The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

Montana Counties Receive PILT Funding


On June 26, Senator Jon Tester announced 55 Montana counties, including Valley County, will receive $31.8 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for 2017. PILT payments help local governments carry out vital services such as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations. The payments are made annually for tax exempt Federal lands administered by various organizations, such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Valley County is expected to receive $1,137,518 on 1,122,357 acres of land. The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of the Secretary has administrative authority over the PILT program. In addition to other responsibilities, DOI calculates payments according to the formulas established by law and distributes the available funds.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester worked with Republicans and Democrats to secure these resources in the federal budget earlier in the year. These funds might not be as readily available next year as President Trump is proposing to cut PILT by 15 percent in his 2018 budget. Tester has called on the administration to reverse course and fully fund PILT for Montana counties.


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