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Secretary Zinke Announces PILT Payments

Montana Counties Receive $40 Million
Posted Date: 
June 27, 2018
Shantil Siaperas, Communications Director, Montana Association of Counties

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke met with local officials, including County Commissioners, Billings Mayor and City Council Members, and Representation from Montana’s Congressional Offices, on June 27th in Billings to present Montana counties with a large check for $40,073,049 in PILT (payment in lieu of taxes).

The total is $8.2 million more than last year. This significant rise in payment is due SRS (Secure Rural Schools) not being a prior year payment, increased federal land acreage (7,591 acres), and the congressional PILT allocation being the largest in its history at $552.8 million nationwide. 

Montana is comprised of almost 30% PILT-entitled federal lands, approximately 27,403,323 acres. These payments help support essential county services such as road maintenance, public safety, fire prevention, and more.

PILT was fully funded for FY 2018 in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed by President Trump on March 23rd.  

According to DOI, “PILT are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries. The payments are made annually 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. PILT payments are one of the ways the Federal Government can fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities.”

Additional Information: 

Official PILT Info from DOI  


For more official information about PILT, please go the BLM PILT website at:  
MACo annually updated spreadsheet showing the difference between the FY 2017 and FY 2018 payments can be downloaded here: 
The PILT Annual Report can be downloaded here: The annual report includes the applicable Population Caps, Prior Year Payments, Alternative A and Alternative B calculations, as well as the Payments by County and Acres by Agency in each county.

Shantil Siaperas | (406) 449-4360 |