VALLEY — Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) this week announced Colorado will receive $36.6 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2017, with more than $3 million going to San Luis Valley counties.
The PILT program is an important resource for counties across the country to provide essential services to their citizens. PILT provides funding to counties which contain federal land within their borders, offsetting the lost property tax revenue that comes from the non-taxable federal land located within the counties.
“Throughout my time in Congress, I have advocated for fully funding the PILT program and I’m thrilled 64 local governments in Colorado will receive this funding,” said Gardner. “These grants are critical to rural counties throughout Colorado and are used to fund essential services, including public safety and emergency response efforts. I have already sent a letter to the Senate appropriators to urge full funding of the PILT program for FY2018 and will continue to fight for Colorado’s rural communities.”
“The PILT program is critical for communities across Colorado that rely on these funds for services like road maintenance and law enforcement,” Bennet said. “We’ve led a bipartisan effort to provide full funding in FY18 and we’ll continue to work to find a long-term solution to provide counties and local governments sustained funding and more predictability in the future.”
“As a kid who grew up in northwest Montana and whose sons graduated from the same high school as I did, I know how important PILT payments are to local communities that have federal lands. These investments are one of the ways the federal government is fulfilling its role of being a good land manager and good neighbor to local communities,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. “Rural America, especially states out west with large federal land holdings, play a big part in feeding and powering the nation and also in providing recreation opportunities, but because the lands are federal, the local governments don’t earn tax revenue from them. PILT investments often serve as critical support for local communities as they juggle planning and paying for basic services, such as public safety, firefighting, social services and transportation.”
Valley county PILT allotments are:
Alamosa County — $200,029; total acres 78,142
Conejos County — $1,150,671; total acres 500,322
Costilla County — $876; total acres 708
Mineral County — $129,691; total acres 522,267
Rio Grande County — $812,971; total acres 332,193
Saguache County — $755,329; total acres 1,396,548