“Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) are Federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal lands within their boundaries. The PILT payments are distributed to local governments based on the number of acres of federal entitlement land within their borders and population. The payments seek to compensate local governments (mostly rural counties) for the vital services they provide and for the foregone tax revenue from these federal lands. While this is a major problem for western states, North Carolina has some federal land that allows it to collect PILT.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell recently announced $404.6 million to be distributed to roughly 1,900 local governments under the 2015 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.  California collects the most, with the next highest states being Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.

North Carolina will receive $3,900,613 in PILT payments for FY2015.  Overall there are 1,698,268 acres owned by the federal government in North Carolina.  The counties receiving the largest PILT are: Swain, Macon and Haywood counties.  For the entire list of NC Counties, click here.