Murray to leaders: Provide funding for communities with federal land

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) urged Senate leadership to pass legislation by the end of the year to fund the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) programs.

“From funding local police forces to supporting public schools, these programs are vital to counties impacted by non-taxable federal land, so I will continue working to ensure the PILT and SRS programs are renewed in any legislation passed by Congress before the year’s end,” Murray said Tuesday.

{mosads}PILT funds go to emergency services, police, health, schools and prison facilities, particularly helping rural areas with large amounts of public land.

Murray sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) requesting “full funding” of PILT and SRS because not all communities can rely on property taxes to fund local services.

“Moving forward, we hope that we can work together to seek a long-term solution to provide a consistent and stable source of funding for the nation’s counties containing federal lands,” the letter stated. “As we approach the end of the 113th Congress, however, we urge you to consider the economic hardship and uncertainty that these counties will face if the PILT program is not given consistent funding.”

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