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PILT Payments & Historical Payments

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.

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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:  Additional information about the PILT program is also available on that website.

The total federal fiscal year 2016 payments to Montana Counties is $30,285,246 compared to $29,259,009 (June payment + October payment)—an increase of $1,026,237 over last year, or 3.51%.

The largest dollar increase was in Flathead at $132,928 (5.54%), followed by Ravalli County at $117,277 (5.53%) and Carbon at $89,762 (-10.24%).  Counties with the greatest reductions were Broadwater at $6,191 (-1.05%), Petroleum at $2,104 (-2.42%), and Wheatland at $1,914 (-1.55%). Other counties seeing significant percentage changes were Toole (+37.16%), Hill (+12.91%), and Powell (+12.64%).

The overall change in acres was an increase of 6,677 with the largest change of acreage being in Missoula County with +3,032; meanwhile Valley County saw the largest reduction at -46.

On a per-acre basis, Petroleum and Garfield Counties continue to receive the lowest per acre payment at $0.25 and $0.28, respectively due to population caps in the PILT formula, while Custer received $2.56 per acre and Yellowstone received $2.54 per acre.

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 last year.  The payments represent the largest amount ever allocated under the PILT program to compensate counties and local governments.  The President’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposes to return the PILT program to mandatory funding at $480 million annually.

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.

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

(A) $2.64 (in fiscal year 2016) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the county (as defined above), reduced by the amount of funds received by the county in the prior fiscal year under certain other Federal land receipt sharing programs such as the twenty-five percent timber program or the mineral leasing program


(B) Thirty-seven cents (in fiscal year 2016) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the county, with no deduction for prior-year payments.

Both alternatives explained above 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.

As previously mentioned, the President’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposes to return the PILT program to mandatory funding at $480 million annually.

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 it's importance to your county and how it is being used to fund essential services.  Click here for contact information.

Harold Blattie | | (406) 449-4360