Press Releases

Hickenlooper, Bennet Join Bipartisan Letter Requesting Full Funding for the PILT Program in Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Bill

Jun 1, 2022

The Payments in Lieu of Taxes program provides counties and local governments with critical funding for essential services
 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet joined a bipartisan group of 30 of their colleagues in urging U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and Richard Shelby, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, to fully fund the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for fiscal year (FY) 2023. PILT provides payments to counties with non-taxable federal land within their borders to offset the lost property tax revenue. 

“Without full funding for the PILT program, counties across the nation will be unable to provide essential services such as law enforcement, education, search and rescue, road maintenance and public health to their residents and millions of visitors to our public lands,” wrote Hickenlooper, Bennet, and their colleagues. “Moving forward, we look forward to working with you to enact a fiscally responsible, long-term solution to fully fund PILT and eliminate the uncertainty that counties face each year.”

PILT funding is critical for communities in Colorado and across the country that use these funds for essential services. Throughout the country, PILT provides critical resources to nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states. Counties have used these payments for more than 40 years to fund law enforcement, firefighting, emergency response, and other essential county services. As communities continue to contend with the aftermath of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, this funding also supports communities’ recovery efforts. Hickenlooper, Bennet, and the senators will continue working toward a long-term solution for PILT that will provide counties and local governments sustained funding and more predictability.

Last year, Hickenlooper and Bennet also signed a letter led by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Mike Crapo to include PILT funding in the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Bill, which led to securing $525 million for the PILT program in the bill. Colorado received $43 million of the PILT funds in the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Bill, the second most of any state. 

In addition to Hickenlooper and Bennet, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo, Maria Cantwell, Kevin Cramer, Amy Klobuchar, Mitt Romney, Mark Warner, James Risch, Steve Daines, Joe Manchin, Cynthia Lummis, Ron Wyden, Dan Sullivan, Jacky Rosen, Mike Rounds, Alex Padilla, James Inhofe, Debbie Stabenow, John Barrasso, Dianne Feinstein, Catherine Cortez Masto, Mazie Hirono, Kyrsten Sinema, Ben Ray Luján, Maggie Hassan, Mark Kelly, Jeanne Shaheen, Martin Heinrich, Bernie Sanders, Jon Tester, and Tim Kaine.

The text of the letter is available HERE and below.

Dear Chairman Leahy and Vice Chairman Shelby:

As Members of Congress representing counties with federal public lands within their boundaries, we write to request that you work to ensure the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program is fully funded in fiscal year (FY) 2023.

PILT provides critical resources to nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states to offset lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt federal lands within their jurisdictions. It supports the many critical services that counties provide on federal public lands. Without full funding for the PILT program, counties across the nation will be unable to provide essential services such as law enforcement, education, search and rescue, road maintenance and public health to their residents and millions of visitors to our public lands.

Moving forward, we look forward to working with you to enact a fiscally responsible, long-term solution to fully fund PILT and eliminate the uncertainty that counties face each year. As cash strapped counties across the country work to address budget cuts exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, full-funding and a long-term solution for PILT is essential to provide certainty that the federal government will continue to uphold its long-standing commitment to public lands counties.

We look forward to working with you and other Congressional leaders to resolve this pressing issue facing our communities by fully funding PILT in FY 2023 and ensuring long-term predictable funding for this important program.

Sincerely,

###

 

Recent Press Releases

Hickenlooper Backs Bill to Protect IVF From Republican Bans

Access to Family Building Act would protect reproductive help in post-Roe America WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper cosponsored the Access to Family Building Act, legislation that would establish a statutory right to access in-vitro...

read more

Hickenlooper Advances Renomination of Su to Lead Labor Dept

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper voted to advance Acting Secretary Julie Su to serve as the next Secretary of Labor. Su has served as Acting Secretary since March 2023 when former Secretary Walsh left the position. Republicans previously refused to...

read more