N.M. counties to see increase in PILT payments

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By The Staff

Under a new law signed this week, Los Alamos County and other counties statewide will receive additional money in PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) payments through 2012.

Los Alamos, however, will see a slight decrease in what it receives. It received $48,792 in June and $49,344 in 2007.

PILT payments are funded to counties by the federal government for lost revenue on public land, and were included in the economic rescue plan passed by Congress and signed by President Bush last Friday.

The Bureau of Land Management is still in the process of calculating those increases, so they are not yet available.

Sen. Pete Domenici’s office released a statement last week announcing the increase in PILT payments.

Under the PILT program, which benefits 32 of New Mexico's 33 counties, Domenici said the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act significantly increases the payments.

The PILT program is fully funded by the bill through 2012, which means counties could see a 20 to 30 percent increase in their PILT payments.

According to a press release from the senator's office, the new law also extends the U.S. Forest Services’ Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination payment program for four years, providing a significant first-year payment increase for 22 New Mexico counties.

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