The budget for Ravalli County will be pumped up by $1,868,000 in funds from the federal government.

Montana Senator Max Baucus announced the amount spread throughout the state's 56 counties will be over $26 million.

The money is not unexpected. It's PILT money (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) and SRS money (Secure Rural Schools). the funds were created to make up for taxes lost due to the amount of untaxable federal public lands in each county.

In Ravalli County's case, there are over a million acres of mainly forest land of the Bitterroot National Forest and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.

The money can only be used for certain things - improving schools, maintaining roads and supporting energency services. The programs will end in September unless Congress re-authorizes the funds. Senators Baucus and Jon Tester have introduced legislation to do that in the Senate Highway Bill. The House of Representatives has yet to act.