Wyoming’s US Senator John Barrasso says resolving the issue of the lack of PILT funding in the 2014 federal budget is a question of education. Barrasso says lawmakers who do not live in the western states do not understand that the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program is necessary to those government entities where large federal parcels exist which must still provide essential services to their jurisdictions. He explains that the land that is owned by the government and controlled by the government isn’t in private hands, so there are no taxes being paid on it by private owners. Barrasso goes on, “Part of this is just trying to explain this to people from the east who don’t really understand the concept of public lands – don’t realize that half of the land in the state of Wyoming is under the control of the Federal Government.” Barrasso says, meanwhile, western senators are looking at the possibility of including the PILT payments owed in the farm bill which is an agriculture funding proposal. He calls it “irresponsible” of Washington not to make that payment.