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County to bill feds $3.9M in taxes
Commissioners hope bill will have an impact on county budget
by SAMANTHA TIPLER, Herald and News 4/30/13
The Klamath County commissioners plan to send the federal government a tax bill of $3.9 million. During their regular 9 a.m. meeting today, the commissioners will request the federal government pay taxes on the land it owns in Klamath County. Of the $3,971,586 it is requesting, the county would get $2,978,690, and schools in the county would get $992,896.
“We want the federal government to pay their taxes, pretty much that basically is it,” said commissioner Jim Bellet. “Pay their taxes or payment in lieu of taxes.”
Payment in lieu of taxes, or PILT, was a federal program that ended this year where payments were made to timber producing counties. For the 2013-14 budget, the county planned on zero PILT payments.
Bellet said the $3.9 million was what the county assessor estimated a private owner would pay on the lands owned by the federal government. “I want them to know that they owe us money and they need to step up to the plate and do their duty and pay taxes or payment in lieu of taxes in Klamath County,” Bellet said, referring to the federal government as the ‘they.’ “We’re short of money. We need more money to fund our jail and patrols.”
Bellet said he did hope the tax bill to the federal government would have an impact.
“I hope that they will get the bill and tell the other people back in Washington, D.C., and on the House floor and Senate floor, ‘I got a tax bill, we need to pay it,’ ” he said. “Let’s do something about Klamath County. Maybe that will encourage them to act.”
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