Two of Chelan County's three commissioners will be traveling to Washington D.C. next week.

Tiffany Gering will be heading to the nation's capital along with Shon Smith, who says the visit will be centered around one primary agenda.

"Our priority next week on this trip will be meeting with our legislators on a couple of important things that Chelan County relies on for its tax revenue, and that's the Secure Rural Schools and the Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) programs."

Smith says both programs are currently in jeopardy of being significantly defunded or cut altogether by the federal government, and that would have a major impact on Chelan County's budget.

"We have about twenty-three million (dollars) in PILT money come to the State of Washington and we get three-point-six of that each year. So needless to say, it really helps us out. And that money is payment in compensation from the federal government for the amount of public lands in our county that we do not receive property taxes from."

Approximately 80% of the land in Chelan County is federally owned, meaning the county only collects property taxes on parcels and dwellings that are within the remaining 20%.

Smith says he and Gering also intend to speak with federal representatives about the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy and the reintroduction of grizzly bears to the North Cascades.

The commissioners are hoping to spend time with 8th District Congresswoman Kim Schrier (D-Sammamish) and 4th District Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside) among other officials with ties to regional influence.

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