Udall, Heinrich Announce Over $41 Million in 2020 PILT Payments for 32 NM Counties

Payments will provide essential funding to support schools, roads, first responders, and crucial services in rural communities at a difficult time for rural budgets

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced that 32 counties across New Mexico will receive $41,357,054 through the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The PILT funding will be used by local governments across New Mexico to provide crucial services to residents, such as public safety, fire protection, emergency response, road maintenance, and more. A full list of funding by county is available below.

PILT provides federal payments to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes because of nontaxable federal land within their jurisdictions, including national parks and forests, wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Land Management land. New Mexico counties received payments for over 22 million acres of nontaxable federal land. The $41 million for 2020 New Mexico funding was approved as part of $514.7 million included in the Department of Interior’s portion of the Fiscal Year 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was enacted into law in February with the support of Udall and Heinrich.

“PILT payments are a vital resource for communities across New Mexico, helping to support essential services like schools, roads, public safety and search and rescue operations,” said Udall, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. “I’m proud to continue working to deliver these critical payments for New Mexico, especially at a time when New Mexico counties are facing budget uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I urge the Senate to vote on permanent PILT funding. Without this guarantee, local governments are often left wondering whether they will receive payments they rely on to provide basic services. Local governments deserve predictable funding and budget certainty in order to properly plan for the future.  As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I’m committed to fighting for full, permanent PILT funding to make sure that New Mexico counties have the economic security and stability they need to thrive.” 

“Rural communities rely on PILT payments to provide basic services to residents like road maintenance and public safety services,” said Heinrich. “I am glad we were successful in securing this year’s PILT dollars, but we must still pass permanent funding to ensure that these critical services have the long-term stability they deserve. I will continue to advocate for permanent funding for PILT and the Secure Rural Schools program so that rural New Mexico counties have the budget certainty they need to succeed.”

The PILT program is administered by the Department of the Interior, which calculates annual payments to local governments based on the number of acres of federal entitlement land within each county and the population of that county. The lands include the National Forest and National Park Systems, lands in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge System, and areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  

The full list of New Mexico $41,357,054 in PILT payments for Fiscal Year 2020 is available below:

Bernalillo County, $228,158

Catron County, $680,804        

Chaves County, $3,375,473

Cibola County, $1,997,440 

Colfax County, $178,999   

De Baca County, $119,091    

Dona Ana County, $3,334,673

Eddy County, $3,735,551    

Grant County, $2,225,752     

Guadalupe County, $173,489

Harding County, $122,598      

Hidalgo County, $741,033     

Lea County, $1,183,659

Lincoln County, $1,930,200  

Los Alamos County, $95,190    

Luna County, $2,094,135

McKinley County, $1,020,531

Mora County, $270,831

Otero County, $3,466,522     

Quay County, $5,077

Rio Arriba County, $2,522,415

Roosevelt County, $30,308     

San Juan County, $2,422,565

San Miguel County, $912,525        

Sandoval County, $2,417,346

Santa Fe County, $805,449

Sierra County, $1,266,753  

Socorro County, $1,506,873   

Taos County, $1,897,930  

Torrance County, $341,746

Union County, $165,390      

Valencia County, $88,578