Senator Padilla Announces $55.9 Million to California Counties to Support Vital Community Services

PILT program compensates communities for tax-exempt federal lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that California counties will receive $55.9 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2021. Since local governments cannot tax federal public lands, annual PILT payments allow local governments and rural counties to offset lost property tax revenues and continue to provide vital community services.

“This nearly $60 million in federal funding through the PILT program will help California counties maintain essential services as we continue to recover from the pandemic,” Senator Padilla said. “Even though counties cannot tax federal lands within their boundaries, they often have to cover the costs of public safety, transportation, and infrastructure services for the surrounding areas. Rural communities that are home to large portions of public lands feel this impact the hardest – we should support these counties who act as good neighbors and stewards of America’s public lands – and we should guarantee reliable, consistent PILT funding in the years ahead.”

Last month, Senator Padilla joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in urging the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund the PILT program for fiscal year 2022. In a letter to the Appropriations Committee, the Senators wrote; “As cash strapped counties across the country work to address budget cuts exacerbated by the pandemic, full-funding and a long-term solution for PILT is essential to provide certainty that the federal government will continue to uphold its long-standing commitment to public lands counties.”

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, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 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.

A full list of funding by state and county is available at the Department of the Interior’s Payments in Lieu of Taxes page.

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