Alcona receives nearly $100K in PILT

HARRISVILLE Alcona County will receive a windfall of $99,273 from the U.S. Department of the Interior this year to offset property tax losses caused by non-taxable federal lands, officials said Thursday. The program is known as Payments in Lieu of Taxes.

Alcona County Commissioner Kathleen Vichunas said she was happy when she heard the payment amount.

“We had anticipated $50,000 for the 2013 budget,” she said. “It’s nice to see an almost double PILT payment.”

The county also is anticipating a $6,000 PILT payment from the state, she said.

The federal program is based on a formula that includes the number of acres of federal land within the county and the population. Michigan will receive more than $4.1 million, with the largest payments of over $450,000 going to Gogebic and Mecosta counties, said Kathleen Long, press liaison for Sen. Carl Levin.

According to a federal press release, the Interior Department earns $14 billion a year from commercial enterprises on federal land, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting. The 2013 authorized payback nationwide is $421.7 million, which was reduced by $21.5 million due to sequestration.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.