OR communities receiving almost $20 million in rural assistance funding

A contractor caulks siding before a new coat of paint is put on KBBI's exterior

Mesa County will receive nearly $3.5 million in the latest payment in lieu of taxes on more than 1.5 million acres of public land.

"Rural America, especially states out west with large federal land holdings, play a big part in feeding and powering the nation and also in providing recreation opportunities, but because the lands are federal, the local governments don't earn tax revenue from them".

Zinke, who visited Nevada this past week, said growing up in Montana, "I know how important PILT payments are to local communities that have federal lands".

Through her role as chairman of the Senate Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murkowski ensured the PILT program received $465 million, an increase of $13 million above last year's level, including a $734,000 increase for Alaska.

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PILT provides federal payments to local governments because of nontaxable federal land within their boundaries, such as Bureau of Land Management land, national parks and forests.

"The PILT program is an important resource for counties across the country to provide essential services to their citizens", the release said. Funding for the payments comes from the almost $9 billion in annual revenue the Department of Interior collects from commercial activities on federal lands, including energy development, livestock grazing and timber harvests.

While Alaska has the most federal land - 223.8 million acres - Nevada has the highest percentage of federal land at 84.9 percent or 58.2 million acres. Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties are getting a combined $8.46 million out of the $30 million going to Idaho. "I'm happy that at a time when we need it most, Alaskan communities are receiving the funding owed to them", said Senator Murkowski.

OR will receive a total of $19.7 million in Payments In Lieu of Taxes - also known as "PILT" - from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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