Mesa County to receive more federal land money

The federal government is sending more money than last year to Mesa County in the form of payments in lieu of taxes.

Mesa County is to receive more than $3.3 million in payments in lieu of taxes this year. In 2013, the Interior Department sent just more than $3.1 million to Mesa County.

In all, payments in lieu of taxes to local governments in Colorado will amount to $34.5 million, up from $32 million in 2013.

The federal payment came in $148,000 greater than county officials had estimated, commission Chairman John Justman said.

Officials have no immediate plans for the PILT surplus, Justman said.

Payments in lieu of taxes are intended to aid local governments with large tracts of federal land that can’t be taxed.

Other western Colorado counties also received payments in lieu of taxes, including Delta, $165,000, and Garfield, $3 million.

Montrose County received nearly $2.3 million and Rio Blanco County got $540,000.

The formula used to compute the payments is based on population, receipt-sharing payments and the amount of federal land within affected counties. The payments are separate from other federal revenues shared with states, such as mineral lease revenues, livestock grazing and timber harvesting.


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