Choctaw County among counties to receive payment in lieu of taxes

From Press Reports

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that counties in Mississippi would share $1.98 million in 2016 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced last Wednesday the distribution of 2016 PILT payments to local governments with tax-exempt federal property within their boundaries. This year’s $1,988,191 award to Mississippi is $154,248 more than the 2015 payment.

“The Payment in Lieu of Taxes payment is intended to help offset tax revenue losses in counties with federal properties, including wildlife refuges or national parks. The counties are free to use the funding to supplement their general budgets,” Cochran said.

Choctaw County will receive $9,633 for the 12,919 acres of federal property within its boundaries.

In all of Mississippi, 73 counties will receive 2016 PILT funding, with the five largest payments going to Lafayette County ($220,960), Yalobusha County ($171,684), Sharkey County ($140,873), Grenada County ($118,777), and Wayne County ($86,305).

Annual PILT payments are made for tax-exempt federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service. Federal water projects and some military installations are also considered in PILT payment evaluations.

Cochran is a senior member of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds the Interior Department and PILT program. The Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last week fully funds PILT for FY2017.