Newspaper column: PILT funding left out of spending bill, what now?

PILT is not Western welfare, protests Rep. Mark Amodei.

PILT is a federal obligation, insists Sen. Dean Heller.

Payment in Lieu of Taxes is how Congress, since 1976, has attempted to provide relief to counties with large tracts of non-taxable federal land so they can provide police and fire protection, education and other public services, as noted in this week’s newspaper column available online at The Ely Times and the Elko Daily Free Press.

RJ Matson of Roll Call 2007

In the final hours this past week of hammering out a $1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government through September, Western congressmen discovered there was no money for PILT, which can amount to more than 10 percent of the budgets of some rural counties. For Nevada in 2013 payments totaled $23 million or 40 cents an acre.

“It was news to most of us that it wasn’t in the bill. …” explained Amodei.

Heller was the only member of the Nevada delegation to vote against the omnibus bill, at least partly because it lacked PILT funding.

Amodei explained that part of the problem is that in 2009 PILT came out of the Interior Department’s budget and went into TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program).

“That effort was led by none other than our pal Senator Harry Reid. So it funded it for five years in TARP but it wasn’t in the Interior bill anymore. So when we all started screaming formally, it was like, well, it hasn’t been in there,” Amodei recounted.

Amodei said Speaker John Boehner, in front of 30 Western House members, promised PILT would be funded, probably in the farm bill.

Rep. Steven Horsford, whose district covers the rest of rural Nevada and part of Clark County, also pledged to restore PILT funding. “PILT is critical to rural counties in my district, and it makes up a significant portion of many budgets for traditionally underserved communities,” he said. 

Amodei also cautioned that there still is no assurance PILT will be funded at 100 percent.

Read the entire column at the Ely or Elko site.

8 comments on “Newspaper column: PILT funding left out of spending bill, what now?

  1. Vernon Clayson says:

    Heller, Horsford, and Amodei, obviously neglected to check with Harry Reid. Maybe after Harry Reid comes down from the success of his electric grid being completed he will get to the more mundane matter of PILT for Nevada counties. Mentioned in the LVRJ article is that the new grid would save ratepayers money but this flies in the face of Obama’s statement that electrical power rates “will necessarily skyrocket”. Really, who should we believe, Obama or the author of the article, who surely had the approval of Harry Reid?

  2. Winston Smith says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if this is the end of PILT. The feds are implementing Agenda 21, which includes moving people from rural to urban areas, so they are more easily controlled. By reducing the income of rural areas slowly, it won’t be so readily recognized, and people in those areas will just “naturally” migrate. Very Hegelian, if you ask me…

    WiP; FiS; IiS; PiS

  3. That power line will “reduce costs to Nevada customers,” the story says. No way. Customers will have to pay more so NV Energy can get its 10 percent return on this new equity. Never mind the cost of expense and unreliable wind and solar.


  4. Milty says:

    “The feds are implementing Agenda 21, which includes moving people from rural to urban areas, so they are more easily controlled.”

    Moving an excessive number of people to urban areas would probably also further Jesse Jackson’s goal of building impoverished communities, which he’s been doing a helluva job of all these years.

  5. Steve says:

    His Freudian slip is showing….again.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    Skyrocket !!!!

  7. […] for PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes,) just as Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei and other Western congressmen were promised earlier when the funding was left out of the omnibus spending […]

  8. […] has been around since 1976 as means of making up for all the property taxes counties with huge tracts of federally controlled […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s