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Interior Department announces annual land payments for Alaska

WASHINGTON — More than $28 million is headed to rural Alaska communities in payment for their work supporting national parks, wildlife refuges and public lands, the Interior Department announced this week.

The funds come as part of a nationwide grant of $451.6 million to 1,900 local governments in the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program. PILT is meant to make up for lost property taxes in areas that have non-taxable federal land.

Congress sets the overall annual funding level for the program, and the Interior Department uses a formula — also established by Congress — to divide the funds based on federal acreage and population. The funds come from revenue collected from commercial activity on public lands, including oil and gas leasing and livestock grazing, according to the department.

Kobuk Valley National Park, Northwest Arctic Borough. (Photo courtesy National Park Service)

This year, 30 Alaska jurisdictions will receive PILT funds.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski cheered the announcement, crediting her work as chair of the appropriations subcommittee that manages the funding levels.

"PILT is essential for many local governments and communities across our state to fund necessary projects to offset the loss in tax revenue," Murkowski said in a statement. "With the federal government controlling over 60 percent of Alaska's lands, this program ensures communities a source of funding to help pay for emergency services, roads and other essential services that would otherwise be supported through local property taxes."

Here's the full list of payments:

NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH — $1,223,996
ALEUTIANS EAST BOROUGH — $587,670
ALEUTIANS WEST — $982,774
BETHEL — $1,803,208
BRISTOL BAY BOROUGH — $163,786
DENALI BOROUGH — $335,986
DILLINGHAM — $872,408
FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR BOROUGH — $441,707
HAINES BOROUGH — $348,013
HOONAH-ANGOON CENSUS AREA — $364,145
JUNEAU CITY & BOROUGH — $2,121,216
KENAI PENINSULA BOROUGH — $2,991,954
KETCHIKAN GATEWAY BOROUGH — $1,115,667
KODIAK ISLAND BOROUGH — $1,513,744
LAKE & PENINSULA BOROUGH — $285,265
MATANUSKA SUSITNA BOROUGH — $3,479,764
MUNICIPALITY OF ANCHORAGE — $666,432
MUNICIPALITY-SKAGWAY — $161,873
NOME — $1,223,996
NORTHWEST ARTIC BOROUGH — $1,145,017
PETERSBURG CENSUS AREA — $552,689
PRINCE OF WALES — $982,774
S.E. FAIRBANKS — $1,079,562
SITKA CITY BOROUGH — $663,277
VALDEZ/CORDOVA — $1,201,991
WADE HAMPTON — $1,145,017
WRANGELL BOROUGH — $413,467
YAKUTAT BOROUGH — $111,063
YUKON KOYUKUK — $982,774

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