The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 15, 2013

Seven southern counties receive $1.6 million

From staff reports

— Seven counties in southern West Virginia are getting a share of $1.6 million accorded in the 3rd Congressional District from the Department of the Interior, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., announced Friday.

Rahall said the money is being provided for counties and schools in forest communities through the department’s Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

“This funding has been extremely important, critically so in many cases, in assisting schools and communities in rural counties across our state,” Rahall said.

“These funds, which flow directly to local governments, are intended to compensate localities for lands within their boundaries owned by the federal government.”

More than 17 million acres in the 3rd District qualify for such funding.

Among the bigger payments assigned in the district were Pocahontas County, $748,081, the highest check in the state; Webster County, $158,794; Greenbrier, $260,423; Nicholas, $87,845; Wayne, $86,740; Summers, $57,172; and Monroe, $48,699.

In all, PILT funding amounted to $2,892,560 in West Virginia.

Under federal law, local governments are compensated for revenue they lose over an inability to collect property taxes on national forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands.