Payment in Liew of Taxes
Payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) are made for tax-exempt federal lands administered by the BLM, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (all agencies of the Interior Department), the U.S. Forest Service (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), and for federal water projects and some military installations. Congress appropriates PILT payments each year according to a formula that includes population and the amount of federal land within an affected county. These payments are in addition to other federal revenues that the federal government transfers to the states. These other revenues are derived from commercial activities on federal lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing, and timber harvesting.
PILT was established by Public Law 94-565, dated October 20, 1976, as amended. The law recognizes that the inability of local governments to collect property taxes on federally-owned land creates a financial impact to those governments which provide services and which are placed at a disadvantage through the loss of potential tax base.
PILT payments help local governments carry out such vital services as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations. PILT payments are one way that BLM can be a good neighbor to local communities. More information on PILT can be found at the Department of the Interior website.
Congress appropriates PILT payments each year. The following table shows PILT payments made to Washington County since the year 2000: