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Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Congress Makes Bills

The Daily Yonder:

By now, most people have heard about the various winners and losers in the $1.1 trillion budget passed last week. But what missed the attention of most national media is screaming-mad, front-page news all across the West.

Congress did not fund payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILT. PILT payments for this year – which began in October – were to be $400 million divided among 1,850 counties containing federal land...

Example after example fills state and local media as counties try to scramble to figure out how to keep operating without these crucial funds...

Yes, small Western towns, but in reality close to half the land area of the U.S. just got a funding cut. Money used for emergency services, search and rescue, roads, law enforcement, education and other essential programs have not been funded.

PILT has been funded since 1976 as a way to compensate counties and local governments for the federal public lands they contain, because those lands are exempt from paying taxes. PILT payments and non-payments affect counties across most of the U.S. but especially the West and Alaska...

Yep. Congress forgot close to half the land area of the USA.


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