WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior (DOI) has awarded $27,868,890 under the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program to rural counties in Nevada for Fiscal Year 2020.
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.
Nevada has the greatest percentage of land owned by the federal government, around 80 percent. The Bureau of Land Management manages the largest share, reporting management of 48 million acres or about 63 percent of the state’s land.
“Nevada’s rural counties rely on the Department of the Interior’s PILT program to help their local governments fund public safety, housing, transportation, and public lands maintenance projects,” said Nevada’s Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “As our communities face unprecedented challenges in the wake of coronavirus, PILT payments will help local leaders continue to provide essential services to Nevadans across the state.”
Sen. Cortez Masto previously sent a bipartisan letter to Senate leadership calling on them to include a long-term solution for PILT program funding in any future COVID-related legislation.