Nevada counties receive $23 million |

Nevada counties receive $23 million

Staff report

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid has announced that Nevada has received much needed Payment in Lieu Taxes (PILT) funds totaling $23,331,913 from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Interior Department collects about $14 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on federal lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting. The PILTprogram compensates counties and local governments for non-taxable federal land in their jurisdictions.

“PILT payments have always been crucial for Nevada counties and local governments to provide essential services like education, emergency services, law enforcement, infrastructure and healthcare,” said Reid. “At a time when unemployment continues to hurt our state’s economic growth, I am pleased this funding will help save and create so many jobs in these areas and I will continue to work to ensure our rural counties have access to these important funds.”

In 2008, legislation fully funded PILT to ensure that Nevada’s rural communities have sufficient funding for important public programs. With 86 percent of Nevada’s land owned by the federal government, Reid said counties rely on PILT payments for essential services and improvements in several areas. Legislation fully funded PILT through 2012 and last year, the senator worked to extend the program to 2013.

PILT is paid to counties to compensate for the loss of tax revenue due to federal land ownership. The formula used to compute the payments is based on population levels, receipt sharing payments, and the amount of Federal land within an affected county. While the Interior Department distributes PILT to 49 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, much of the money goes to counties in western states where the federal government owns large tracts of land. The program was created in 1977.