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Letter: Feds do pay states for public lands

Published April 30, 2014 4:36 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"Payments in Lieu of Taxes" (PILT) are federal payments to local governments that help offset income loss. PILT recognizes the inability of local governments to collect property taxes on federally owned lands that could create a financial impact to local communities.

The federal government has distributed more than $6.3 billion since 1977. Nevada alone has received $375 million in PILT since 1977. In Nevada, in 2013, $23,331,913 was allocated. Clark County alone received $4,826,655.

Under the Taylor Grazing Act of 1976, ranchers are granted permits and receive "preference" to renew at the end of 10 years. They do not obtain title to federal lands nor do they have exclusive rights to federal lands.

Cliven Bundy and his lawless cohorts should recognize the amount of federal money given to Clark County. He should pay his grazing fees according to the Taylor Grazing Act and abide by the established laws. If he still owes $1 million in grazing fees, he should be denied participation in federal lands use until he completes the payments.

Dell Vaughn McDonald

Holladay