Congressman Scott Tipton has announced that the state of Colorado will receive approximately $35.6 million through the federal Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for fiscal year 2016, which is an approximate $2 million increase in funding from fiscal year 2015. Delta County's share is $577,642 for 404,369 acres.
The federal PILT program reimburses local governments for losses in tax revenues that are incurred due to the presence of large expanses of untaxable federal lands. On Nov. 23, 2015, Tipton joined a bipartisan group of his House colleagues in urging House leadership to prioritize funding for the PILT program. In a letter Tipton and his colleagues wrote:
"For FY16, the Department of the Interior has estimated $452 million will be necessary to fully fund PILT payments and ensure the federal government upholds its longstanding obligation to counties with public lands. If we fail to fully fund the PILT program by the end of the year, these counties will be unable to provide essential servicess, such as education, law enforcement, search and rescue, road maintenance and public health. Moving forward, we hope Congress can work together to end the ongoing uncertainty our communities face and enact a long-term sustainable solution to fully fund PILT."
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.