Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) welcomed Department of the Interior Secretary (DOI) Ryan Zinke to Nevada and applauded his announcement that the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program will receive a record $464.6 million in total funding for 2017 and Nevada will receive $26,184,790. Secretary Zinke touted DOI’s largest investment in the program’s history today in Pahrump, Nevada.

The PILT program makes it possible for local governments to maintain essential services in lieu of the ability to economically develop and tax federal land. Approximately 85 percent of Nevada’s land is owned by the federal government, and all of Nevada’s counties are burdened with management activities on federal lands—and the PILT program has properly reimbursed all 17 of Nevada’s counties for this important work. Heller has continuously stressed the importance of the PILT Program to Secretary Zinke and has advocated for its permanent reauthorization.

“As a vocal and outspoken supporter of the PILT program, I applaud Secretary Ryan Zinke for investing record resources in the program and sending a message I’ve long echoed to rural Nevada: you are not forgotten. Unlike other states, approximately 85 percent of Nevada lands are managed by the federal government, making the PILT program critical for local governments’ ability to maintain essential services like public safety and education,” said Heller. “I thank Secretary Zinke for recognizing the important role the program plays in our communities.”

“As a kid who grew up in northwest Montana and whose sons graduated from the same high school as I did, I know how important PILT payments are to local communities that have Federal lands. These investments are one of the ways the federal government is fulfilling its role of being a good land manager and good neighbor to local communities,” said Secretary Zinke. “Rural America, especially states out west with large federal land holdings, play a big part in feeding and powering the nation and also in providing recreation opportunities, but because the lands are Federal, the local governments don’t earn revenue from them. PILT investments often serve as critical support for local communities as they juggle planning and paying for basic services, such as public safety, fire-fighting, social services and transportation.”

 

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