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Trump Budget Would Cut PILT Funding to Rural Communities

Sparsely-populated rural counties with large amounts of public land stand to lose the most if the Trump Administration succeeds in cutting funding to the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.
June 30, 2017, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Emily Guerin reports on the uncertain fate of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which funds fire fighting, search and rescue, and other basic services on non-taxable federal lands.

"The Department of Interior announced this week its largest PILT allocation ever, and California, the largest recipient of PILT money, netted $48 million out of a nationwide total of $464 million," reports Guerin. But while the Interior Department touted this year's allocation as evidence of the Trump Administration's support for rural communities, the budget administration's draft budget for 2018, released earlier this year, would cut that spending by almost 17 percent. 

Guerin's coverage focuses on the rural areas of Southern California, such as Imperial County. For more on the specific effects of Trump's budget around the rest of the country, see an interactive map showing how the president's budget proposal cuts payments for every county in the nation, created by Mark Haggerty, an economist with Headwaters Economics.

The possible decrease in PILT funding was not the only bad news regarding federal support for rural communities to hit the wires in June. Earlier this month, Planetizen shared a story about USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue abolishing the position of Under Secretary of Rural Development—a position that oversees the Office of Rural Development and its $216 billion budget.

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Published on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 in KPCC
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