Farm bill includes payments to rural counties

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Updated: 1/29 11:25 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The farm bill that has cleared the House includes a one-year extension of a federal program that compensates rural counties for federal lands they can't tax. About 1,900 local governments — mostly in the West — received a total of $400 million last year under the program, known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes or PILT.

More than three-quarters of the money went to 12 Western states, with the largest shares going to California, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

Lawmakers in the West had howled after the program was omitted from a budget deal approved this month. Rural communities rely on it for basic services such as police and fire protection and road maintenance.

The House approved the farm bill on a 251-166 vote. The Senate is next.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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