As the FY 2020 appropriations process begins, members of Congress in both the U.S. House and Senate have the opportunity over the coming weeks to submit written appropriations requests in support of all federal programs. During the week of March 18, House and Senate champions of the Payments In-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program began circulating letters calling on congressional appropriators to provide full-funding in FY 2020. They are currently seeking signatures from other House and Senate members before the signature deadline, which falls on March 28 for the House and April 1 for the Senate.
Without congressional action, nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states face the expiration of critical financial offsets for untaxable federal lands within their jurisdiction. These counties depend on PILT payments from the federal government to keep their communities afloat. PILT dollars allow local governments to provide critical health, education, cultural and emergency services to their residents and federal lands visitors. Failing to act to fulfill this long-standing obligation will leave county governments in 49 states with large revenue shortfalls and unable to provide mandatory, crucial services.
NACo urges county officials to contact your Representatives and Senators and ask them to support full funding of the PILT program in FY 2020 by signing onto their chamber’s PILT appropriations letter. The deadline to sign onto the House letter is March 28th. The deadline to sign the Senate letter is April 1.