Interior Announces Additional $34.5 Million in PILT Payments for Local Communities

Brings total payments to nearly $440 million, underscores President’s call to provide mandatory funding to support firefighters, police, school, and road construction

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: October 30, 2015
Contact: Jessica Kershaw,

WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to rural communities, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor today announced that more than 1,900 local governments around the country will receive an additional $34.5 million in payments under the 2015 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

“Rural communities help define the character of our diverse and beautiful country, contributing significantly to our nation's economy,” said Deputy Secretary Connor. “The PILT program is an important funding source for rural communities as they plan for basic public services like housing, transportation, emergency services, and outdoor recreation sites, and we urge Congress to take the required action to make sure this important local funding program continues.”

Payments in Lieu of Taxes are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. Eligibility for the PILT program is reserved for local governments (mostly rural counties) that also provide vital services, such as public safety, housing, and transportation. These jurisdictions provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges, and other federal recreation areas throughout the year. PILT seeks to compensate them for their support and foregoing tax revenue from these federal lands.

Congress appropriated nearly $405 million for PILT payments made to counties in June 2015. Congress also appropriated an additional $37 million in PILT funding, which became available in October 2015. The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2016, (P.L. 114-53) directed these funds be applied to the fiscal year 2015 PILT program.

The $37 million was subject to a 6.8 percent sequestration reduction – a set of automatic spending cuts required under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) – leaving $34,484,000 in additional funds available for payments to local governments. That brought the total of PILT payments in 2015 to $439,084,000.

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 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 the government can fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities.

The President’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposes to provide mandatory funding for PILT at $452 million, while a sustainable long-term funding solution is developed for the program.

A full list of funding by state and county is available at

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