by Adam Droge
SALT LAKE CITY — The Senate Natural Resources committee passed SCR6 Thursday, Feb. 6, a bill that calls on congress to provide Payment in Lieu of Taxes to those counties to which they are owed.
Payments in Lieu of Taxes are money the government pays to counties in which it owns land as a substitute for the income lost from the county’s inability to collect property taxes on the land.
Sen. Ralph Okerland, R-Monroe, said, “There are a lot of federal lands in our counties. We’re unable to tax those lands, so the only opportunity we have to get any revenue is from the [Payment in Lieu of Taxes]”
Okerland said that there are several counties in Utah that rely on Payment in Lieu of Taxes because of the high percentage of federal land in those counties.
Congress has been providing the Payment in Lieu of Taxes for years past, but not as nearly as much as they should. Thus SCR6 is a call on Congress to provide a permanent multi-year funding of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program.
The bill passed the committee with a unanimous vote.