Reid: Counties to get record federal payments | NevadaAppeal.com

Reid: Counties to get record federal payments

Appeal Capitol Bureau

Nevada counties will receive more than $23 million this year from the federal Payments In Lieu of Taxes program.

PILT compensates counties around the nation which have a disproportionate amount of federal land within their boundaries. The money is intended to make up for lost property tax revenue since federal lands aren’t taxable.

In Nevada, the federal government owns about 87 percent of the land. But some rural counties in the state are more than 95 percent federal land. That leaves local government in those counties almost no property tax base – and property taxes are the primary source of revenue for counties.

Jeff Fontaine, director of the Nevada Association of Counties, said despite the fact those lands are public, they still generate demands for public safety, public health and natural disaster protection services.

He said PILT funding is crucial to providing those services.

In announcing the awards, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was delivering on his promise to lead the Congress to fully fund the program.

“For too long, PILT did not receive the funding it should have and many rural Nevada counties suffered because of that,” Reid said in announcing the grants.

The largest recipients are Clark and Washoe counties with just under $3.2 million apiece.

But Churchill and Lyon counties are high the list with just over $2 million apiece. Among the lowest awards were to Storey at $34,389 and Carson City at $115,700 because of the comparatively low amount of federal land in those jurisdictions.