PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified [December 10, 2014]   [open pdf - 418KB]

"Under federal law, local governments (usually counties) are compensated through various programs for reductions to their property tax bases due to the presence of most federally owned land. These lands cannot be taxed, but may create a demand for services such as fire protection, police cooperation, or longer roads to skirt the federal property. Some compensation programs are run by specific agencies and apply only to that agency's land. The most widely applicable program, administered by the Department of the Interior (DOI), is called 'Payments in Lieu of Taxes' (PILT, 31 U.S.C. §§6901-6907). Under the statute, eligible lands consist of those in the National Park System, National Forest System, or Bureau of Land Management; lands in the National Wildlife Refuge System if they are withdrawn from the public domain; lands dedicated to the use of federal water resources development projects; dredge disposal areas under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; lands located in the vicinity of Purgatory River Canyon and Piñon Canyon, Colorado, that were acquired after December 31, 1981, to expand the Fort Carson military reservation; lands on which are located semi-active or inactive Army installations used for mobilization and for reserve component training; and certain lands acquired by DOI or the Department of Agriculture under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (P.L. 105-263). This report addresses only the PILT program administered by DOI."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31392
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