US Department of Interior announces PILT grants

PILT funding for 2017 is set at $464.6 million, with more than $7 million allocated to Arkansas counties.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced June 26, 2017, that more than 1,900 local governments around the country will receive $464.6 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2017. This year's $464.6 million is the largest amount ever allocated in the program’s 40-year history.

Arkansas, which has more than 3.2 million acres of federal land in its jurisdiction, will receive a total of $7,014,950. Click here to view a county-by-county breakdown of the payments.

PILT are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries. PILT payments help local governments carry out such vital services as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations. 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 federal government can fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities.

Using a formula provided by statute, the annual PILT payments to local governments are computed based on the number of acres of federal land within each county or jurisdiction and the population of that county or jurisdiction. Since PILT payments began in 1977, Interior has distributed nearly $8 billion dollars to states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read more.

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