PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified [July 27, 2015]   [open pdf - 421KB]

"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. Federal 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 a specific agency and apply only to that agency's land. This report addresses only the most widely applicable program, which is called Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT; 31 U.S.C. §§6901- 6907) and is administered by the Department of the Interior (DOI). Under the statute, eligible lands consist of those in the National Park System (NPS), National Forest System (NFS), or Bureau of Land Management (BLM); lands in the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) if they are withdrawn from the public domain; lands dedicated to the use of federal water resources development projects; dredge disposal areas under the jurisdiction of the U.S.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)."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31392
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