Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

County to receive $4,623 in PILT money


June 24, 2014

QCS Staff

Quay County will receive $4,623 in “payments in lieu of taxes” from the U.S. Department of the Interior this year, again the lowest amount of any county in the state, except Curry, which gets no such funds.

The reason, according to County Manager Richard Primrose, is that Quay County has the smallest amount of federal entitlement property in the state. Quay County only has about 1,200 acres of land owned by the federal government, Primrose said.

The next lowest county in terms of federal land payments to replace taxes, Roosevelt County, receives nearly six times what Quay receives, according to information from the Department of the Interior. Roosevelt County receives $27,568. The best-paid county, Eddy County, receives $3.4 million in such payments from the Interior Department.

In all, the state has received $37,677,905 this year in tax replacement funds.

If the land were taxed at going property tax rates in New Mexico, Primrose said, the revenues to counties would be more.

The tax-replacement program is administered through the Department of the Interior and provides funding for mostly rural counties that have a limited ability to levy taxes due to the amount of federal property in their jurisdiction, according to a joint news release from U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, both Democrats. Such non-taxable federal lands include acreage controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, national parks and forests, and military bases.

“Local governments use PILT funding to provide many crucial services to residents, the news release said.”

According to the Interior Department, the annual tax replacement payments are computed based on the number of acres of federal entitlement land within each county and the population of that county. The lands include the National Forest and National Park Systems, areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management, those affected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water resource development projects, and others. In 2013, New Mexico counties received $34,692,967 in PILT Payments.


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