Monday, Jan. 20 Senator Michael Bennet along with leaders and policy makers from throughout Western Colorado visited Mesa County to discuss PILT. The Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes program is a federal subsidy to county governments to help pay for lost tax revenue on federal and public lands. In Mesa County there is approximately 73% public lands. That means that land cannot be purchased or developed and the County collects no property tax for that land. Congress approved the fiscal '14 budget last week and cut funding to the PILT program. In Mesa County that amounts to a $3.1 million dollar loss of revenue, or 5.7% of our 2014 operating budget. This is on top of the 5% of cuts the County has already weathered. Sen. Bennet along with Sen. Udall and Congressman Tipton are scrambling to find a way to restore this much needed funding. Currently Sen. Bennet is working to include funding for PILT in the Farm Bill being debated in Washington. He visited Mesa County to talk to commissioners about this and other needs facing our communities.
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