Nye County will receive a 5.5 percent increase in PILT funding this year, the U.S. Department of Interior announced Wednesday.
The $3,326,751 payment is an increase from the $3,153,811 paid to the county in 2017.
The funding is placed into the Nye County General Fund, which helps subsidize the county's operations.
"PILT makes up about 10 percent of the County’s operating budget," said Lorinda Wichman, Nye County commissioner and commission liaison on federal land issues. "As many expenses increase each year this increase is significant."
PILT, short for Payments in Lieu of Taxes, are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries.
Using a formula provided by statute, the annual PILT payments to local governments are computed based on the number of acres of federal land within each county or jurisdiction and the population of that county or jurisdiction. Nye County, which is more than 95 percent federal lands, has 8.5 million acres used in the calculation.
County Manager Tim Sutton said the program is crucial and are used for a wide range of county services ranging including emergency response to county roads.
"Full funding of the PILT program for this year is promising," Sutton said. "We will continue to work with our federal legislators and lobbyists to remedy past underfunding of the program."
Nationally, there was $552.8 million in PILT money announced this year, including $27 million for communities in Nevada.