RBC I U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03) announced that the state of Colorado will receive approximately $35.6 million through the federal Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for fiscal year 2016, which is an approximate $2 million increase in funding from fiscal year 2015.
His list also reported that the 1,498,655 acres of federal land within Rio Blanco County will receive $544,972 of those funds.
The federal PILT program reimburses local governments for losses in tax revenues that are incurred due to the presence of large expanses of untaxable federal lands.
On Nov. 23, Tipton joined a bipartisan group of his House colleagues in urging House leadership to prioritize funding for the PILT program. In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Tipton and his colleagues wrote:
“For FY16, the Department of the Interior has estimated $452 million will be necessary to fully fund PILT payments and ensure the federal government upholds its longstanding obligation to counties with public lands. If we fail to fully fund the PILT program by the end of the year, these counties will be unable to provide essential services—such as education, law enforcement, search and rescue, road maintenance and public health. Moving forward, we hope Congress can work together to end the ongoing uncertainty our communities face and enact a long-term sustainable solution to fully fund PILT.”
Of the fiscal year 2016 PILT funding, Tipton said, “PILT is incredibly important to Colorado’s Third Congressional District, and I’m encouraged to see an increase in PILT funding for our state this year. I’ll keep working to ensure the federal government continues to meet its long-standing obligations to counties that have large swaths of untaxable federal land in their jurisdictions.”