Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

County to get Payment in Lieu of Taxes money


July 5, 2017

Quay County is one of many counties across New Mexico that will be receiving more than $38.5 million through the 2017 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

“Funding for this year's PILT program was provided in the bipartisan budget agreement to fund the government through September as part of the Interior Department's Fiscal Year 2017 budget,” according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s office. “PILT provides federal payments to local governments because of non-taxable federal land within their boundaries, such as Bureau of Land Management land, national parks and forests.”

Local governments use PILT funds to help pay for police and fire protection, emergency response, schools, road maintenance and other services for residents with New Mexico being the third-highest recipient of PILT payments in the country, the release said.

Quay County will receive $4,751 from the 2017 Payment in Lieu of Taxes program that will be placed into the county’s general fund to be used for operational costs, said Richard Primrose, county manager.

Primrose said the federal payment for the 1,811 acres of Bureau of Land Management land in Quay County was expected. He said last year, the county received a $4,600 payment for the nontaxable federal land. The amount of money the county receives from the PILT program is too small to begin or finish a specific project, Primrose added.

“Any additional funds are welcomed with the looming federal cuts, recent state funding cuts,” Primrose said.

He said county officials are being extra vigilant with the budget; with the state’s budget shortfall, there could be limited, or no, capital improvement funds. He said there are also concerns about addressing the swept money from the law enforcement and fire protection funds as well as the reduction in funding to the county’s DWI compliance program.

According to the Department of the Interior, which administers the PILT program, annual PILT payments are calculated based on the number of acres of federal land within each county and the population of that county.


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