MESA COUNTY, Colo. Budgets across western Colorado could be taking a big hit in 2014 as congress moves to halt payments for public lands.
The Bureau of Land Management alone controls 8.3-million acres of public lands in Colorado, none of which are taxable by local communities.
PILT money, or payment in lieu of taxes, covers only a small portion of what we could get if that land was taxable.
And now those payments are in danger.
"This so called PILT money it's called was basically taken in the middle of the night by people on the East coast and on the West coast," says Senator Michael Bennet. "People who are not paying attention to the needs of our western communities, Colorado being one of them."
Today, Senator Bennet was in Grand Junction to meet with leaders across the Western Slope to discuss the impact of the loss of these payments and his plan to bring them back.