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Lawrence County gets $300K from forest service

August 9, 2018

PEDRO — Each year, the USDA Forest Service contributes to the local economy through several ways including Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, Twenty-Five Percent Fund Act of 1908, and Federal Mineral Payments.

In 2018, Ohio counties have received $1,084,785.13 as of June 29. In addition, funds were also paid for road projects, cooperative law enforcement agreements, and volunteer fire department support.

Lawrence County, with more than 75,000 acres of national forest land, has received a total of $291,955.53.

The Department of the Interior reports that more than 1,900 local governments around the country received $552.8 million in PILT funding in 2018. This is the largest amount ever allocated in the program’s 40-year history. Congress authorizes PILT to compensate county governments for private property taxes forgone due to public ownership.

Funds are also provided to counties for roads and schools through the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2018, Congress reauthorized the act, which included retroactive payments to states for FY17. Funds are distributed to counties based on national forest acres within the county.

The Payments to States Act of 1908 mandates that 25 percent of all receipts received from commercial activities on national forests including timber, grazing, special-use permits, power and mineral leases, and admission and user fees are returned to states in which the national forests are located, for public schools and public roads. The United States Department of Agriculture made the 25-percent payments to states under the 1908 Act for FY17 in February of 2018.

The Department of the Interior distributes mineral payments from federal mining activities (lease sales, royalties, rents, and bonus payments) on federal land with the state where the activity took place.

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