There’s been an interesting discussion in the drought community about the use of the weekly drought monitor for making determinations about who’s entitled to drought benefits. The problem is that the monitor’s maps are a subject blend of the best judgment of a community of people about drought conditions, intended as an informational tool. When you start making money decisions based on where the line on the map falls, you end up with a weird set of pressures on the system.
But that’s exactly what’s happening, as the IRS implements a tax break for ranchers affected by drought:
Using data from a map produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center, the IRS will publish a list of eligible counties for the extension sometime this month.