The Department of the Interior (DOI) has allocated Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds, according to Montana Senator Steve Daines. That will give the Ravalli County budget a $2 million boost, according to the DOI website chart of PILT payments.
The money is paid to counties where there is a large amount of federal land, such as the Bitterroot National Forest. The money, based on total federal acreage, is used for essential services.
Ravalli County’s payment is $2,238,057, third highest in Montana, behind Flathead County’s $2,532,000 and Lewis and Clark County’s $2,398,000. Missoula County will receive $1,687,735. Statewide, over $30 million is being distributed in the PILT funds.
Daines said in a news release, “These payments are essential for the health and safety of Montana’s rural counties,” Daines stated. “The PILT program provides critical support for Montana’s rural and forested counties, but long-term certainty and permanent solutions are still needed. That’s why I’ve been pushing multiple efforts forward to reform our forest management policies and maintain a balanced natural resources portfolio to create good-paying jobs.”