Department of the Interior
|Office of the Secretary
Contact: Dan DuBray
|For Immediate Release: June 23, 2005
Secretary Norton Says State and Local Governments to Get More under Federal PILT Program
WASHINGTON-Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today announced that more than $226.4 million is being distributed in 2005 to approximately 1,850 local governments whose jurisdictions contain tax-exempt federal lands. The funds, which are channeled to localities under the federal Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) Program, add up to $2.1 million more than the $224.3 million paid in 2004.
"We are pleased
to provide these payments that help states offset the loss of tax revenues
to counties that contain federal lands," Norton said. "This
money will help pay for essential services such as firefighting, search-and-rescue
operations and a host of other badly needed on-the-ground services."
The amount appropriated
for the PILT program in FY 2005 includes $226.4 million for payments to
counties and other local governments. The amount is the largest amount
ever provided to counties and other local jurisdictions for PILT.
In 2005, the Interior
Department will collect revenues of approximately $12.9 billion from commercial
and recreational activities on federal lands. Commercial activities include,
for example, oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting.
A significant portion of these revenues is shared with States and local
governments. The balance is deposited in the general fund of the U.S.
Treasury, which in turn pays for a broad array of federal activities,
including payments to counties.
The PILT payments
may be used for any governmental purpose. The PILT funds have been used
to help improve local school, water, and road systems. Payment eligibility
is reserved for local governments (usually counties) that provide services
such as those related to public safety, environment, housing, social services
and transportation, and that contain nontaxable federal lands.
PILT are made for federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management,
the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA
Forest Service, Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water projects,
and some military installations.
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