$1,128,941 PILT Funds to Ketchikan Borough
By MARY KAUFFMAN
June 26, 2017
Through her role as chairman of the Senate Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murkowski ensured the PILT program received $465 million, an increase of $13 million above last year’s level, including a $734,000 increase for Alaska.
“While Alaska continues to face an economic crunch, so many of our communities across the state are grappling with the tough task of figuring out how to direct resources where they are critically needed to provide even the basic core functions of government. I’m happy that at a time when we need it most, Alaskan communities are receiving the funding owed to them,” said Senator Murkowski. “Considering that over 60 percent of Alaska’s lands are controlled by the federal government, the PILT program ensures communities a source of critical funding to help pay for emergency services, roads and other essential services that would normally rely on support via local property taxes.”
With 3,050,826 total acres of non-taxable federal land, the Ketchikan Borough will receive $1,128,941 in PILT funds, or 37 cents an acre. The amount of PILT distribution funds vary. For example the Matanuska Susitna Borough will recive $3,553,659 in PILT funds for 3,009,909 total acreas of non-taxable federal lands, or $1.18 per acre.
The U.S. Department of Interior computes payments authorized under section 6902 of the Act using the greater of the following two alternatives:
The Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) federal program provides monetary compensation to local governments that contain non-taxable Federal lands such as National Forests, Bureau of Land Management public lands, National Parks, and other public lands. The revenue helps local governments provide essential services to Alaskan communities, such as firefighting and police protection, public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations.
On May 5, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L.115-31) which appropriated $465 million in discretionary funding for PILT. Based on the funding allocated, $464,600,000 is for payments nationwide to local governments and $400,000 is for administration of the program.
Local governments can use PILT funds for any governmental purpose and the funds are not required to be further distributed by counties/ boroughs to other local government units such as school districts or cities.
PILT program eligibility is reserved for local governments (mostly rural counties) that contain non-taxable Federal lands and provide vital services, such as public safety, housing, social services and transportation. These jurisdictions provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges and recreation areas throughout the year. PILT seeks to compensate local governments for their support and foregoing tax revenue from these Federal lands.
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