Washington • Tucked into a bill that provides assistance to farmers and food for the poor is money to help rural counties loaded with federal land.
The House passed a long overdue farm bill Wednesday and if it passes the Senate as expected, the lands-payment program that predominantly helps Western states like Utah will survive another year.
It's called payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILT, and in the past year it provided $35 million to counties in Utah. The only state that received more of this money was California. PILT is intended to help areas where public lands cut deep into the local tax base and that means most of Utah, as about two-third of the state is owned by the federal government.