As budget season is in full swing at the U.S. Capitol, and flurries of budget requests will be sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of federal programs over the next couple of weeks. National Association of Counties (NACo) is pushing for full-funding of the longstanding Payment In-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

PILT funding is essential for NACo and Association of Oregon Counties (AOC), because federal land is exempt from local taxes, meaning, counties are unable to collect property taxes from these lands even though counties provide critical services for their residents and persons who visit public lands. PILT funds help compensate counties for the loss of property tax revenues from federal lands, which in turn, helps pay for services such as search and rescue, infrastructure, public safety, and fire protection among others. In Oregon, 51 percent of the state’s land is PILT Entitlement Land. In 2018, federal payments for PILT to Oregon totaled $36.9 million. To view your county’s PILT statistics and comparisons to other counties, click here.

NACo is gathering signatures on two letters that will be sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The letters advocate for full-funding of the PILT program for the 2020 fiscal year.

ACTION: Please contact your Representatives and Senators, before their respective signature deadlines, and ask them to support full funding of the PILT program for the 2020 fiscal year by signing onto their chamber’s PILT appropriations letter.

The House deadline is March 28 and the Senate is April 1.

To learn more, click here.

Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate