WASHINGTON, D.C. – Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee are supporting an amendment to the omnibus government funding bill introduced by Sen. John Barrasso that would fully fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT, program. The amendment, paid for by reducing U.S. spending on overseas programs, would provide $421 million for PILT in fiscal year 2014. Local governments will receive federal payments under the PILT program to help compensate for the loss of property tax revenue due to non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries.
“More than 60 percent of the land in Utah is owned by the federal government, which means that communities across the state cannot collect property taxes to help fund basic community needs,” Hatch said. “PILT ensures that Utahns have access to the services they need even though the federal government owns such a significant amount of land in our state. Utah’s county commissioners have repeatedly stressed to me how important the PILT program is, and I sincerely hope this fight to fully fund this necessary program is successful.”
“For many counties in Utah, these PILT payments represent a large percentage of annual budgets,” Lee said. “Police, schools, and infrastructure maintenance all rely heavily on these payments. The failure to fund this program in a 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill is simply stunning. That failure is precisely why I am cosponsoring this amendment which would cut wasteful programs and fully fund PILT.”
In addition to Hatch and Lee, the amendment is supported by Sens. Mike Enzi, Dean Heller, James Inhofe, James Risch, Jeff Flake, Mike Crapo and John Hoeven.
The funding for PILT is offset by reductions of $421 million from the following international climate change programs under the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act:
- U.S. contributions to the Global Environment Facility – $143.75 million
- U.S. contributions to the Clean Technology Fund – $184.63 million
- U.S. contributions to the Strategic Climate Fund – $49.9 million
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – $10 million
- Sustainable landscape programs in the bilateral economic assistance through the economic support fund – $32.72 million.
The Global Environment Facility is an international financial institution that receives U.S. contributions to help address global climate change and other environmental issues.
The Clean Technology Fund and Strategic Climate Fund are investment trust funds administered by the multilateral development banks which finance low-carbon technologies and climate-resilient development in foreign countries.
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Submitted by: The Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch
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