Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Montana Counties to Receive Millions in Federal PILT Funds

Montana Counties to Receive Millions in Federal PILT Funds

Ravalli County will receive $2,375,857 for over a million acres of federal land. All told, the federal government is making $464.6 million in payments this year to local governments across the country, an increase over last year's $451.6 million and the most the program has paid out in its history.

The federal payments are meant to help local communities offset losses on property taxes from non-taxable federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and for federal water projects and some military installations.

About 60 percent of the land in Idaho is owned by the federal government, and PILT payments represent a significant share of the budget in many counties. "These investments are one of the ways the federal government is fulfilling its role of being a good land manager and good neighbor to local communities".

The county is to receive $3,461,667, up from the $3,382,219 it received previous year, for lands on which the county is unable to levy a property tax, but which also require county law enforcement and other services.

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The federal government released $2.375 million in PILT money to Ravalli County.

The Interior Department collects more than $8.8 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on public lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting.

The federal government has released $31 million in payment in lieu of taxes to Montana counties with public land.

The combined acreage of federal lands in Mesa County is third in Colorado behind only Moffat County with almost 1.7 million acres and Gunnison County with more than 1.6 million acres. Esmeralda and Lincoln counties have the highest percentages of federal property.

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