PILT

Dan Bammes

Elected officials from Utah’s rural counties are watching the big omnibus spending bill closely as it moves through Congress.  It includes some critical funding they depend on.

Congressman Rob Bishop

  Utah’s 1st District Congressman is hoping he can claim a key committee chairmanship that would give Utah a significant advantage in Congress.  That was one of the messages Republican Rob Bishop brought to the Utah legislature today. 

Dan Bammes

UPDATE:  Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT1) met yesterday with House leadership, including Speaker John Boehner and budget committee chair Paul Ryan.  Bishop says he's been assured funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program will be included in an upcoming appr0priations bill, though not in the combined spending bill the House will be voting on Wednesday.

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  Members of Utah’s Congressional delegation are trying to save federal funding for rural counties. Losing it could hurt some counties badly. 

Dan Bammes

  The Secretary of the Interior is trying to persuade Republicans in Congress not to eliminate funding for a land conservation program by linking it to another they typically support.  

Secretary Sally Jewell held a conference call with reporters to point out the economic activity linked to tourism, energy production and other activities on public land.  She put it at more than 13-billion dollars, well above the total budget of 11-point-9 billion for the whole department.

Dan Bammes

  Rural counties in Utah will get less money this year from the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program, or PILT.  The federal government provides the funding to counties with large areas of public land.  Garfield County has more than two million acres of federal land, but this year it will get just over $800,000 dollars from the PILT program.

County Commissioner Leland Pollock says providing services on federal land is a burden on local taxpayers.

Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge
Dan Bammes

Counties across Utah are getting more than $36 million from the federal government this year under the Payment In Lieu of Taxes, or PILT program.  The money is meant to help counties provide services such as search and rescue and firefighting in areas where there's a lot of federal land.