PILT Payments & History
The 2023 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments were made on or about June 15, 2023, to more than 1,900 local government entities across the United States. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Public Law 117-328) was enacted on December 29, 2022, providing full funding for the 2023 PILT program, amounting to a total of $579,150,177.
Of the total amount,$578,750,177 is for FY 2023 payments (the net of $578,894,590 total calculated payments reduced by $144,413 for FY 2022 payment adjustments), and $400,000 is for administration of the program.
The increase from $549.4 million in FY 2022 to $578.8 million in FY 2023 was driven primarily by an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate, which was 7.17% in FY 2023 compared to 2.3% in FY 2022. Prior-year payment deductions also increased over FY 2022 levels (+54.25 percent). Although an increase in prior-year payment deductions normally drives PILT payments down, the increase in inflation offset that impact and increased the payment calculation.
(The “FY 2022 payment adjustment” is not the same as the “prior year payments.” Both are reviewed further below.)
The total PILT payment dispersed to Montana Counties for FY 2023 is $40,330,577, compared to $38,238,756 received last June (FFY 2022 payment)—an increase of $2,091,821.
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.
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/.
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.
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 U.S. Counties):
- 2023 was $241,076,438
- 2022 was $156,293,000
- 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 Department of Interior, BLM, computes payments authorized under section 6902 of the Act using the greater of the following two alternatives:
(A) (A) $3.15 (2023 rate adjusted from $2.94 rate in 2022) 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.
(B) (B) $0.45 (2023 rate adjusted from $0.42 rate in 2022) 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.
Payments to each unit of general local government are subject to population payment limitations, or ceilings. Payment ceilings are based on a sliding scale, starting at $84.81 per capita for populations of 50,000 and above and increasing to $212.03 per capita for populations of 5,000 and fewer (see Table 2 on page 15 of the PILT Summary). (In FY 2022, the population variables were adjusted from $79.14 to $197.84 per capita.) Under Alternative A, if the total calculated payment ($3.15 x entitlement acres) exceeds the ceiling, then the payment is based on the ceiling, including deductions for other Federal land payments received.
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 2023 is 7.17%, an increase from the 4.87% rate used in FY 2022.
The table below reflects the CPI inflationary adjustment, per-acre, and population variable updates applied to the FY 2023 PILT program to calculate payments:
|Alternative A Acreage||$2.94||$3.15||$0.21|
|Alternative B Acreage||$0.42||$0.45||$0.03|
(dollar value for populations of 50,000)
(dollar value for populations of 5,000)
1 Population MIN = dollar value for populations of 50,000
2 Population MAX = dollar value for populations of 5,000
One set of prior-year adjustments is included in FY 2023. Adjustments of -$144,413 were made associated with updated eligible acreage under Section 6902(b)(3), which limits the payment a county may receive on acreage previously owned by the State of Utah. The revised acreage totals were used to recalculate PILT payments for FY 2022.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Public Law 117-328) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY 2023, amounting to a total of $579,150,177. Of this amount, $578,750,177 is for payments, $144,413 is for prior-year adjustments, and $400,000 is for administration of the program. Total funding issued to local governments is $578,750,177, which includes both the FY 2023 payments and the prior-year payment adjustments.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Public Law 117-103) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY 2022, amounting to a total of $549,816,590 in PILT payments. Of this amount, $549,416,590 is for payments, and $400,000 is for administration of the program. Total funding issued to local governments is $549,416,590, which includes both the FY 2022 payments and the prior-year payment adjustments.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116-260) reauthorized the PILT Program for FY 2021, amounting to a total of $529,685,854 in PILT payments. Of this 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. Total funding issued to local governments is $529,285,854, which includes both the FY 2021 payments and the prior-year payment adjustments.
- 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.