WASHINGTON – Oxford and Franklin counties, as well as five towns within those counties, found a little extra money in their bank accounts this week.

The money came from annual payments in lieu of taxes from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries.

In total, $197,212 was distributed throughout 25 Maine towns and counties and $218 million was doled out throughout the nation.

Oxford County received the largest amount, collecting $35,314 for the 30,963 acres the U.S. Bureau of Lands owns within the county’s unorganized territories.

Several Oxford County towns chalked up sizable chunks of change, including Gilead, $1,828; Lovell, $100; Stoneham, $10,348 and Stow, $2,989.

The announcement was made by senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, who stated the money had been transferred electronically as of Wednesday.

“Local governments in Maine are facing another tough budget year, when every penny coming in has a tremendous impact on the service and programs they provide to residents,” stated the Senators in a joint statement. “These payments represent a crucial responsibility the federal government has to help local communities meet those needs.”


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