The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: Mesa County should join PILT lawsuit
Author: The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Editorial Board - July 17, 2018 - Updated: July 17, 2018
Mesa County received the most money from the federal government’s Payment in Lieu of Taxes program of any government in the state this year — nearly $3.6 million involving 1.5 million acres of land.
It’s a significant source of revenue for counties that have vast tracts of non-taxed federal land. PILT money makes a compelling case for why transferring management or ownership of federal public lands to the states could hurt places like Mesa County. What happens to PILT money with a state takeover? But that’s a question for another editorial.
Today’s point is that the federal government made good on its obligation this year. It hasn’t always, leaving Mesa County, Garfield County and others eligible to recover underpayments made between 2015 and 2017.