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Congressman Rob Bishop

Representing the 1st District of Utah

Bishop Fights for Increased PILT Payments

June 27, 2007
Press Release
The U.S. House of Representatives today approved, by voice vote, an amendment submitted by Reps. Chris Cannon and championed by Congressman Rob Bishop to redirect $20 million to increase funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program in 2007. Through PILT, the Interior Department makes payments to counties to make up for property taxes counties can not collect on federal lands located within their boundaries.

"We have to lessen the local burden of federal land ownership, and this amendment does just that," Congressman Bishop said. The northern Utah lawmaker, who serves as the top Republican on the Parks and Public Lands Subcommittee, added, "When a majority of their lands are locked away, our counties struggle to produce enough revenue just to survive and provide essential services. PILT is simply a small effort to right this huge wrong. We were successful last year in joining with our Western colleagues and increasing PILT funding and I'm glad we could do it again. It's still not enough, but we are moving in the right direction."

Because local governments are unable to tax the property values or products derived from federal lands, PILT payments support vital community services such as education, environmental compliance, law enforcement, health care, search and rescue operations, and other important community services.

Mr. Cannon sponsored the successful amendment today which was also backed by Representatives Udall, Salazar, Matheson and Musgrave.

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