Gardner Urges Funding for PILT Program

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with a bipartisan group of over thirty Senators, sent a letter today to Senate leadership urging them to ensure that full funding to the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, along with responsible budget offsets, is included in legislation passing the House and Senate before the end of the year.

The PILT program is an important resource for counties across the country to provide essential services to their citizens. PILT provides funding to counties which contain federal land within their borders, offsetting the lost property tax revenue that comes from the non-taxable federal land located within the counties.

The letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), reads in full:

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid,

As Members of Congress representing counties containing federal public lands within their boundaries, we write to request that Congress include full funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for FY16 along with responsible budget offsets in any legislation likely to pass the House and Senate and be signed into law before the end of the year.

PILT provides critical resources to nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states to offset lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt federal lands within their jurisdictions.  Without full funding for the PILT program before the end of the year, counties across the nation will be unable to provide essential services such as education, law enforcement, search and rescue, road maintenance and public health to residents and millions of federal lands visitors alike.   

Moving forward we hope Congress can work together to enact a fiscally responsible long-term sustainable solution to fully fund this important program and eliminate the ongoing funding uncertainty PILT counties face. However, as the end of the year approaches, enacting full-funding for PILT in FY 2016 is essential in order to provide counties with the certainty they need to plan their own budgets and continue providing essential county services.  We look forward to working with you to resolve this pressing issue facing our communities in FY16 and in the coming years.