Natrona County Commissioner Pleads for PILT Payments
Natrona County Commissioner Forrest Chadwick travelled to Washington D.C. this week to press members of Congress for support of reliable and sustainable funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program. Chadwick is representing Wyoming’s 23 counties at the National Association of Counties’ PILT Fly-In, which brought in nearly 30 county officials from across the country to seek support for funding PILT in 2015 and beyond.
The PILT program provides local governments with funding to partially offset losses in property tax due to non-taxable Federal lands within their borders. The program has been in jeopardy, however, and the past several years of funding have only been approved by the federal government on a year-to-year basis. In 2014, Wyoming received $27.1 million from the program. Natrona County received nearly $3.5 million of that amount.
“Natrona is just one of many counties in Wyoming that would face a severe hardship if PILT funding were to lapse,” said Chadwick. “In Wyoming we value self-sufficiency, but in counties that have large amounts of federal lands we are not allowed to raise the funds necessary to fix roads and provide emergency services. Our goal is to receive an assurance that these federal payments for the land the federal government holds will be predictable and stable so we don’t have to do this annual dance.”