12.12.19

Daines Votes to Advance Bipartisan B-47 Ridge, PILT Bills

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today voted to advance two big Montana wins out of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, including his bipartisan bill to name the B-47 Ridge in honor of the four servicemen who lost their lives in an Air Force B-47 Bomber crash in Montana.

PILT Picture

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“This is about honoring and remembering the story of the brave men who tragically lost their lives in a B-47 Bomber Crash in SW Montana in 1962,” Daines said. “After over a half century, it is time we get them the memorial and recognition they so rightfully deserve for their service and sacrifice to our country. I look forward to getting this across the finish line for the families.”

Daines also voted to advance his bipartisan bill, the Small County Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Parity Act, which will bring parity to the PILT program, and ensure smaller populated counties receive more resources to strengthen local law enforcement, fire departments, schools, roads, search and rescue, and more.

“Too often, Montana’s rural communities are pushed aside and short changed on the resources they need,” Daines said. “Ensuring we get our fair share of PILT means delivering critical services to folks in our smaller, rural Montana counties. I will continue working until we get this important bill signed into law.”

Statements of Support:

B-47: “On behalf of myself and the families that lost their loved ones in this B-47 crash. We say thank you Senator Daines for all of your hard work these last four years to honor these men and their families. We can never have enough reminders of the cost of freedom.” - Bryan Wells

PILT: "I applaud Senator Daines, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Leadership, and all its members for addressing the unforeseen inequities in the current PILT formula by their support for S. 2108, the Small County PILT Parity Act.  This bill makes an important change to the existing PILT formula to ensure that small, rural counties like Prairie County, Montana are on a level playing field with counties whose populations exceed 5,000 people. S. 2108 accomplishes this without reducing payments to those larger counties, as well. Rural counties in Montana hope to see the U.S. Senate take up this important piece of legislation in the near future.” - Todd Devlin, County Commissioner, Prairie County.

PILT: “PILT supports important services for visitors and residents in nearly 1,900 counties with large tracts of untaxable federal land. Counties with fewer than 5,000 residents are on an uneven playing field because of the PILT formula’s population and monetary caps. This bill would increase payments to small, rural counties without impacting payments to counties with populations above 5,000. We applaud Senator Steve Daines for his leadership on this issue, as well as Chairman Murkowski and the other members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for supporting this legislation. We hope to see it pass the full Senate soon.” - Matthew Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Counties.