OR communities receiving almost $20 million in rural assistance funding

A contractor caulks siding before a new coat of paint is put on KBBI's exterior

A contractor caulks siding before a new coat of paint is put on KBBI's exterior. Credit Aaron Bolton KBBI News

Deschutes County is set to receive nearly $3 million ($2,292,489), Crook County will get almost a million dollars ($971,490) and $412,308 is going to Jefferson County.

The nearly $30 million Alaska will receive is part of a record $464.6 million that will be distributed to 1,900 local governments in the country this year.

Teton County received more than $1.94 million this year from the federal government to compensate for losses in property taxes from nontaxable federal lands. "Rural America, especially states out west with large federal land holdings, play a big part in feeding and powering the nation and also in providing recreation opportunities".

Annual PILT payments are calculated based on each county's acres of federal land and population.

Here's the list of Montana Counties receiving PILT funding this year.

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Generally the money is used for funding public services like firefighting or police work, infrastructure needs, or construction of important buildings like schools.

Funding for this year's PILT program was provided in the bipartisan budget agreement to fund the government through September, as part of the Interior Department's Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

The Interior Department collects more than $8.8 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on public lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting. But Lander, Nye and White Pine counties are all more than 90 percent federal.

Harold Blattie, Executive Director of the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) said there are no strings attached to how any county can spend the money given to them.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced yesterday Idaho will receive $30 million via Payments in Lieu of Taxes, a.k.a. Delta County will receive nearly $710,000 for more than 400,000 acres.

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