Bennet Ensures LWCF, PILT Included in Year-End Bill

Bill Fully Funds PILT for FY 2016

Bennet Pledges to Continue Fight for Permanent Reauthorization, Full Funding for LWCF

Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet secured funding for both the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program - both of which are top Colorado priorities - in a bill to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2016.

"We've heard from Coloradans about how important both LWCF and PILT are to their communities," Bennet said. "PILT ensures that rural communities throughout our state have the resources they need to provide crucial services like road maintenance, emergency response, and law enforcement to their residents.

"LWCF is one of our country's most successful conservation programs. It has benefitted both urban and rural communities alike, helping to preserve parks, rivers and forests and increasing the public's access and recreational opportunities in these places. We're glad it received a three-year extension, but we will continue to fight for its permanent reauthorization and full funding in the years to come," Bennet added.

Since coming to the Senate, Bennet has fought to secure funding for both LWCF and PILT. Earlier this year, he introduced a bill to permanently fund both programs. He also introduced a bipartisan bill with Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire to permanently reauthorize the LWCF.

PILT, which is fully funded at $452 million for FY 2016, provides federal payments to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes because of nontaxable federal land within their boundaries. The formula used to calculate PILT payments is based on population, receipt sharing payments, and the amount of federal land within an affected county. In late November, Senator Bennet led a bipartisan coalition of 37 Senators urging Senate leaders to fully fund PILT in the bill.

Authorization for LWCF expired on September 30, 2015. This bill extends the Fund for three years and provides $450 million for FY 2016. Many national parks, forests, state parks, and urban parks across Colorado have received LWCF funding. This bill provides nearly $20 million in designated funding for projects in Colorado at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area, Blanca Wetlands Special Recreation Management Area, the Rio Grande National Forest and the Toll Properties in Roosevelt National Forest.

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