Merkley Statement on PILT Funding Announcement

– Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on the Department of Interior’s announcement of Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding being sent to local governments today:

“Oregon taxpayers don’t have the luxury of waiting to pay their property taxes, and the federal government shouldn’t either.  Many of the rural counties across Oregon have large tracts of federal land, which don’t pay property taxes, and they count on the PILT program to fund vital services for their communities, including public safety, social services, transportation and housing.   Without these PILT funds, county workers would be laid off and vital services would be cut.

“I’m glad the federal government understood that holding these funds was unacceptable, and I thank Secretary Salazar for making these payments happen today.  Times are tough enough in rural Oregon without the federal government making it even harder.”

A copy of the Department of Interior’s announcement can be found here.