The 2014 omnibus spending legislation passed by the US Congress contains no funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program, commonly known as PILT. This program helps offset the loss in property tax revenue that results from the presence of federally owned land within the County.
The County of Nevada is predominantly funded through property taxes, yet a significant amount of the land throughout the County is not subject to property tax because it is owned by the federal government. The County is still obligated to provide law enforcement and other services, even if land is federally owned. In fiscal year 2013, California was the largest recipient of PILT money, with over $41 million received. Nevada County received approximately $250,000 in PILT payments for fiscal year 12/13. Several lawmakers and the House leadership have given assurances that PILT funding was excluded from the spending legislation for technical reasons, and will be included in separate legislation, most likely the Farm Bill.
While we are concerned that PILT funding was not included in the 2014 omnibus spending bill, we remain hopeful that the assurances of lawmakers will translate into inclusion of PILT funding into the Farm Bill, or another legislative vehicle.
(Courtesy Nevada County Friday Memo)