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Idaho counties to receive nearly $16 million by end of the month

Washington, DC â?? The Idaho congressional delegation is pleased with the Interior Departmentâ??s announcement today that Idaho counties will receive $15.8 million in Payment In Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) from the federal government. That is up 4 percent from the previous year and represents a significant boost to local county coffers. Elmore, Cassia and Blaine counties each will receive over $1 million in PILT funds. Each one of the 44 counties in the state will receive funds. A copy of the full list of payments to Idaho counties accompanies this news release. The delegation said, â??In a state like Idaho, where so much of the land is owned by the federal government, PILT funds provide a much-needed offset to counties. Rural counties have infrastructure needs and must pay for essential services like law enforcement, schools, and firefighting. When a large portion of the county is exempt from taxes, that makes funding those efforts very difficult. Todayâ??s announcement of the 2005 PILT funds for Idaho and other states is very welcome. We are also very pleased that the funds will be available before the end of the month, which will be in advance of the end of the fiscal year for many counties.â?? The PILT payments should be sent out on or about June 24, 2005. The funds have been used to help improve local schools, water and road systems. The funds are collected by Interior Department for commercial and recreational activities on federal lands. In 2005, the Department will collect nearly $13 billion for such activities. The payments are made for federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Forest Service, Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water projects and some military installations.