Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) led a bi-partisan group of 95 Members of Congress urging House leadership to secure full funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Program.
Nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states receive PILT funding to compensate for lost tax revenue due to the large amounts of federal lands in their counties, which are un-taxable according to federal law.
Specifically in Utah, 67 percent of the land is owned by the federal government and is un-taxable. In 2016 alone, Utah received over $38,000,000 in PILT payments, which were critical for Utah’s rural county budgets. A breakdown of the payments by county in Utah can be found here.
In a letter sent to House leadership, Stewart wrote, “If Congress fails to fully fund the PILT program by the end of the year, public lands counties across the nation will be unable to provide essential public services such as: law enforcement, search and rescue, public health and critical transportation infrastructure.”
Current PILT funding is set to expire on September 30, 2016, the end of the fiscal year.
Stewart also urged leadership to enact a fiscally responsible, long-term and sustainable solution to fully fund the program beyond next year.