PILT Payments & History

Below is a link containing an Excel spreadsheet with the analysis of the Payment of Lieu of Taxes that were issued by the Bureau of Land Management.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  In order to receive PILT Payments a county MUST be registered with Central Contracting Information (CCR).  If your county did not receive an ACH payment, please go to the BLM PILT website for more information: http://www.doi.gov/pilt/. Additional information about the PILT program is also available on that website.

The total federal fiscal year 2017 payments to Montana Counties is $40,073,049 compared to $31,786,271 (FFY 2017 payment)—an increase of $8,286,778 over last year, or 26.07%.

The largest dollar increase was in Sanders County at $1,291,030 (+281.48%), followed by Mineral County at $721,846 (+204.68%) and Lincoln at $1,630,635 (+153.09%).  Counties with the greatest reductions were Dawson County, down  $9,708 making their payment $44,092 (-18.04%); and Hill County, down $5,362, making their payment $116,513 (-4.40%).  Other counties seeing significant percentage changes were Granite (+118.91%), Meagher(+70.70%), and Powell (+65.75%).

The overall change in acres was an increase of 7,591 with the largest change of acreage being in Missoula County with +6,088 acres; meanwhile Broadwater County saw the largest reduction at -141 acres.

On a per-acre basis, Petroleum and Garfield Counties continue to receive the lowest per acre payment at $0.27 and $0.29, respectively due to population caps in the PILT formula, while Ravalli received $2.69 per acre and Glacier County received $2.70 per acre.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (P.L. 115–141) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY2018.  Counties received a total of $552.8 million in payments in June 2018, which is roughly $88.2 million more than last year.  The payments represent the largest amount ever allocated in the program’s 40-year history.

BLM computes payments authorized under section 6902 of the Act using the greater of the following two alternatives:

(A) $2.71 (in 2018) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the unit of local government (as defined above), reduced by the amount of funds received by the locality in the prior fiscal year under certain other Federal land revenue sharing programs such as the twenty-five percent timber program or the mineral leasing program.


(B) $0.38 (in 2018) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the unit of local government, with no deduction for prior-year payments.

Both alternatives are subject to a population ceiling limitation computed by multiplying the county population times a corresponding dollar value (adjusted annually for inflation) contained in the Act.

This would be a good opportunity to reach out to our Congressional delegation to thank them for their support of the PILT Program and to tell them its importance to your county and how it is being used to fund essential services.  Click here for contact information.

History of Previous Recent Payments

  • The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-31) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY2017.  Congress appropriated $464.6 million for payments to counties in June 2017, which is roughly $13 million more than FY2016.
  • The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (P.L.114-113) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY2016.  Congress appropriated $451.6 million for payments to counties in June 2016, which is roughly $12.5 million more than FY2015.
  • For FY 2015 Congress appropriated nearly $405 million for PILT payments made to counties in June 2015. Congress also appropriated an additional $37 million in PILT funding, which became available in October 2015. The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2016, (P.L. 114-53) directed these funds be applied to the fiscal year 2015 PILT program. The $37 million was subject to a 6.8 percent sequestration reduction – a set of automatic spending cuts required under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) – leaving $34,484,000 in additional funds available for payments to local governments. That brought the total of PILT payments in 2015 to $439,084,000.
  • The Agriculture Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642 / Public Law 113-79) authorized full funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program for fiscal year 2014. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141), reauthorized PILT for 2013 and funded full entitlement levels of the program.  From 2008 through 2012, the program was funded under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.