The U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that it is providing counties nationwide with a record-high $464.6 million in Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2017, with 12 Maryland counties sharing $111,289.
PILT are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries. The U.S. makes the annual payments for tax-exempt Federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, 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.
The Department’s press release quotes National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase:
We are pleased that Secretary Zinke and the Interior Department are distributing this fiscal year’s Payments in Lieu of Taxes funding. PILT supports essential county services including road maintenance, solid waste disposal, law enforcement, fire prevention, search and rescue and public health. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to establish greater long-term certainty for the PILT program and address other public lands issues for counties, such as Secure Rural Schools funding and active forest management.