weather icon Clear

Nye County receives $3 million from federal government

The vast amount of federally-owned land in Nye County may not generate taxable revenue on a yearly basis, yet it recently brought a chunk of cash into the county’s budget.

As part of a second disbursement of Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT funding, from the United States Department of Interior that was announced by Gov. Brian Sandoval last week, Nye County received an additional $241,550 in October as a compensation for federal lands that don’t deliver tax revenue.

PILT payments are made annually to local governments that have non-taxable federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and for federal water projects and some military installations.

About 83 percent of Nevada’s land and 92 percent of land in Nye County are controlled by the federal government.

Along with the June payment of $2,834,250, this year’s total for Nye County comes to over $3 million. County officials said both payments will become part of the annual revenue that is budgeted into the county’s general fund.

“It can be used for any operating expenses,” Nye County Commission Chairperson Lorinda Wichman said.

Over the last five years, Nye County cut almost 90 employees due to budgetary issues. The county’s general fund budget, which pays for day-to-day operations, is down by $3.9 million from its peak in 2009, according to the recent data. To offset some of the budgetary shortfalls, the county officials recently have been looking at several fund-cutting measures, including slashing funds for the Pahrump Valley Museum and the Central Nevada Museum in Tonopah.

With the total payment of $3,075,800, Nye County stands behind Clark County that received $3.3 million, Washoe County, $3.4 million, and Elko County $3.4 million.

“PILT payments provide local governments with the necessary funds to pay for critical infrastructure needs in cities and towns across Nevada. Additionally, it allows local leaders to prepare to meet the demands of our growing communities,” Sandoval said. “I would like to thank the members of our congressional delegation for their hard work in securing this additional money. I would also like to recognize the Department of the Interior for fulfilling its obligation to compensate local communities for the land owned by the federal government in Nevada.”

Disbursements for PILT are based on population, receipt sharing payments and the amount of federal land within an affected county.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Highway 160 roadwork wraps up Monday

Drivers in the Pahrump Valley will be glad to know that by Monday, the roadwork on Highway 160 through the heart of town is expected to be completed and traffic in the area will soon resume its normal pace on a new and much smoother asphalt surface.

Landlords urged to add low-income units in Nye County

The Nevada Rural Housing Authority is seeking landlords to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program. There’s a critical need for more low-income units here.

Why Nye County voters won’t be deciding on a new diesel tax this year

Last year, the Nye County Commission authorized the placement of a question on the 2022 ballot, asking voters whether or not the county should establish its own 5-cent diesel tax to help fund the road department’s activities across the third largest county in the U.S. But a missed deadline means that won’t happen this year.

Environmental consulting group will help water board secure grants for projects

The Nye County Water District has been in operation for more than a decade and while the body has managed to accomplish certain items in that time, much of its duties have gone unmet. This was one of the reasons behind the decision to recall all of the water board’s members in late 2021 and essentially reestablish a new board. That board is now is working to remedy previous issues and one path it is pursuing is additional funding sources that can help expand the water district’s ability to meet its mission statement.

Diaper Run to benefit Pahrump’s First Choice Pregnancy Center

The 14th Annual Diaper Run will take place this September and the cost is just $20 per rider, plus a package of diapers. For passengers, the cost is $15 plus a pack of unscented baby wipes. Registration includes lunch, which will be served at the conclusion of the poker run.

Nevada still struggling with unemployment claims

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation is working through a backlog of unemployment claims amid low staff levels.