In a statement released Thursday, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced counties in New Mexico will receive more than $34 million through the 2013 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. Of that, Chaves County is set to receive $2,860,983.
The U.S. Department of the Interior administers the PILT program, which provides funding for mostly rural counties that have a limited ability to levy taxes due to the amount of federal property in their jurisdiction, such as Bureau of Land Management land, national parks and forests and military bases.
PILT funding is used to provide police and fire services and also goes toward local schools, housing and transportation.
“PILT payments are important to New Mexico and I’m glad to see these payments continue for our rural communities,” Udall said in the release. “As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will be doing everything I can to ensure PILT is fully funded into the future so our county governments can continue providing critical services to their residents.”
Heinrich said in the release that PILT funding helps maintain “the economic strength of our rural communities by providing safer roads, better schools, and thousands of local jobs.”
“While New Mexico’s share of PILT funding would have been higher without sequestration, I am pleased this program is helping counties provide critical services on which New Mexicans rely,” he said.