IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Idaho counties are expected to receive a total of $23.9 million in payments under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program this year.
Idaho State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth said the funds are administered through the U.S. Forest Service based on a formula that accounts for economic activity, timber harvest levels, and other considerations.
The Idaho Congressional Delegation pressed for approval of the program, calling the payments critical to maintaining education programs for many rural counties that contain federal lands that are exempt from property taxes. The program was extended for two years as part of the end-of-year funding package.
The SRS payments are particularly important to Idaho, where the federal government controls about 63% of the state's natural resources.
The payments are based on the amount of federal property within a county. You can see the full Idaho payment schedule here.