Santa Barbara County is one of 57 local state governments that will receive a portion of the $55.9 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2021.
Because local governments cannot tax federal lands, annual PILT payments help to defray costs associated with maintaining important community services. Santa Barbara County is receiving $2,007,496 for 2021. This revenue is deposited in the county’s General Fund similar to property taxes. It is used to pay for countywide services, including but not limited to public safety, health and human services, parks and recreation, and library services.
“This year’s distribution of $55.9 million to 57 counties will help local governments carry out vital services, such as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “Our mission relies on partnerships with U.S. states and territories. These disbursements are a great example of our commitment to be a good neighbor to the communities we serve.”
Annual PILT payments are made for tax-exempt federal lands administered by Department of the Interior agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation. The payments also cover federal lands administered by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Conservation Commission, and the U.S. Forest Service. The payments are calculated based on the number of acres of federal land within each county and the population of that county.