County receives additional PILT funds

By Sarah Meyer: PNT Staff Writer

New Mexico’s U.S. Senators announced last week that additional PILT funding has been released to New Mexico counties.

Roosevelt County will receive $9,186, in addition to $15,139 received in June.

According to a news release from Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., this is the first time Payment in Lieu of Taxes has been fully funded since 1994.

“These are hard times, so fully funding PILT is coming at the right time for our counties,” Domenici said in the news release. “This revenue source and the money to be paid in succeeding years should help our counties provide the services that our residents need.”

Roosevelt County Administrator Charlene Hardin said PILT payments go into the county’s general fund, which is dispersed across all departments.

“We’re happy to get the increase,” she said. However, the money “doesn’t have a huge impact here,” she added.

Hardin said the county’s annual budget is about $9 million.

New Mexico will get about $36 million in PILT payments, which are made to counties for federal land within their borders that cannot be made part of the tax base, according to a news release from Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

Curry County is the only county in New Mexico that does not receive PILT funds because it has no eligible federal lands within its borders.

“New Mexico counties fare very well this year with the additional PILT payments,” said Bingaman in the news release. “And with our nation’s economy in distress, this increased funding couldn’t have come at a better time.”

The additional payments are the result of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, passed by Congress in October, which fully funds PILT through 2012.