New Mexico to receive payments next year as part of tax program

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — New Mexico counties will be getting more federal dollars next year as compensation for the non-taxable lands within their borders.

President Barack Obama signed legislation this week that included the funding. It's part of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Program.

New Mexico counties rely on the payments to provide services, including improvements to schools, roads and public safety. Last year, all but one of the state's 33 counties shared a total of $37 million.

The program is administered through the Interior Department and compensates rural counties for hosting federal lands that can't be developed, such as national parks, forests and some military bases.

Funding for each county is determined by a formula that considers the number of acres of federal entitlement land within each county and the population.

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