U.S. Rep. Heller Says Federal Payments To Local Nevada Governments Delayed Until July

CARSON CITY – The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) today announced that disbursement of FY 2010 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds will be delayed until July. Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., issued a release announcing the delay to Nevadans.

Historically, local governments receive PILT funds in June. Most county budgets are drafted with the expectation that funds will be distributed by the DOI under the standard distribution calendar. Local governments were not notified of the changes until today.

“Due to the large amount of federally owned land in the western states, the local tax base in many of our local communities is limited,” said Heller, Western Caucus Policy Chairman. “For this reason, PILT funding is critical to the health of communities across the West especially in our current economic environment.

“Some in Washington may view this scheduling change as a small inconvenience, but for the western and rural communities that rely upon these funds, this delay will create an added burden while they struggle to overcome growing unemployment rates” he said. “This delay in payments will only hurt the ability of local governments to provide much needed services. Once again, this administration has shown indifference to the needs of communities throughout the West.”

The Payment in Lieu of Taxes provides payments to counties and other local governments to offset losses in tax revenues due to the presence of substantial acreage of federal land in their jurisdictions.  Since local governments are unable to tax the property values or products derived from federal lands, these payments are essential to support vital community services such as schools, first responders, transportation infrastructure and healthcare in rural communities.

About 87 percent of Nevada is controlled by the federal government.