Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) lamented the rejection of his amendment to the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that would have instituted a supplemental PILT payment over the next ten years.
In Utah, the federal government owns 66.48% of the total land. Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) are federal payments to local governments designed to offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. However, these payments are far lower than what local governments could expect to collect in property taxes. To regard PILT payments as tax equivalents in Utah cities, they would need to be 262 times larger.
Sen. Lee’s amendment would have increased PILT payments by nearly 10%. Due to the unprecedented inflation caused by the Biden administration, local governments need this forgone revenue more than ever.
Sen. Lee said, “For far too long, the federal government has short-changed local governments who have had to forgo property taxes due to massive swaths of federal land within their boundaries. Locals have experienced profound losses in revenue under a system that is not equitable or fair. My amendment would have helped alleviate this imbalance. While not a full tax equivalent, President Biden’s policies have created record-breaking inflation, and local governments need the help now. It’s a shame that Democrats, particularly those with constituencies who stand to benefit from this amendment, have voted to continue short-changing Americans.”