Chugach, Copper River census areas allocated PILT funds totaling $1.8M

Interior Department officials are distributing $35.4 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) to eligible local governments in Alaska, including $1,307,831 to the Chugach Census Area and $557,260 to the Copper River Census Area.

The payments, announced on June 15 by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, help to offset costs of maintaining a variety of community services. 

The PILT program provides annual payments to local governments in states that contain federal lands not subject to state or local taxation. This revenue supports local governments by providing essential services, including construction of public schools and roads, firefighting and police protection, and search-and-rescue operations.

As ranking member of the Senate Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, Murkowski worked to secure full funding at $578.8 million for the PILT program nationwide for fiscal year 2023.

Murkowski noted that over 60% of Alaska lands are controlled by the federal government, which creates taxing challenges for rural communities who need funding for essential projects and services.

The PILT funds will play a crucial role in allowing boroughs across the state to maintain public safety services and keep their schools up and running, the senator said.