Local governments receive over $514M for ‘critical services’

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced more than 1,900 local governments around the country will receive more than $514 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2020.

“This year’s distribution of $514.7 million to more than 1,900 counties will help small towns pay for critical needs like emergency response, public safety, public schools, housing, social services, and infrastructure,” said Secretary Bernhardt.

Bernhardt in a separate press release announced that 55 local governments in Montana are receiving a total of $35.2 million under the 2020 PILT program. A full list of funding by State and county is available at www.doi.gov/pilt.

PILT payments are made annually for tax-exempt Federal lands administered by U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) agencies including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), for lands administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS); and for Federal water projects and some military installations.

DOI collects more than $13.2 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on public lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing, and timber harvesting. A portion of these revenues are shared with states and counties. The balance is deposited in the U.S. Treasury, which in turn pays for a broad array of Federal activities, including PILT funding.

A full list of funding by state and county is available at www.doi.gov/pilt.


“PILT payments provide critical support to Montana’s rural counties,” said U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (MT). “I’ve worked hard to support the PILT program which provides critical resources for essential services like emergency response efforts and transportation in Montana’s rural counties. Given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding is more important than ever.”

U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte (MT at-large) said: “Hardworking Montanans pay taxes to fund roads, schools, and public safety. As Montana’s largest landowner, the federal government must keep its commitment to our communities that rely on Payments In Lieu of Taxes. Today’s announcement promises the federal government will honor its obligation and give our communities the certainty they need to plan and make needed investments.”