The Farm Bill that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday included a one-year extension of payments in lieu of taxes, or PILT.
PILT is money received by counties with federal public land. The Federal government does not pay property taxes and PILT funds are used to make up for that lack of revenue. The Wyoming County Commissioners Association says the extension is good news for Wyoming.
Washakie County Commissioner Ron Harvey says 14-percent of his county’s revenue last year was PILT money. That was a little over a million dollars. Harvey says Washakie County relies on PILT more than any other county in the state, with 75 to 80 percent of its land federal.
Harvey says that PILT is an important source of income for almost every county in Wyoming. “The PILT being in there is good news, as far as we’re concerned,” he says. “Obviously we’d like to have more than one year. IT’s hard to do any type of budgeting when you don’t know what you’re going to get from year to year.”
“We’re headed in the right direction,” he says. But he hopes that a more permanent plan will occur soon.