Mesa County gets 2 percent boost from tax program

Mesa County is to receive a 2 percent-plus boost in pay from the U.S. Department of the Interior under the payments in lieu of taxes program.

The county is to receive $3,461,667, up from the $3,382,219 it received last year, for lands on which the county is unable to levy a property tax, but which also require county law enforcement and other services.

Colorado counties received $36.6 million, the largest share of which went to Mesa County, or $2.23 per acre of federal land in the county.

Nationwide, the Interior Department distributed $464.6 million to 1,900 local governments around the nation, the largest distribution in the 40-year history of the program, underscoring “the Trump administration’s commitment to rural America,” the Interior Department said.

The increase is “absolutely” welcome in Mesa County, which is expecting to dip into reserves this year, County Administrator Frank Whidden said. “Now we just want to see the check.”

Payments to other western Colorado counties were: $712,000 to Delta County; $3.1 million to Garfield County; just under $2.5 million to Montrose County and $553,000 to Rio Blanco County.


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