PILT program extended for a year | RecordCourier.com

PILT program extended for a year

R-C Capitol Bureau

Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Steven Horsford, both D-Nev., say the farm bill going through Congress has been amended to extend the Payments In Lieu of Taxes program for another year.

PILT provides payments to counties, primarily in the West, that have a disproportionate percentage of non-taxable federal lands within their borders. In Nevada, several counties such as Lincoln, Pershing and Eureka are more than 90 percent federally owned, severely limiting the ability of local governments to generate revenue.

“Many communities in my district count on PILT as a significant portion of their budgets,” Horsford said.

“It’s a matter of fairness that in a state like Nevada, where the federal government owns over 85 percent of the land, our counties receive the revenue they deserve form this land,” Reid said.

They said the money pays for vital services such as fire-fighting and law enforcement.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., says he is working with Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., to fully fund PILT in the future “so it doesn’t become a pawn in this game.”

Heller said a permanent fix is what’s needed unless the federal government is willing to release a large portion of the land it owns in Western states.