Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement today following the Department of Interior’s announcement that 17 local governments in Nevada will receive $26,987,166.00 in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments to manage the federal lands in their jurisdictions and invest in economic development projects:
“I applaud the Department of Interior for awarding nearly $27 million to our rural counties through the PILT program—an increase of $800,000 from last year. These funds are vital to local governments to provide essential services and enable local leaders to invest in development projects. The federal government must provide greater long-term certainty to our local governments so they can better plan for future needs. I will continue to fight to permanently reauthorize the PILT program, and make sure Nevada’s rural counties are never left without the resources they need to thrive.”
PILT payments are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries. PILT payments help local governments carry out such vital services as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations. The payments are made annually for tax-exempt federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (all agencies of the Department of the Interior), the U.S. Forest Service (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), and for federal water projects and some military installations. PILT payments are one of the ways the federal government can fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities.