Farm Bill Passage Mean Big Win for Wyoming Counties

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Everyone in Natrona County pays taxes on land, but nearly 50-percent of that land is federally-owned.

“So that's where payment in lieu of taxes comes in, the federal government owes that money to the states and to the counties because they own that land, not a private individual.” said Rob Hendry, County Commission, Vice Chairman.

“In 2000 counties around the country there's a lot of federal land holdings, that do not generate local property taxes, but take local services.” Said Bill McDowell, County Commission, Chairman

PILT funds $32 million, nearly seven percent of Natrona County's budget. Before PILT funding landed in this year's farm bill set to be signed on Friday. The county was only going to get half of what was owed.

We would've had to have some serious cuts in budgets like road and bridge, sheriff's department, detention centers, and its hard to cut those budgets. “The county's thrilled to get the money but for now... Commissioners call it a bandaid on the problem. “Its just a one year fix. So in reality we're held hostage every year by the federal government and we go begging on what is really due tax-wise on their land.” said Hendry.