OR communities receiving almost $20 million in rural assistance funding

Feds release PILT money to Montana counties

New Mexico is the third-highest recipient of PILT payments in the country.

The federal government had made these payments to local governments every year since the 1970s on federally owned lands that are not otherwise subject to taxation, and every county in Idaho gets some.

Tester said in a news release, "I know how important PILT payments are to Montana, and I will keep fighting to secure these essential investments for rural communities". "Rural America, especially states out west with large federal land holdings, play a big part in feeding and powering the nation and also in providing recreation opportunities".

According to the Department of the Interior, which administers the PILT program, annual PILT payments are calculated based on the number of acres of federal land within each county and the population of that county. "As ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the Interior Department's budget, I will do everything I can to ensure this program receives full funding going forward, so we can continue to support these counties for hosting valuable federal lands". "Almost 50 percent of Wyoming is managed by the federal government".

Unlike private lands, federal lands are not subject to local taxes, often making it hard for rural communities to budget for these services.

The Mat-Su Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough will receive the largest funding amounts with both getting more than $3 million each from the federal government. It remains to be seen what happens in the next fiscal year - President Donald Trump's budget blueprint calls for PILT to be funded "at a reduced level, but in line with average funding for PILT over the past decade", which would work out to about $397 million, an nearly 15 percent drop.

OR will receive a total of $19.7 million in Payments In Lieu of Taxes - also known as "PILT" - from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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