Cantwell Applauds On-Time Payments to Washington Counties

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded the announcement by Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to expedite Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments to qualifying Washington counties so that they would be on time and not a month late as recently predicted by the Department.  Several counties in Washington state rely on the funding to help offset losses in property taxes due to a large percentage of nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries.
“The Payment in Lieu of Taxes program is critical to keeping county governments functioning and meeting the needs of their citizens,” Senator Cantwell said. “Many rural counties are facing dire financial circumstances and cannot afford to wait an extra month to receive the payments they were counting on.  I applaud Secretary Salazar for expediting these payments that counties deserve for hosting and providing government services on and around federal lands.”
Senator Cantwell has long been a supporter of the Payment In Lieu of Taxes program. In 2007, she worked with her Senate colleagues to negotiate legislation to provide a one year extension for PILT.  She continued to work to negotiate a multi-year extension, which ultimately passed the Senate in October 2008.  The 2008 law, which is valid through 2012, provided full funding for PILT for the first time. Without this support, many rural communities would struggle to meet their basic needs such as adequate roads and good schools.