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OVER $100 MILLION GOES TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR TAX EXEMPT LANDS

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt today announced that payments totaling $103,205,555 have been sent to about 1,934 local government units across the country in accordance with the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Act of 1976.
 The annual payments are distributed to eligible units of general local governments by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The payments are intended to help offset the loss of revenue caused by the presence of certain tax-exempt federal land within local government boundaries.
 "These payments are beneficial to local governments, especially for sparsely populated counties that contain large acreages of tax-exempt federal lands," BLM Director Jim Baca said. "These payments help local governmental units provide such vital services as fire and police protection, search and rescue operations and road construction."
 As a result of decreases in prior year federal land payments, which act as a deduction in the PILT computational formula, the total amount paid to local units this year under the PILT program was about $3.8 million more than that paid last year.
 The BLM administers the PILT program because it is the largest single federal land management agency, with responsibility for over 270 million acres of public lands. Payments are made for tax-exempt federal lands administered by the BLM, Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and for federal water projects and some military installations. These monies are in addition to revenues from oil and gas leases and sales of minerals, timber and other materials and products derived from public lands which the federal government also shares with state and local governments.
 "While federal lands provide important local recreational and economic opportunities, their tax-exempt status can have fiscal impacts on the governmental units that surround them. This partnership is the federal government's way of helping to minimize those impacts," Baca said.
 Including the current payment, more than $1 billion has been returned to local governments since the program began.
 With the exception of Rhode Island, all states, plus Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are receiving PILT funds this year. The states whose counties will collectively receive the largest amounts are New Mexico, $10,595,126; California, $10,459,027; Utah, $8,885,822; Arizona, $8,696,248; Montana, $8,239,592; Idaho, $7,379,289 and Wyoming, $6,789,331.
 Following is a state-by-state breakdown of the FY 1993 payments.
 Alabama $ 139,175 Nebraska $ 351,861
 Alaska $ 4,347,805 Nevada $ 6,716,988
 Arizona $ 8,696,248 New Hampshire $ 94,332
 Arkansas $ 1,257,446 New Jersey $ 40,730
 California $10,459,027 New Mexico $10,595,126
 Colorado $ 6,285,256 New York $ 35,205
 Connecticut $ 18,850 North Carolina $ 1,269,779
 Delaware $ 9,576 North Dakota $ 549,463
 District of Columbia $ 49,513 Ohio $ 203,047
 Florida $ 1,281,825 Oklahoma $ 783,600
 Georgia $ 699,913 Oregon $ 2,843,000
 Hawaii $ 9,950 Pennsylvania $ 211,044
 Idaho $ 7,379,289 Rhode Island $ 0
 Illinois $ 313,252 South Carolina $ 302,709
 Indiana $ 212,652 South Dakota $ 1,228,642
 Iowa $ 127,815 Tennessee $ 472,483
 Kansas $ 337,818 Texas $ 1,309,563
 Kentucky $ 506,096 Utah $ 8,885,822
 Louisiana $ 156,088 Vermont $ 243,975
 Maine $ 95,200 Virginia $ 1,102,104
 Maryland $ 41,157 Washington $ 4,034,049
 Massachusetts $ 52,865 West Virginia $ 739,525
 Michigan $ 1,179,441 Wisconsin $ 411,283
 Minnesota $ 718,539 Wyoming $ 6,789,331
 Mississippi $ 327,514 Puerto Rico $ 22,292
 Missouri $ 1,015,777 Virgin Islands $ 10,918
 Montana $ 8,239,592 Guam $ 895
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Stewart of the Bureau of Land Management, 202-208-5717/


CO: Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: EXE

DT-DC -- DC012 -- 5901 09/27/93 11:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 27, 1993
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