Published June 24, 2020
The 2021 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments were made on or about June 24, 2021, to more than 1,900 local government entities across the United States. On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260), which appropriated full funding for PILT. The total amount of funding authorized for the FY 2021 PILT program is $529,685,854. Of that amount, $529,242,103 is for FY 2021 payments, $43,751 is for prior-year payment adjustments, and $400,000 is for administration of the program.
NOTE: The overall change in FY 2021 PILT payments is driven by a decrease in prior-year payment deductions. Generally, when prior-year payment deductions go down, the PILT calculation goes up. The most impactful changes in prior-year payment deductions were a -4.31 percent reduction in Timber deductions (including Title I and Title III SRS payments) from FY 2020 levels and a -9.44 percent reduction in deductions from Mineral Leasing payments to States. Those two payment types combined represent more than 80 percent of total prior-year payment deductions submitted by States for incorporation into the FY 2021 PILT
calculation. Of the 53 States receiving payments this year, 4 States will receive decreased payments compared with FY
2020 PILT (Montana is NOT one of these four states).
The total PILT payments dispersed to Montana Counties for FY 2021 is $36,209,980, compared to $35,166,221 received last June (FFY 2020 payment)—an increase of $1,043,759.
PILT program eligibility is reserved for local governments (mostly rural counties) that contain nontaxable Federal lands and provide vital services, such as public safety, housing, social services and transportation. Those jurisdictions provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges and recreation areas throughout the year. PILT seeks to compensate local governments for their support and foregoing tax revenue from these Federal lands.
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/.
Click the button below to download the Excel spreadsheet containing the specifics of the PILT payments that were issued to Montana’s counties by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
The annual PILT payments to local governments are computed based on the number of acres of Federal entitlement land within each county or jurisdiction. Federal entitlement lands include acreage within the National Forest and National Park Systems, those managed by the Bureau of Land Management, those affected by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water resources development projects, and certain other Federal lands. Individual county payments may increase or decrease from the prior year due to changes in computation variables including prior-year payments, inflation, acreage, and population.
Individual county payments may vary from year to year as a result of changes in acreage data, which is updated annually by the Federal agency administering the land; prior-year federal revenue sharing payments reported annually by the Governor of each State; and population data, which is updated using information from the U.S. Census Bureau. The per-acre and population variables are subject to annual inflationary adjustments using the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Prior-year payments are federal revenue sharing payments made to local governments under programs other than PILT during the previous fiscal year. the Forest Service (FS) Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, the Refuge Revenue Sharing Fund, the National Forest Fund, the Taylor Grazing Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, the Federal Power Act, and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, as authorized. Sections 6904 and 6905 provide temporary additional payments for additions to the National Park System and National Forest Wilderness areas. The PILT Act requires each State to report these payments to the Department each year. As a general rule, when prior-year payment deductions go up, the PILT calculation goes down.
Previous Fiscal Years’ Prior-Year Payment Deductions (This is from TOTAL PILT Payments to All US Counties):
- 2021 was $193,752,968
- 2020 was $203,237,940
– 2020 adjusted to $200,746,744 (reflects revised submission for Utah)
- 2019 was $163,395,154
– 2019 adjusted to $158,310,061 (reflects revised submissions for Colorado–$789–and Wisconsin–$312,248)
- 2018 was $ 73,943,795
- 2017 was $204,061,818
- 2016 was $223,760,950
- 2015 was $231,849,022
- 2014 was $236,072,405
- 2013 was $257,628,978
- 2012 was $298,066,535
- 2011 was $316,196,992
- 2010 was $360,412,929
- 2009 was $306,923,556
- 2008 was $293,060,111
The BLM computes payments authorized under section 6902 of the Act using the greater of the following two alternatives:
(A) $2.87 (2021 rate adjusted from $2.83 rate in 2020) times the number of acres of qualified Federal land in the unit of local government (as defined previously), 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 Secure Rural Schools or the Mineral Leasing Act.
(B) $0.41 (2021 rate adjusted from $0.40 rate in 2020) 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 rounded county population (where applicable) times a corresponding dollar value (adjusted annually for inflation) contained in the Act.
The population variables were adjusted from $76.17–$190.42 per capita in FY 2020 to $77.36–$193.39 per capita in FY 2021. The statutory calculation also incorporates the effects of prior-year revenue payments and amounts received under Sections 6904 and 6905 of the PILT Act (mentioned in the section above).
By statute, the per-acre and population variables used in the formula to compute payment amounts are subject to annual inflationary adjustments using the Consumer Price Index. The requirement for those adjustments to the per-acre and population variables was included in the 1994 amendments to the PILT Act. The annual inflation rate for FY 2021 is 1.56 percent, a decrease from the 2.07 percent rate used in FY 2020.
- The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-94) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY 2020. The total amount of funding authorized for the FY 2020 PILT program was $515,084,460. Of this amount, $514,372,212 was for FY 2020 payments, $312,248 was for FY 2019 payment adjustments, and $400,000 was for administration of the program. Total funding issued to local governments was $514,684,460, which included both the FY 2020 payments and the FY 2019 payment adjustments.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 (P.L. 116-6) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY 2019. U.S. Counties received a total of $514.7 million in payments in June 2019, which is roughly $38.1 million less than FY 2018. In general, most States received lower PILT payments in FY 2019 due to a significant increase in prior-year payment deductions. As a general rule, when prior-year payment deductions go up, the PILT calculation goes down. The driving force behind the significant decrease in FY 2019 is due to a 122% increase in prior-year payment deductions. The most substantial change in prior-year payment deductions was due to the increase in Timber payments (255%), which reflects the effect of reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. Also of note were the increase in Forest Service Bankhead-Jones (75%) and in Mineral Leasing (12%) prior-year payment deductions.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (P.L. 115–141) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY 2018. Congress appropriated PILT at $552.8 million for payments to counties in June 2018, which is roughly $88.2 million more than FY 2017.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-31) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY 2017. Congress appropriated $464.6 million for payments to counties in June 2017, which is roughly $13 million more than FY 2016.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (P.L.114-113) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY 2016. Congress appropriated $451.6 million for payments to counties in June 2016, which is roughly $12.5 million more than FY 2015.
- 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.
A Big Thank You
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.
Published June 29, 2020
Press Release from DOI
Secretary Haaland Announces $529.3 Million to Support Vital Community Services
PILT program compensates communities for tax-exempt federal lands.
WASHINGTON — Today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced more than 1,900 local governments around the country will receive $529.3 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2021. Since local governments cannot tax federal lands, annual PILT payments help to defray costs associated with maintaining important community services.
PILT payments are made annually for tax-exempt federal lands administered by Department of the Interior agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. Additionally, PILT payments cover federal lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission. These payments are calculated based on the number of acres of federal land within each county or jurisdiction, and the population of that county or jurisdiction.
“This year’s distribution of $529.3 million to more than 1,900 counties will help local governments carry out vital services, such as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations,” said Secretary Haaland. “Our mission relies on partnerships with U.S. states and territories. These disbursements are a great example of our commitment to be a good neighbor to the communities we serve.”
Since PILT payments began in 1977, the Department has distributed more than $10.2 billion to states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Department collects more than $10.3 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on public lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing, and timber harvesting. A portion of these revenues is shared with states and counties. The balance is deposited in the U.S. Treasury, which in turn pays for a broad array of federal activities, including PILT funding.
Individual county payments may vary from year to year as a result of changes in acreage data, which is updated annually by the federal agency administering the land; prior-year federal revenue-sharing payments reported annually by the governor of each state; inflationary adjustments using the Consumer Price Index; and population data, which is updated using information from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A full list of funding by State and county is available on the Department of the Interior’s Payment in Lieu of Taxes page.