PILT patch still doesn’t add up

The Las Vegas newspaper on Wednesday afternoon reported online that Gov. Brian Sandoval had announced that Nevada counties will receive a combined $1.9 million (actually $1.98 million) more in payment in lieu of taxes or PILT. This would bring this year’s total to about $25 million.

“PILT payments provide local governments with the necessary funds to pay for critical infrastructure needs in cities and towns across Nevada,” the paper quoted Sandoval’s statement as saying. “Additionally it allows local leaders to prepare to meet the demands of our growing communities.”

Brian Sandoval (R-J photo)

Sandoval’s statement is also posted online. But for some reason the newspaper did not print its online story.

Neither the governor’s statement, nor the newspaper account bothered to point out that even with the additional money — approved in the recent budget talks — the PILT payments are still less than was doled out in 2014, when the state got $25.4 million in PILT. With the added funds Nevada will get a total of $25.24 million this year.

“I would like to thank the members of our Congressional delegation for their hard work in securing this additional money. I would also like to recognize the Department of the Interior for fulfilling its obligation to compensate local communities for the land owned by the federal government in Nevada,” Sandoval’s online statement says.

Yes, thanks a lot. Before the additional $2 million, Nevada’s powerful minority leader of the Senate brought home the bacon for Nevada counties by providing 41 cents per acre in PILT, while California raked in 96 cents per acre, Arizona got $1.13, New Mexico fetched $1.54 and Utah’s share was $1.05.

And pay no attention to the fact the Interior Department collects about $14 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on federal lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting, before sending the states a paltry $439 million.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good pat on the back.

The first online comment beneath the R-J story was from a perceptive Mark Rothbard, who wrote:

“To be clear, the federal government does not earn money. It steals money from the millions of individuals in each of the states. It cannot compensate. It can only rebate portions of what it stole. This is exactly the same as a mugger stealing your wallet and handing you back a five dollar bill out of the thousands of dollars in the wallet.”

14 comments on “PILT patch still doesn’t add up

  1. Patrick says:

    You don’t really see what Rothbard said as anything other than nonsense do you Thomas? I mean, only the most dense individual would ever believe that taxes are theft; its just rhetoric and sure isn’t insight into anything but the bent mind of Rothbard.

  2. Steve says:

    Don’t like the message….attack the messenger.

    Typical Patrick.

  3. Winston Smith says:

    Taxes are theft when they’re used to fund activities that are contrary to natural law…like wealth redistribution, and thousands of other things.

    “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” – Thomas Jefferson

  4. Barbara says:

    Sandoval should be making the case that the land belongs to Nevada, not thanking the Feds to returning money to us.

  5. Steve says:

    Before Nyp jumps on that quote, Winston, it is a misquote.
    The correct quote is;
    “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. ”

  6. Patrick says:

    I don’t think people understand the definition of theft, because if they didn’t they could never equate it with taxation other than for hyperbolic purposes.

    Let me help you all out here:

    Full Definition of THEFT


    a : the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it

    b : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property

    In case its not clear, the act of theft includes an UNLAWFUL act. Since taxation in this country, and in most countries I’m familiar with, is LEGAL, taxation cannot be considered theft.

    I hope that clears it up but in case anyone is confused consider this; ALL property may ONLY become property, through operation of law. In the absence of the law, there is no such thing as property, there is only that which prevent others from obtaining through force. Claiming that the law, which operates to create property in a legal society, cannot also operate to create legal property in the form of taxes for the government, is….unsupported.

  7. Steve says:

    So, from what Patrick has written, he takes offence at describing taxes as theft.

    Otherwise, the message is spot on and Patrick is in total agreement with it.

  8. Patrick says:

    So, from what Steve writes, he doesn’t understand what he writes, or what anyone else writes.

    Otherwise, he understands everything.

  9. Steve says:

    Patrick proves he does not know what he thinks.
    Or he thinks what he does not know.

    But one thing is clear, Patrick doesn’t like a message, Patrick attacks the messenger.

  10. Patrick says:

    Steve proves that he’s probably a woman; he thinks getting the last word in every discussion means he/she wins.

  11. Patrick says:

    By the way Winston, interestingly enough the quote you seem to love to quote wasn’t from Jefferson at all. What he did say, which was mutated into some nonsensical libertarian chant against taxes, was that people shouldn’t be forced to give money to churches; wonder how that plays with the crowd today demanding that taxpayers send money to church supported schools?


  12. Rincon says:

    It’s not theft. Government merely does what private enterprise does so well. They’re overcharging us! A drug company charges 8,000% more than its cost of production for a generic drug and you call that freedom of the marketplace. When government seems to cost too much for our taste, then you call that theft. Daft.

    Nevada needs to get behind Alaska as the neglected stepchild. They have 37.1% of federal land and receive only 6.6% of PILT payments. Nevada has 9.4% of federal land and 5.8% of PILT payments.
    Population is part of the formula for PILT payments. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Publications/Factsheets/PILT.pdf As I understand it, PILT money is compensation for unrealized taxes on federal land. Is it possible that potential taxes are lower for Nevada scrub or desert than for say, land with potential commercial value in California?

  13. […] Las Vegas newspaper on a Wednesday afternoon in November reported online that Gov. Brian Sandoval had announced that Nevada counties will receive a combined $1.9 million (actually $1.98 million) more in payment […]

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