Payment in Lieu of Taxes payments last year increased nearly 4% from 2005 for Wyoming.
Total payments statewide climbed to about $15.2 million, up from $14.8 million a year earlier, announces the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.
Natrona County, about 43% federally owned, received nearly $1.95 million as the highest Wyoming payment in 2006, notes Tom Foulke, UW College of Agriculture Agricultural and Applied Economics Department associate research scientist.
Payments to individual counties vary widely based on the amount of federal land in the area. The lowest payment, $14,000, was to Laramie County where only 1% of the land is federally-owned.
"Federal lands are not subject to property taxes that support county governments and education," explains Foulke. "Local communities, however, play an important role in supporting the management of federal lands."
In 1976, Congress authorized federal land management agencies to share income with states and counties by creating the PILT program to replace lost tax revenue.
"The PILT program helps counties make up for 'lost' revenue that the counties would normally collect through property taxes if the land were privately held," says Foulke.