Gardner was part of a select group of county leaders representing 25 counties in 13 states who participated in a series of meetings on Capitol Hill to ensure that the federal payments are not disrupted. More than 50 House and Senate offices were visited during the National Association of Counties’ “PILT Fly-in,” Sept. 11-12 in Washington, D.C.
“Congress has yet to act on securing continued mandatory PILT funding for next year,” Gardner said. “Without additional mandatory funding, PILT will revert to a discretionary program subject to the annual appropriations process which could jeopardize continued full funding for PILT. We cannot afford to let this happen. Overall, our message was well-received, but Congress needs to act.”
The PILT program provides payments to counties and other local governments to offset losses in tax revenues due to the presence of substantial acreage of federal land in their jurisdictions. As federal land is not taxable by local governments, public land counties have struggled historically to provide adequate services to the public in light of the annual losses in tax revenue. In many counties, more than 50 percent of their land is owned by the federal government.
PILT payments allow local governments to provide critical government services such as education, solid waste disposal, law enforcement, search and rescue, health care, environmental compliance, firefighting, and parks and recreation.
Support for the PILT program has long been a NACo legislative priority. NACo is the only national organization that advocates on behalf of the PILT program.
States represented during the fly-in included Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Washington.
For more information about the PILT program, contact Ryan Yates at 202.942.4207.