US Senators Gardner, Daines, Murkowski Introduce Bill to Improve PILT, Support Rural Counties
Bill creates four new tiers in the PILT Formula for low population counties
Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation that would increase the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program payments for small rural counties.
“Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds pay for search and rescue, emergency medical services, law enforcement and more. The current PILT formula doesn’t take into account the financial strain on counties with small populations,” said Senator Gardner. “That means counties like Hinsdale County in Colorado, boasting a population of less than 1,000 with 96% of its lands public, are shortchanged. Counties that have a limited tax base as a result of federal acreage need to be properly compensated, and the PILT Parity Act will make sure that happens.”
“Far too often our rural communities are pushed aside and not given the resources they need,” said Senator Daines. “These PILT payments deliver critical services to folks in rural Montana, and I’m glad to introduce this important legislation to increase those resources in Montana’s small counties.”
“Boroughs, counties, and parishes with large amounts of federal land face real challenges in developing sustainable economies. In Alaska, the federal government controls over 60 percent of our lands, making PILT essential for community services,” said Senator Murkowski. “Our bill will address an inequity and help ensure appropriate funding, especially for small, rural communities in Alaska that are surrounded by national parks, forests, or other federal lands.”
The legislation would create four new population tiers so that eligible low population counties (those with populations under 5,000) could receive a higher annual PILT payment. This formula adjustment will help bring parity to lower population counties and help address rising infrastructure and emergency services costs.
To read the bill click here.
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy