Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) announced that the state of Colorado will receive approximately $40.1 million through the federal Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for fiscal year 2018. This is the largest amount of money ever allocated in the program's 40-year history.
The federal PILT program reimburses local governments for losses in tax revenues that are experienced due to the presence of large areas of non-taxable public lands.
Delta County will receive payment of $968,465, based on 404,447 acres of non-taxable public lands.
"Many counties in Colorado's Third District have broad expanses of non-taxable public lands and PILT helps to bridge the budgetary challenges created by the inability to collect tax revenues," said Tipton. "I look forward to seeing these resources go back to communities in western Colorado and support essential services such as education, infrastructure, and law enforcement."
Delta County administrator Robbie LeValley said PILT payments are split between road and bridge, general fund, economic development fund, and to pay for the local oil and gas conservation commission designee. Delta County always budgets the PILT payments the year following when the dollars are received. Therefore, $968,465 will be put into the 2019 budget.
"This allows us to actually know what dollars are in the county before we plan to spend the funds," LeValley said.
The Department of Interior collects more than $9.6 billion annually from profitable activities on public lands. A portion of these revenues is shared with the states and counties. The balance is deposited in the U.S. Treasury, which in turn pays for various federal programs, including PILT.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.