MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A new program intended to help financially troubled New England dairy farmers by raising money and educating consumers about the benefits of local farms isn't providing as much assistance as it would like because it has had to pay taxes on the money it takes in.
The Keep Local Farms program last year helped 1,370 farmers around New England to the tune of $100 each. But an audit that the program had sought found that it owed $63,000 in taxes, or nearly a third of the $220,000 raised over two years.
The program, whose funds were handled by a dairy cooperative, is now reorganizing to have the funds managed as a nonprofit. It's also rethinking how the money will be used so it will provide a greater benefit to farmers.
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