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Friday, July 3, 2020

$4.4 Million PILT Payments for the U.P. -Ways to Maximize Income from Federal Forest in Delta County Michigan?

Delta County receives $311,404 in PILT Payments to support the community from taxes that they cannot collect on Federal properties. Since its not possible to collect taxes or develop the land for property tax purposes there is some value in trying to further maximize the financial value of natural resources beyond tax purposes. We may need to think a little outside the box to find additional ways to maximize value in a time when large protected natural swaths are having increased value for the world.  Here are a few ways to maximize the benefits:

1. Forest and natural resources have value when they are used to attract tourist dollars to the area. As people come to hike, bike, and do much more they sleep within Escanaba/Gladstone, eat, and spend money. You don't need only the PILT but also can maximize other opportunities such as branding the area, improving tourism and developing homegrown industries through tertiary benefits (I've got a working theory on that).

2. Improve Health, Community and Lifestyle by getting people involved in the natural resources. While it might be owned by the federal government it is still a local resource and people can use that for all types of activities that create stronger communities. COVID taught us that being outdoors and exercise is one of the best ways to fight and prevent the illness.

3. Consider the natural resources and wildlife that comes from the forest that raise the health of the ecosystem. We know we can get some wood burning, camp grounds, and hunting activities that have real value out of the natural resources. We should also consider the diversity to wildlife and the potential to raising the ecological benefits of the area in a way that improves branding, research (especially in the world of global warming), and other activities that impact the community in different ways through drawing university interest to fostering bio diverse wild species.

DELTA- County Acres 748,915.440  Stat Acres 68,651.110 Payment $311,404.64 State Ownership 9.17%

You can see the 2019 Annual Report Taxes and payments here. 

DNR page Here.

Bergman Announces $4.4 Million PILT Payments For First District Communities
Washington - Rep. Jack Bergman announced nearly $4.4 million in Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILT) funding for 2020. PILT funds are made available to local governments to help offset their inability to tax federal property. In total, the State of Michigan received close to $5.3 million for Fiscal Year 2020.

The payments are made annually for tax-exempt federal lands administered by U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) agencies including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and for federal water projects and some military installations.

"PILT funding is crucial for communities across Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Today’s PILT distribution announcement by the Department of Interior is great news, and will help ensure local governments with federal lands have the necessary funding to meet their education, public safety, and infrastructure needs. I am a proud advocate of PILT funding as a Member of Congress, and am grateful for this Administration’s work to carry out the program in its continued support of First District priorities.”
A full list of funding by State and county is available at www.doi.gov/pilt.


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