Tester, Daines call on Senate to fully fund critical payments to Montana counties

PILT helps 55 Montana counties pay for essential services

(Montana) – Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are calling on Senate leaders to fully fund a critical tool for Montana counties. 

Tester and Daines urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to fully fund Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for the 2016 Fiscal Year. 

PILT payments are made by the Department of the Interior to 55 Montana counties with federal lands that are not taxable by local governments, but the lands’ presence creates demands for local government services, such as law enforcement and infrastructure. 

“Without full funding for the PILT program before the end of the year, counties across the nation will be unable to provide essential services to residents and millions of federal lands visitors alike,” the Senators wrote.  “As the end of the year approaches, enacting full-funding for PILT in FY 2016 is essential in order to provide counties with the certainty they need to plan their own budgets and continue providing essential county services.” 

Montana counties received approximately $29.2 million in PILT payments in 2015.

Tester and Daines letter, which is cosigned by 35 senators who represent counties with federal lands, is available online HERE.