County sees slight increase in PILT fund

Richland County will receive slightly more in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds this year than the county did in the previous year.

It was announced this week that Richland County will see $19,999 for its 54,206 eligible acres. Last year, the county received $$19,711.

PILT are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands. The law recognizes the inability of local governments to collect property taxes on federally owned land can create a financial impact.

The state will receive a total of  $31.8 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes for 2017.

“PILT payments help Montana counties provide critical services and keep a balanced budget,” U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said in a press release. “Local officials will use these resources to builds roads, supports important infrastructure projects, and bolsters local police and fire departments.  I know how important PILT payments are to Montana, and I will keep fighting to secure these essential investments for rural communities.”

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., noted, “PILT payments are essential for Montana’s rural counties — to keep our public services operating. The PILT program provides critical support for the safety of Montana’s rural counties. Thank you Secretary Zinke for releasing this important funding.”

Tester claims that President Trump is proposing to cut PILT by 15 percent in his 2018 budget. 

Roosevelt County will receive $1,580 for its 4,284 eligible acres. Dawson County will receive $53,800 for its 63,960 eligible acres. McCone County will receive $286,247, and Sheridan County will receive $657.

The Montana counties that will receive the largest amounts are Flathead ($2,619,256), Lewis & Clark ($2,458,342), Ravalli ($2,375,857) and Yellowstone ($203,279).