Nevada gets nearly $30M for federal lands | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada gets nearly $30M for federal lands

Sunset in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada.

Nevada will receive $29.98 million in cash this year under the Payments In Lieu of Taxes program (PILT).

Sen. Dean Heller said that's an increase of more than $800,000 over the previous fiscal year.

PILT is designed to provide local governments with large percentages of non-taxable federal lands cash to offset that lost tax revenue. Nevada, overall, is 85 percent federal land and some counties within the state are nearly all federally held.

The money is used to provide law enforcement, fire and other essential services such as school construction and social services.

“Given that 85 percent of Nevada lands are managed by the federal government, the PILT program makes it possible for communities in Nevada to maintain critical public services across large swaths of federal land.”

— Sen. Dean Heller

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"Given that 85 percent of Nevada lands are managed by the federal government, the PILT program makes it possible for communities in Nevada to maintain critical public services across large swaths of federal land," said Heller in a statement.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said as a kid who grew up in Montana, he understands how important PILT payments are to local communities.

Those federal lands include not only those held by the Bureau of Land Management — the vast majority of Nevada acreage — but of the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and some military installations. Nationwide, total PILT program funding this federal fiscal year is $552.8 million, the largest amount in the program's 40-year history.

In Nevada, the largest single check will go to Clark County at $3.63 million. Washoe County will get nearly that much — $3.62 million — Elko County $3.53 million and Nye $3.3 million.

In western Nevada, Carson City, because it contains little federal property, will receive just $115,857.

The smallest check — $39,172 — goes to Storey County

But Lyon County will receive $2.31 million and Churchill County $2.29 million this year.

Statewide, the payments compensate local governments for a total of 56.7 million acres of federal land within their borders.