To the Editor:

Something to think about.  White Pine County just received a $1,275,787 payment from the Federal Government titled “Payment in Lieu of Taxes”. Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) are Federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal land within their boundaries.  Further definition states, “PILT payments help local governments carry out such vital services as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations”.  Continuing, “The formula used to compute the payments is contained in the PILT Act and is based on population, revenue sharing payments, and the amount of Federal land within an affected County”.

The latest population for White Pine County, reports there are 10,030 residents in White Pine County, which included 4,255 residents in the City of Ely.  Aren’t the City of Ely residents County residents?  The residents of the City represent 42.42% of the County population.  Simply math would suggest the City should be allowed access to $541,189 of the PILT payment.  ($1,275,787 x 42.42% = $541,189)

The White Pine County absorbs millions in Net Proceeds of Mine Tax yearly, while the City may get $20,000 to $35,000 of the same payment.  Both the PILT payment and Net Proceeds of Mine Tax are FREE money, costing you and I nothing.  Several Nevada Counties use these funds for large projects but they also share these revenues with other agencies in their County.

You would hope the County and the City leaders could work together on SHARING these revenues.

Jim Alworth

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