Dept. of the Interior Program Helps Counties with Federal Lands, Installations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today announced that 72 counties in Mississippi with tax-exempt, federal property will receive $2.32 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments for 2020.

The U.S. Department of the Interior issues the PILT payments to counties, with local officials retaining authority to allocate the funds that can be used to support public safety, public schools, social services, or infrastructure.

“While Mississippians appreciate that the federal government doesn’t own vast tracks property in our state like it does in other states, Mississippi is proudly home to national forests, wildlife refuges, and military installations.  These qualify host counties for welcomed PILT funds to offset revenues lost from hosting tax-exempt federal property,” Hyde-Smith said.

Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the PILT program.

The largest FY2020 PILT payments for Mississippi include $255,000 to Lafayette County, $191,955 to Yalobusha County, $143,896 to Pike County, $129,000 to Grenada County, $124,147 to Sharkey County, and $102,897 to Wayne County.  At complete list of the PILT payments to Mississippi is available here.

PILT payments are issued annually for tax-exempt federal lands administered by Interior Department agencies, including the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The payments also account for lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service, as well as federal water projects and some military installations.  Awards are made on a formula based on population, revenue-sharing payments, and the amount of federal land in a county.