Reduction in PILT Monies Mean Less to Fund County Government
Missoula County’s Chief Financial Officer Andrew Czorny was caught short on Thursday morning when asked about the annual Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds from the federal government.
"This is a little confusing to me right now,” said Czorny. “It looks like on a statewide basis, if I’m reading the federal numbers correctly, statewide last years we got just over $40 million, and this year we’re only received about $34 million, so I’m not sure why there’s such a big decrease. In Missoula County last year we received $2.3 million and this year we’re receiving only $1.98 million and that’s a reduction of about $316,000.”
Czorny said the payments are based on a per-acreage charge that the federal government pays to forested counties for the federal lands that are not taxed, thus the term 'payment in lieu of taxes'.
“On a per acre basis last year we received $2.64 and this year we’re receiving only $2.27 per acre,” he said. “We added over 1,000 acres of new federal land, so it’s very confusing to me why we’re getting less money.”
Czorny has cause to be concerned. He said the reduction in funds will affect all areas of county government.
“We use it for general government purposes to support everything from the justice courts to the county attorneys, treasurer and financial services, facilities management, 9-1-1, all the general government functions are funded by these PILT payments,” he said. “Everybody gets less money across the board, and we’ll have to figure out how to deal with that.”
Czorny said that he would have to dig deep and ‘look for some answers’.
Following is a list of PILT monies to Montana counties.
List of funding by county:
|ANACONDA DEER LODGE COUNTY||$486,305|
|BIG HORN COUNTY||$16,147|
|GOLDEN VALLEY COUNTY||$78,992|
|JUDITH BASIN COUNTY||$272,173|
|LEWIS & CLARK COUNTY||$2,605,277|
|POWDER RIVER COUNTY||$231,405|
|SILVER BOW CENSUS CITY||$580,639|
|SWEET GRASS COUNTY||$584,106|