News Release

For Release:  November 26, 2008                                                           
Contact:  David Briery; email: dbriery@ca.blm.gov
CA-CDD-09-14

BLM Distributes Nearly $15 Million to Counties of California Desert District for Payments in Lieu of Taxes

The counties within the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) California Desert District (Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego) received nearly $15 million from the BLM for Fiscal Year 2008 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), according to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. Distributions to counties (in millions of dollars) include Imperial, $2.9; Inyo, $1.6; Kern, $2.2; Los Angeles, $1.2; Orange, $.1; Riverside, $3.0; San Bernardino, $2.9; and San Diego, $1.0.

Since 1994, payments were subject to appropriation and have not matched the full entitlement level.  From 1995 through 2008, payments to local jurisdictions funded from 41 to 77 percent of the entitlement levels.  The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 makes the PILT program mandatory, so through 2012, payments will equal the full entitlement levels for each county and other local jurisdictions that receive PILT payments.

"These payments help local governments provide vital services to communities across the country, including education, firefighting, transportation, and emergency response," Kempthorne said.  "These jurisdictions provide support for federal lands throughout the year, every year, earning our appreciation and thanks.  I am pleased that they will now receive their full PILT compensation through 2012."

By law, the payments are calculated using a mandated formula, based on the number of acres of federal entitlement land, the population within each county or jurisdiction, and adjusted for revenue sharing payments. The Department of the Interior collects about $4 billion a year in revenue from commercial activities on federal lands, such as livestock grazing, timber harvesting, and oil and natural gas leasing.  Some of these revenues are shared with states and counties in the form of revenue-sharing payments.  The balance is deposited in the U.S. Treasury, which in turn pays for a broad array of federal activities, including PILT funding to counties.

Payments to individual counties may vary from the prior year because of changes in acreage data, which is updated yearly by the federal agency administering the land; population data, which is updated based on U.S. Census Bureau data; and the prior year revenue payment, which is reported by states.  The per acre and population variables used to compute payments are also adjusted for inflation, using the Consumer Price Index and Census data, as required by 1994 amendments to the PILT Act.  Sections 6904 and 6905 of the PILT law provide additional payments for additions to the National Park System and National Forest Wilderness areas.

For a complete list of county-by-county PILT payments, see http://www.nbc.gov/pilt/pilt/search.cfm.

-BLM-

California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217