(U.S. Senate) – Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are calling on Congress to support Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) which are critical to helping Montana counties balance their budgets.
If Congress doesn’t act before the end of the year, PILT payments will run dry. PILT supported 55 Montana counties last year to the tune of $30 million.
Additionally, SRS expired September 30, 2015 and counties have been waiting for nearly a year for Congress to reauthorize this critical initiative. SRS provided $18 million to more than half of Montana’s counties last year.
In letters to the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, Tester and Daines ask leadership to ensure PILT and SRS are reauthorized and funded before the end of the year.
“PILT and SRS aren’t just acronyms. These initiatives support our local schools, roads, and law enforcement,” said Tester. “It’s time that Congress step up and give counties the certainty they need to budget and plan for the future.”
“Montana’s rural counties are vital for the economic prospects of our state,” Daines stated. “These payments are essential for the health and safety of Montana’s rural counties. Both PILT and SRS provide critical support for Montana’s rural and forested counties, but long-term certainty and permanent solutions are still needed.”