WA Counties Will Get Close to $30 Million for Government Land That is Not Taxed

WA Counties Will Get Close to $30 Million for Government Land That is Not Taxed

In the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, there is a sign at one of the edges.

This year, the U.S. government will send nearly $30 million to Washington’s counties to reimburse them for federal land inside their borders that is not taxed.

Last week, the Interior Department told state and local governments across the country that they would get $621.2 million in Payments instead of Taxes. How much money each place gets is based on how many acres of government land it has and how many people live there.

Derek Young, temporary executive director for the Washington State Association of Counties, said, “These funds are very important to most of our counties.” He also said that the money is important in different ways, based on things like how much federal land a county has.

Young said, “In some cases, it makes up a big part of their general fund because they can’t get property taxes from those lands.”

Most Washington counties get between 60% and 80% of their money from property taxes, so when tens of thousands of acres are taken off the rolls, it can hurt.

On the other hand, the PILT program covers almost 1.5 million acres in Chelan County. The county got the most money from the state—$3.9 million.

The 2024 budget plan that the Chelan County commissioners passed in December planned to spend $56.9 million, but it also called for using reserves to make up a $2.6 million shortfall.

Okanogan County ($3.3 million), Whatcom County ($2.4 million), and Jefferson County ($1.9 million) are some of the other bigger Washington PILT recipients. The least amount of money was sent to Thurston County ($1,520).

Washington counties will get a total of $29.6 million in payments. The payments added up to $27.1 million in 2023.

The Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management all hold land that is being paid for.

The post-WA counties to get almost $30 million for federal land that isn’t taxed appeared first on Washington State Standard.


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