Montana will receive nearly $2.3 million in additional federal compensation for nontaxable land this year.
Flathead County will receive $188,403 in additional Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds. The original PILT funds were announced in June, and Flathead County was slated to receive $2.2 million, the largest total among Montana counties.
Lincoln County, which received $579,014 in June, will receive an additional $49,346. Lake County, which received $388,620, will receive $33,121. Glacier County, which received $919,091 in June, will get $78,330. Mineral County will get $18,145 on top of the $212,905 received in June. And Sanders County, which received $304,144, will get $25,921.
The U.S. Department of Interior is issuing an additional $34.48 million in payments nationwide under the 2015 PILT program. The funds were made available in the Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 passed on Sept. 30.
PILT funds are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. PILT seeks to compensate counties for foregoing tax revenue from these federal lands.
Following the Interior agency’s announcement, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., praised the PILT program for ensuring that rural Montana counties receive the support they need for essential services.
“These payments are welcome news for numerous Montana communities who have suffered from severe economic challenges due to declining timber harvests and natural resource production,” Daines stated. “The PILT program provides critical support for Montana’s rural and forested counties, but long-term certainty and permanent solutions are still needed. I’ll keep working toward comprehensive forest management reforms and balanced resource development that improves the health of our National Forests, creates thousands of good-paying jobs and provides Montanans with the economic certainty they deserve.”
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