Douglas County will receive $615,397 in Payment in Lieu Taxes from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Sen. Harry Reid announced on Thursday.
The amount is part of the $23.3 million that will be sent to Nevada.
The Interior Department collects about $14 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on federal lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting. The Payments in Lieu of Taxes program compensates counties and local governments for nontaxable federal land in their jurisdictions.
“PILT payments have always been crucial for Nevada counties and local governments to provide essential services like education, emergency services, law enforcement, infrastructure and healthcare,” said Reid. “At a time when unemployment continues to hurt our state’s economic growth, I am pleased this funding will help save and create so many jobs in these areas and I will continue to work to ensure our rural counties have access to these important funds.”
With 86 percent of Nevada’s land owned by the federal government, counties rely on PILT payments for essential services and improvements in several areas. Reid’s legislation fully funded PILT through 2012 and last year he worked to extend the program to 2013.
The formula used to compute the payments is based on population levels, receipt sharing payments, and the amount of federal land within an affected county. While the Interior Department distributes PILT to 49 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, much of the money goes to counties in Western states where the federal government owns large tracts of land. The program was created in 1977.