for PILT
  • On December 19, 2014, the President signed the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113-291) which appropriated $70 million in mandatory funding. Of the $70 million, $33 million is available for June 2015 payments and $37 million is available on October 1, 2015.

October 2015 Funding
Will the October funding be treated as a 2015 or a 2016 payment?

In the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress appropriated $37 million to be available in October 2015, which is after the end of FY 2015, making the $37 million available for FY 2016 payments.

When can we expect to receive the October funding?

The Department will issue a request for updated data as of September 30, 2015 to be used for the 2016 PILT calculation. Once the data is received and processed, the 2016 PILT calculation will be performed in accordance with the statute, prorated to the $37 million in available funding, and payments will be issued, likely in the first quarter of calendar year 2016.

Will all counties who received a payment in June also receive a payment from the October funds?

Per the administrative provisions for the PILT program, the Department has been statutorily unable to issue payments of less than $100. Since the $37 million is a proportionately smaller amount of funding, Interior anticipates significantly fewer units of local government will meet the minimum threshold to receive a payment.

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:

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

(A) $2.62 (in FY 2015) 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-seven cents (in FY 2015) 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.

Were the June 2015 payments subject to sequester?

No, they were not.

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 https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM. 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 http://www.doi.gov/pilt/SAMBulletin.cfm.

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 2015 is available by clicking on the following title: Fiscal Year 2015 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 2015 PILT payments were made on June 24, 2015.

Additional Information
How do I obtain additional information?

For FY 2015, additional information concerning the PILT program may be obtained by writing to DOI, Office of Budget, 1849 C Street NW (Mail Stop 7413, MIB), Washington, D.C. 20240; or calling (202) 513-7783.