U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today discussed the Payment-in-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) programs during a Senate Energy and Natural Recourse Committee hearing on steps Congress can take to ensure that the federal government keeps its commitments to rural communities.
"The federal government is broke, and we can't continue to pay counties not to utilize the lands within their boundaries," Murkowski said. "We need to address head on the fact that federally-owned land has a profound impact on the fiscal and economic base of a community, as well as on its social fabric."
PILT is a permanent program that provides compensation to local governments from the loss in tax revenue from nontaxable federal lands within their communities. Secure Rural Schools is a temporary program that was designed to help communities transition from timber sales decline.