U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s bills include keeping PILT funds alive

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, used his membership on the Senate Appropriations Committee to secure funding for programs that will benefit Oregon, including another round of Payments in Lieu of Taxes.

“These bills include key investments to create jobs in the woods and reduce wildfire risk,” Merkley stated in his news release. “They support stakeholders working on collaborative water solutions so family farms have the irrigation water they need to make it to the next generation.”

Merkley’s billl includes $515 million for the PILT program to help counties that have large tracts of federal land for which property taxes are not paid. PILT payments account for more than $2 million annually to Malheur County’s General Fund.
Other programs included in Merkley’s legislation includes Community Development Block Grants, affordable housing, rural housing, homeless assistance grants, HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing and BUILD Grants that fund infrastructure projects.

Final passage of these bills are dependent on negotiations with the House, Merkley said.