Federal Payments in Lieu of Taxes is critical for county services.
This summer, there were record-breaking numbers of visitors at national parks across the country. Increased tourism is good for our economy, but we need additional resources to meet increased demands for county services that outpace what our local property tax base can support. That’s why we have the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, or PILT.
The PILT program provides funding to counties to offset forgone tax revenues on federal land within county lines. Valley County is one of those rural counties with substantial acreage of public lands. With 2,350,000 in total acres and 2,135,000 of federal and state administered public lands, Valley County works with a tax base of 221,000 acres. This year, Valley County received $680,000 from the PILT program.
Congress has yet to authorize any PILT funding for next year. This week, I join county officials from across the nation urging members of Congress to support mandatory full funding for PILT to ensure that we have the resources we need to continue delivering essential services in our communities.
Gordon Cruickshank, Valley County commissioner